Mom Wants to Change Daughter's Name... Because Classmates Have the Same Name

Is there something beyond Third World problems? You know, like “so privileged that you have to invent problems”? If so, then I nominate the mom in this story for the champion of it. Upset that her daughter shares a name with some of her classmates, the mom wants to change her name.

The daughter is named Esmée. That doesn’t sound like a common name, and it’s not. According to Baby Center (a website that I never dreamed I’d visit), it’s not among the fifty most popular girl names for 2018. Since Esmée is four years old, I also checked the year 2014 and Esmée didn’t crack the top fifty that year, either. Nor in 2013, 2015, 2016 or 2017. You get the picture.

On something called Mumsnet, the mother, going by the moniker “Chesternut” informs us:

My DD [Dear Daughter] is 4 years old and I gave her a name which, I thought, was very original as I hadn’t heard another girl called it in about 20 years. Only to find when she started nursery another girl called the same but spelt differently. DD is due to start full time education in September and there will be 2 other girls with the same name so 3 in the class including DD. Now there’s another in other DC’s class.

Totally hacked off and really upset by this. Maybe an over reaction but in the 1970’s I was one of 5 named the same in my class and vowed never to have my DC’s live with the same. Now history is being repeated.

AIBU to change my DD’s name before September? I love her name but HATE it’s so common now.

Scrolling down the chat, the mom reveals: “DD’s name is Esmée and I’ve lived through this. I can remember my whole junior/secondary school time being coloured by the fact that so many of us had the same name. I changed it as soon as I could because of that reason. Every time I hear my real name I shudder.”

One thing’s for sure: this mom is teaching her daughter how to throw a temper tantrum. She’s also teaching her to be the center of attention and to expect everyone else to cater to her every trivial whim.

I don’t know what “Chesternut’s” real name is, but my name is John and I doubt that her name is more common than mine. What’s more, out of all the “traumatizing” experiences I had growing up, having a very common name was not one of them. And I even heard many porta-john jokes. In fact, I’ve been known to tell a porta-john joke at my own expense.

Speaking of unique names, my daughter’s name is Infinity. The reason why my wife and I chose that name is irrelevant (and it has nothing to do with wanting her to have a unique name). However, when we told my parents what we were planning on naming her, my dad harrumphed out, “Infinity! That sounds like a car.”

I responded, “Well, you named me after a toilet.”

He never said another word about my daughter’s unique name.

All this to say that I have zero sympathy for the childhood trauma experienced by “Chesternut” because she shared a name with classmates. Going to the hassle of changing a four-year-old girl’s name and then explaining to the little girl that she has a new name because you disliked sharing when you were a child is the height of silly petulance. “Chesternut” should’ve grown up some more before having children of her own.