Catholic School Back To School Shopping: Myths vs. Realities

Ah, Back-To-School Shopping : such a gentle, consumeristic way to get over the end of summer vacation. However, as two life-long Catholic school students, our experience wasn’t everything the Staples and J.C. Penney commercials led us to believe. I’m watching the cycle all over again with my nieces and nephews – the public schoolers getting cute new outfits and the Catholic school kids getting their first necktie at age 5. [Find me something cuter than a kindergartener in business casual.] In honor of our ’90s and ’00s memories, here is a study in the contrasts between back to school shopping for Catholic schoolers and, if not real public school students, at least the too-cool public schoolers we saw on TV.

Clothing

File under: My childhood as a walking Irish Catholic stereotype.

Expectation: I’m going back to school with a new wardrobe that will mark me as one of the cool kids!

Reality: I am wearing the same plaid jumper from the same Plaid Jumper Store as all of my classmates. Somehow, kids manage to sort themselves into Cool and Uncool anyway.

[Note: there is a 50/50 chance your uniform is a hand-me-down, or your mom bought it at the used uniform sale your school holds at the end of the school year.]

Expectation: At least maybe some fun, cute outfits for after school!

Reality: Those are called “play clothes” and they don’t come from the store, they come from a trash bag your aunt drops off every time your next cousin up has a growth spurt.

[Note: I realize there are Catholics without cousins but I’ve never met one.]

Accessories

Expectation: And don’t forget the accessories!

Reality: … Which are knee socks, a navy blue cardigan, and a shirt with a Peter Pan collar during that five-decade range after Peter Pan collars went out of style in the ’60s and before they came back in style on Zooey Deschanel.

If you’re fancy, please add a headband in the same plaid as your uniform.

Jewelry

Expectation: Wearing some jewelry, I guess.

Reality: Bracelets are not allowed. Non-post earrings are not allowed. Necklaces are a pendant on a thin chain. If you want to consider rosaries jewelry (“WHICH THEY ARE NOT” – every Catholic reading this post, before I could even say it, right?), you can have those. But you cannot wear them, for Pete’s sake.

School Supplies

Expectation: Lisa Frank binders! Lisa Frank notebooks! Lisa The Frickin FRANK IT ALL UP.

Reality: There is a specific, solid color that every subject uses. Does The Vatican secretly operate the Mead company?

Expectation: Don’t forget a trapper keeper to stay organized!

Reality: Trapper Keepers strictly verboten.

Hair

Expectation: It would be so much fun to try a bright color or a crazy new ‘do to show people how much I’ve changed over the summer!

Reality: “No extreme hairstyles” – Catholic School Student Manual 29:11

Shoes

Expectation: I will narrow down the most in-style looks and then pick out some sneakers, a pair of cute shoes, and maybe something a little dressier.

Reality: Your uniform requires shoes that meet all of the following criteria: black or navy blue. No laces. No wedges. No mules. No sneaker soles. Heel must measure less than one inch at the highest point. No ballet flats.

You are left with orthopedic nun shoes.

[Note: If you’re really wondering how we sorted out the cool kids, their moms bought them cute shoes that skirted the Shoe Canon of the student handbook, whereas uncool-kid moms followed it to the letter. As to what camp I was in, let’s just say I still like a sturdy pair of Clarks.]

 

 

The Fastest Rising Baby Names of 2015 (And Why Your Kid Will Hate Them In 2028)

They’re finally here: the top 1000 baby names of 2015 in the United States! What, you DON’T wait for this news all year? The standard caveats:

  • This is the official Social Security compilation of births registered in the US. Any of the US-based 2015 lists you saw before now were collected from baby name websites and were based on what the website users were naming their kids OR what names people were looking up, but not necessarily using.
  • When we talk about the “fastest rising names,” these are the ones that have made the biggest leap in the past year. Usually a few news outlets will treat the fastest rising names like they’re the most popular, even though they are given to comparatively few children. We didn’t work out the data ourselves: the lists came from the incredible Baby Names Blog.
  • I don’t dislike any of these names. Except for names like Adolph or Lucifer, or that don’t follow the rules of spelling or pronunciation in any language, I don’t think there are “bad names.”
  • Whether you give your kid a top 10 name or a name given to only 10 kids in the whole country, whether you pick a fastest rising name or a fastest falling name, there’s a good chance they’ll grow to hate it by age 13, because 13 year olds are the worst version of humanity.

