Sunday, May 8, 2011
How Zonker Became Zachary
So, yes, we named our baby Zonker.
Kind of, anyway.
The birth certificate says Zachary. That's not really what we call him though.
People have been asking us how we came up with the nickname, but truth be told, we had the nickname first. See, we didn't have a very easy time coming up with a name. Even after a full day at the hospital – when Zonker already was a living, breathing human being – we didn't have a name.
Except that, early on, we did have a name. Ana. A girl's name, because we were thinking (in the lack of any actual evidence either way) that we were having a girl. So we'd talk about her as Ana. 'Do you think Ana will have my teeth? Do you think we should send Ana to public school or private?'
Then it turned out we were having a boy. And the name search went back to the beginning.
"How's Sam doing?" Or, "Has Ben been kicking a lot today?" We tried a bunch of names out like that. Aaron, Max, Henry. None of them quite stuck. We did call him Piglet a fair amount, but that's not really a name. I tried to get myself to like the name Abraham, for my grandfather who passed away a couple years ago. But I could never quite embrace it enough. We were scrambling for names, and the due date kept getting closer.
Then I got the Doonesbury retrospective for my birthday. And for some reason, I started calling the kid Zonker.
And it stuck. Nothing else had, this had. "Has Zonker been kicking much?" "Do you think Zonker will get your eyes?" It just sounded right.
I just wasn't sure that I could put "Zonker" on my son's birth certificate.
Not Helen – she was sure. "We are not putting Zonker on the birth certificate."
So, ok, group decision and I was wary anyway. So we weren't going to name him Zonker. But that just left us back where we started. We never did come up with any other name that stuck.
Helen gives Betty credit for this, but for me it was Helen that suggested it – if we name him Zachary, we can call him Zonker.
That, then, is the story of how Zachary became Zonker.