We looked at 2013 and 2014, so now, let’s examine why your kid will hate today’s fastest rising baby names of 2015 by the time they’re 13 in 2028:

Girl Names

Adaline

If you think this type of name has been popular for a while now, you’re right. There’s the super-popular Addison and its many spelling variations. There’s Adalyn, spelled myriad ways. There’s also Adeline, which is basically the same thing as Adaline, just with an E. Plus Adalie (again, spellings abound) and my personal favorite of the Ad- names, Adelaide. The result: although only Addison appears near the top of the charts, taken in total it “adds” up to a whole lot of girls with similar-sounding names. So is your Adaline (lovely name, by the way!) going to grow up annoyed that, despite your careful choice of a name that isn’t too popular or too weird, she’s one of several Addies in her Brownie troop?

In a word, no. Your irrational 13-year-old Adaline will be annoyed when, after years of begging for an American Girl doll, she receives Addy because it has her name… when she really, truly had her heart set on Josefina. Nobody ever said tweens made sense. But also, just ask any millennial which American Girl doll she wanted but never got. She’ll remember.

Alaia

Alaia follows the recent trend of liquid, vowel-packed girl names: three syllables and only a single consonant in the pack. You might not know any Alaias, but you’ve probably run into an Amaya, Anaya, Ayana, Aliyah, Amara, Aria, Ariana, Aubriana, etc etc etc. So how could a little girl grow to hate a name that’s right on-trend? By entering the world of middle school, which can turn the sweetest child into a door-slamming teen who says things like “I didn’t ask to be born” when you deny her request for Abercrombie jeans (I’m predicting that in 2028, early 2000s fashion is back and so is distressed Abercrombie low-rise denim). When she and her friends begin watching Clueless at sleepovers, her nickname quickly becomes “A-what-a.” Hey, don’t say you didn’t see it coming when your custom Instagram hashtag for her as a baby was #ThisIsAnAlaia.

Aitana

Aitana, a name I’ve never heard before, is pretty. And like Alaia, it follows the starts in A, ends in A trend. Apparently it was used by a pair of Mexican actors in 2014 and comes from the Spanish mountain range Sierra de Aitana. There’s no GOOD reason to dislike such a perfectly nice name with a beautiful origin… but there’s a bad reason, and a 13 year old will find it. How were you to know your Aitana would have an early growth spurt and furiously demand to know “why you named me after a MOUNTAIN?”

Meilani

So it turns out Meilani is not a Hawaiian name! It’s an invented variation on Melanie, and its popularity is mainly due to its use by JWoww of Jersey Shore fame. We have three options for why your Meilani will hate her name even though it’s so fun to say:

  • You chose the name because you liked it. No problem there. But when little Mei presses you for why you chose the name, you told her it was in honor of your honeymoon in Hawaii. Then she learns that the name isn’t Hawaiian at all… and that you honeymooned at a nearby casino. Whoops.
  • You named her after your sister-in-law Melanie, who is currently Meilani’s least favorite aunt.
  • Throughout her elementary school years, its similarity to the first lady’s name leads classmates to call her Meilani Trump. Also, Melania Trump is First Lady. So really, everyone loses in this scenario.
Aislinn

I’m a big fan of Irish names with their original spelling, and if you named your baby Aislinn, so are you. Pronounced Ash-lin, Aislinn means dream or vision and is unrelated to the name Ashley or its spinoff, Ashlynn. It’s a name so nice that you and little Aislinn won’t mind correcting people on the pronunciation… until the World’s Worst Substitute Teacher asks if “Ass-lin” is present.

Boy Names

Jonael

Talk about a fast rise: Jonael is only number 919 for 2015, but in 2013 it ranked in the nine THOUSANDS. It’s all down to a talented tot who won La Voz Kids on Telemundo. Jonael is one of those names that sounds like it could be a biblical name (it isn’t), combining the Jon of Jonah or Jonathan and the -el ending of Daniel, Nathaniel, Gabriel, and so forth. It could even be a creative way to honor a grandpa John or an uncle Michael. One little problem: history has shown us that it’s a risky proposition to name a kid after a child star. Can I get an amen from the 9-year-old Mileys out there?

Matteo

I love Matteo! More international-sounding than Matthew, but still kind of comfy and familiar. Along with Mateo, Matteo is climbing the charts. By the time your Matteo is 13, we’re down to the same problem your brother Matthew had in the 1980s: so many Matts in a single class!

Riaan

Riaan is a Hindi name, and isn’t just a weird way to spell Ryan. But tell that to the World’s Worst Substitute Teacher (see: Aislinn), who goes on a 5-minute rant about creative spellings. Or to the World’s Worst Doctor’s Office Receptionist, who insists on pronouncing it Ryan but holds the “a” for a really long time.

Note: World’s Worst Substitute Teacher is based on a woman my friend worked with who insisted on calling a student named Juan “Joo-ahn” and would not hear that that was actually a proper spelling/pronunciation of the name. These people are slowly dying off but many will still be alive in 13 years.

Adriel

What could be better than an easy to spell, easy to pronounce name that’s as old as the Bible itself? Not much! But when Adriel discovers that his character’s story is mostly confusing genealogical stuff, he just wishes you’d gone for one of the flashier characters, is all.

Kyrie

In addition to being put on the girl’s gym class list (thanks, Kylie), Kyrie is treated to rounds and rounds of “kyrie eleison” – causing the teacher to pronounce it “keer-ee-ay” instead of “ky-ree,” like basketball player Kyrie Irving. Just HAD to spring for the Catholic school, didn’t you?

 

Mama From ‘All-Of-A-Kind Family’ Was Some Kind Of Genius: C+S Book Club

Sweep out the sukkah and check the china shepherdess for buttons, because it’s time for another edition of C+S Book Club! Rather than lamenting that Amy March is a total bitch, or revealing that Marilla Cuthbert was, in fact, a creepy church hag, today we’re going to talk about someone who is better than you and I could ever dream of being: Mama from Sydney Taylor’s All-Of-A-Kind Family. Mama was so clever and calculating that I almost wanted to call her an evil genius, but she was also the kindest, most chill mother in RL-4 chapter book history.

Look. I don’t have children. But I did read that one book about how our children would be classier if we raised them like French children, and I’ve seen some episodes of SuperNanny, which is a show about how our children would be classier if we raised them like British children from 1905. Plus I’ve read those articles that Facebook friends post about why children shouldn’t have technology and fast food, as well as those other articles that Facebook friends post about why children should have technology and fast food. And let me tell you: not a ONE of those so-called experts had anything on Mama. Case in point: her dusting scheme.

If you don’t know what I’m talking about, then chances are you didn’t read All-Of-A-Kind Family. If you did read it, the dusting ploy is seared in your memory along with chocolate babies and that time Henny got lost in Coney Island. (FREAKING HENNY, am I right?) The chapter was titled Dusting Is Fun, because it was 1951 and Sydney Taylor didn’t really have to try (honestly, what was her competition in children’s entertainment? The show Lassie. That’s it.). By the end of that chapter you, a grubby-faced 90s kid wearing a t-shirt decorated with puff paint, wished you were an old-fashioned child in the Lower East Side dusting for free. And for fun. That is how powerful Mama’s dusting plot was.

Ready for the scheme IN ITS ENTIRITY? Hold on to your pinafore. Mama hid buttons around the front parlor. By the way, their house only had like 4 rooms and one of them was a parlor used strictly for fancy decorations and pianos, that’s how high-class Mama was. Okay, so then the dusting girl had to find all of the buttons while she was dusting. Also Mama got straight-up sneaky with it, like those buttons were under table legs and piano keys. You had to DUST. IT. UP. If you found all of the buttons, you had done a good job dusting.

All right, let’s talk about the genius parts of this plan:

  1. The girls never knew how many buttons there were. Say you’ve found 5 buttons. You couldn’t just call it quits at that point, because maybe there were 9 buttons that day. You had to dust every damn thing, and only then could you be sure you had all of the buttons.
  2. Mama kept it fresh. Sometimes she’d bring out the buttons a few times a week, and sometimes she’d wait two weeks because what did she care, she had those little dusting girls under her spell and they would WAIT FOR IT. They’d wait for those buttons.
  3. In case you missed it, the prize was that you had done a good job dusting. Mama raised her kids to want to do a very good job at something because it feels good to know that you’ve done a very good job. Mama quarantined four children with scarlet fever in a spotless 4-room apartment during Passover; she knew that you didn’t get a ticker tape parade every time you did a damn chore.
  4. But Mama was the best ever because one week she hid a penny every day. Judging by how much candy the girls could buy for a penny, it was basically a dollar. Do you know how great it is to find a dollar when you’re cleaning? Ella, Henny, Sarah, Charlotte and Gertie sure do.

Mama wasn’t all dusting and parlors, though. She also was really good looking. The girls introduced her to the Library Lady and they were so proud because even though she had, at the time, 5 children, she didn’t look like the other women in the neighborhood: “like mattresses tied about the middle.” Which admittedly sounds harsh, but you know exactly what they mean. I’m sure they’d all love Mama just as much if she were a lumpy mattress-lady, but the point is Mama had a whole bunch of kids and her figure and outfits were still on point.

While Mama enforced rules, she was lenient when it mattered. When Sarah made that big fuss about not eating her rice soup that one day, Mama stuck to her guns, but once Sarah had a few bites of the gross congealed soup she let her move onto something more appetizing. (I loved re-reading that chapter, because it so reminded me of when you’d get stubborn about something or throw a fit as a kid, and you wouldn’t even know why you were doing it, but you couldn’t will yourself to stop.) And when Gertie and Charlotte used their pennies to buy candy and crackers and ate them in bed, Mama played it like she had no clue, just because it makes kids feel smart and important having a secret.

The All-Of-A-Kind Family was medium-poor. They were second generation-ish Jewish immigrants on the Lower East Side in 1912 long before their neighborhood became some sort of real estate holding for foreign billionaires. However, Papa had a scrap shop and they lived on one floor of a house instead of in a crowded tenement, so they were doing pretty okay. Mama was really good at being medium-poor. She was frugal where it counted, but she still allowed for splurges like a trip to Coney Island, or a treat when they went to the market.

If I can have one quibble about Mama, it’s that she finally had a boy and she named it Charlie. Look. One of my favorite real-life little boys is named Charley. It’s a great name. PLUS Adult Charlie from the book is such a cool grownup. You spend the whole time hoping that he and the Library Lady will meet and hit it off and … well. You know the rest. (Also: another post about the Library Lady, maybe?). So it’s great that Mama names a kid after him. It’s just … Mama. Did you forget you already have a Charlotte? She’s going to have so much Middle Child Syndrome. On the whole Mama picked good names – Library Lady even said! – so I can’t be too annoyed. And at least she didn’t name him after Uncle Hyman.

Library Lady = the Miss Honey of this series.

If I have kids, I’m going to skip the parenting guide telling me to make my children be more French. I’ll bypass the naughty step. I’ll steer clear of the Facebook click-bait. As far as I’m concerned, the best parenting guide there is this one weird old chapter book with no real plot. If I am even 1/10th of the benevolent evil genius Mama is, I think my kids would turn out just fine.

 

You’ve Got A Lot To Live Up To, Saint

If you’ve been keeping up with the Kardashians as of late, you know Kimye welcomed their second child over the weekend. And after two days of speculation of what baby boy’s name would be, Kim finally revealed their son’s name:

Naturally, anyone’s first reaction is of confusion.

Then the realization it’s legit:

and acceptance:

So I don’t know if it’s because I’ve been seeing it everywhere since Monday, but I think the name is actually growing on me? I had a similar reaction when they announced North West, but the winning point for me was that they would be calling her Nori, which is adorable. Saint, though? First of all, someone let ‘Ye pick the name. Second, what would his nickname be, if anything? Third, Saint is like, not a name. To be fair, *what even is a name anyways*??

However, to put things in perspective, Pete Wentz (Fall Out Boy rocker, ex-husband to Ashlee Simpson, father of son Bronx Mowgli) and his girlfriend had a son last year and named him Saint Lazslo, but the reaction was definitely not as fervent as it has been with Saint West. Kim and Kanye are an easy target, so unless they named their son Robert (after Kim’s late dad) as rumored, they would’ve gotten shit for anything they named him. But who even remembers the fact Pete Wentz named his son Saint a year ago? No one.

To also give Kim and Kanye more props, let’s be honest here – it could be worse. His name could’ve been Audio Science or Pilot Inspektor. Now those are REALLY not names in the slightest. With Saint, it implies a greatness to be achieved, whereas Audio Science, Shannyn Sossamon’s son, could be a major at MIT. There is of course a caveat to having a name like Saint – it gives him a lot to live up to. Just like being a Kennedy or even a Kardashian, there’s a stigma and pre-judgement that comes with a name that you have no control over. So if Saint West needs any advice on how to live up to a name larger than life, he can consult with these other celebrity babies who have just as odd if not more odd names than him.

Royalty {Daughter of Chris Brown}

Chris didn’t actually have anything to do with the naming of his daughter, since he found out she was his well after her birth, but it somehow seems exactly the right name that he would give her anyways. He’s also been treating her as such ever since the truth about his paternity came up, so much so that he’s named his upcoming album Royalty, and in the spirit of philanthropy, he’s also donating proceeds of the record sales to the Children’s Miracle Network hospital. He’s a *changed man* y’all.

Messiah Ya’ Majesty Harris {Son of T.I.}

That is not a typo, that apostrophe belongs there. Perhaps it was because it was T.I.’s first kid that he thought he needed to go big or go home, so he went for our savior, Lord Jesus Christ as the name for his baby.

Mary, did you know that your Baby Boy is Lord of all creation?

Mary, did you know that your Baby Boy would one day rule the nations?

Valor {Son of Emile Hirsch}

Valor {noun}: great courage in the face of danger, especially in battle.

Valor {proper noun}: Hufflepuff.

 

Happy Hinds {Son of Macy Gray}

Wouldn’t it be great if he could just change his name depending on his mood? Today he’s Happy, tomorrow he’s Outraged, next week he’s Flabbergasted.

King Cairo {Son of Tyga and Blac Chyna}

Is he just supposed to be treated like a king in general, or is it that he rules over the city of Cairo?

Atlas {Son of Ed Norton}

Despite what you may thinking, Ed Norton’s son wasn’t named after the huge ass book of maps, but rather the Greek god who was condemned by Zeus to hold up the sky forevs. TBH, this seems like the most difficult of all the names to live up to, since your name LIT’RALLY means to hold the world on your shoulders. I can’t even wear heavy coats.

Titan Jewell Witherspoon {Son of Kelly Rowland}

Although Kelly’s said the name itself has to do with family, it still bears heavy on the kid, since Titans were Greek gods of incredible strength. Sure you want your kid to be strong, but what if he’s a crier and a chess player? Not that there’s anything wrong with that.

Moxie Crimefighter {Daughter of Penn Jillette}

For a little backstory, Penn and his wife EZ (those are her initials) wanted to use a “purely American” name like Moxie to represent spunk and energy. As for the CrimeFighter part, Penn’s wife thinks middle names are stupid and they chose “CrimeFighter” as a joke. A JOKE. Who’s going to be laughing when there’s a murder to be solved and the only person who can seek retribution is Moxie CrimeFighter?

Kal-El Cage {Son of Nicolas Cage}

Literally his son is a superhero. He is Superman.

Where Are They Now: Every Kid From Your Second Grade Class

My oldest nephews, who were born in February 2007, finished second grade this week. That is absolutely astonishing to me. It’s hard to grasp that people who didn’t exist until 2007 can walk and talk, let alone read chapter books and multiply two-digit numbers.

Looking at these big kids (up to my shoulders!), I’m reminded of the Up Series.  In the early ’60s, British filmmakers interviewed seven-year-olds from different backgrounds and social classes. The premise: “to get a glimpse of England in the year 2000. The shop steward and the executive of the year 2000 are now seven years old.” They were testing the Jesuit maxim “Give me a child until he is seven and I will give you the man.” The filmmakers have followed up with the participants every seven years; they are now approaching 60 years old.

There are other Up series filmed throughout the world. The first installment of the American version was released in 1991, so when I watch it I’m seeing kids grow up in the same time I did. The really amazing thing is that in many cases, the child at seven does tell you a lot about the adult they’ll become.

So how about those kids we all seemed to have in our second grade classes? Do you think we can accurately predict where they are now? Maybe not – but it’s fun to try.

The Nose Picker

Also known as the Gross Kid. As a child, I lived in fear that I was the Gross Kid even though I was hygienic. And as an adult, I sometimes still feel like a grown-up version of the Gross Kid.

But you know who doesn’t feel like that? The actual grown-up version of the Gross Kid. Because the hallmark of the Nose Picker/ Gross Kid/ Smelly Kid was that they were utterly oblivious to their own filth. This kid has not become an appealing adult. He has become that guy at your office with the rumpled shirt who is always faintly smelly, or the sticky guy who you hope doesn’t chose the elliptical next to you. She’s that person whose apartment may be surface-clean, but the sink always has a layer of grime.

If the Nose Picker was an unappealing kid because his parents just didn’t care, though, not because the kid was oblivious, then he is probably very tidy and fastidious now.

The Dinosaur Kid

How about that one child who knew everything about dinosaurs (or fighter jets, or bugs, etc)? Chances are this kid is the expert in some super-specific field, but has left the dino t-shirts behind. But if you go see Jurassic World with a former Dinosaur Kid this summer, be prepared for a tirade on the inaccurate skin folds of the velociraptors, because once you amass that much knowledge about a subject it doesn’t go away, it just gets locked up for a while.

That One Kid Who Showed Up Halfway Through The Year

Remember how one kid would show up halfway through the year, introduced by the principal, and then they’d be gone at the start of the next school year? That kid made friends fast – in part because everyone was so taken with the novelty of an unfamiliar kid, and in part because if you switched schools a lot, you sort of had to know how to make friends quickly. So it would come as no surprise that That One Kid Who Showed Up Halfway Through The Year is now a person who instantly gets involved in a new workplace or neighborhood.

The Kid With The Healthy Lunches

Well, they’re probably thin, but good God, at what cost?

Actually, I take that back. The kid with the aggressively healthy lunches raided his friends’ Dunkaroos and Pop Tart Bites every time he went over to to play – I should know, my friend had the good junk food and I did the same. By high school, they probably developed a Claudia Kishi complex and snuck unhealthy snacks. This kid is now an adult who buys lunch from a vending machine at work.

The Kid With The Good Lunches

You know how some children were destined to a life of Lunchables and Handi-Snacks when your lot in life was bologna sandwiches and lukewarm yogurt? Those Good Lunch Kids had 20 minutes of joy in the middle of every school day. I like to think they still create happiness with little things, like as adults they have a living room with one really unexpected piece of art, or they’ll wear a normal weekend outfit with a punchy pair of shoes.

Or, childhood Type II diabetes. One of those.

The Kid With The Statement Piece

It always seemed cool when a child had one thing they always had with them. Think Harriet the Spy with the tomato sandwiches. Or the boy with the purple socks, also from Harriet The Spy. Or Punky Brewster’s mismatched shoes, or Blossom’s hats. By now, this person has outgrown their statement piece. The boy who always wore suspenders is not still wearing suspenders. But they still like to get noticed right away, so look for a gregarious personality or some chunky jewelry. In second grade, the kid with the statement piece knew his own mind, so now they’re adults who have to have their house, car and workspace just the way they want it.

These are the people who have customized license plates.

Dress Girl

I went to Catholic school, where every girl was Dress Girl. However, I still knew some of those girls who even in their free time insisted on wearing dresses. All dresses, only dresses, every day. Sometimes it was a religious thing but usually it was just a preference. Dress girl is not someone who works in fashion. Dress girl just chilled out at some point and realized that pants are useful for things like exercising, or windy days. But she’s mostly just someone who wears a lot of dresses, still. Sorry.

That Kid With A Ton Of Siblings


Your eyes don’t deceive you, that’s Jamal Lyon and Jess Merriweather in the best show nobody seems to remember.

If the Kid With A Ton Of Siblings was the oldest – or one of the oldest – in their giant family, there’s an excellent chance that this person is now an Adult With No Children, enjoying the blissful sounds of silence and sharing their wardrobe with nobody. In the immortal words of Kevin McAllister, when these kids grow up and get married, they’re living alone.

The Two Kids Who Look Alike But ARE NOT SIBLINGS

They never talked to each other again. But one has a spouse who looks like them. When they have kids, nobody can say “he looks just like his dad” or “that’s his mom’s nose!” Instead it’s like “yeah… that’s the only face those two faces could have created.”

Any other ginger kids out there? Then you know the very real struggle of being asked if you’re twins if there’s another random ginger in the class.

The “Half Hour Of PBS” Kid

Often a crossover with the Healthy Lunch Kid, remember that one kid who was allowed a single half-hour of public television once a week? Yeah, she spent a lot of time playing outdoors, developing an imagination, and getting acquainted with her local library, but she never knew what the heck was going on on TGIF. And like the Healthy Lunch Kid, this child binged on SNICK and Tiny Toons as soon as a play date began.

This could have gone one of two ways. Either this kid is now a TV blogger, or she’s one of those people who manages to drop the fact that she doesn’t own a TV into every conversation, relevant or not.

He Had A Rat Tail

He doesn’t, now.

The Kid God Forgot To Color In

Me, ’90s, skiing cow sweater, you’re welcome internet.

Oh, bless. That kid with pasty skin and pink-rimmed eyes is now an adult with slightly less pasty skin. For some reason, this child eventually ended up allergic to everything, as well. The quote from Community comes to mind – it’s like God spilled a person. The pasty child is now a grownup who doesn’t leave home without sunscreen, Zyrtec, eye drops, an inhaler, and maybe an epipen. And tissues, because for some reason frequent nosebleeds go along with this whole setup.

And yes, this kid is me. Now excuse me as I fish my flonase out of my purse.

The Girl Who Knows Everything

Nobody in the world knows more than a seven-year-old girl. Especially THIS seven-year-old girl. Unfortunately, knowing everything is not the best way to ingratiate yourself with your peers.

The Girl Who Knows Everything probably forgot that she knows everything for a few years there – junior high or high school – but her Hermione Granger tendencies won out and now she’s in an upper-level position in the Ministry of Magic got a pretty good job.

The Kid Who Wants Everyone To think He’s Rich


God bless typecasting. I feel like our child-selves should have been friends.

What’s more insufferable than a rich kid? A kid who wants everyone to KNOW that he’s a rich kid. This is the girl who told everyone that she got her Halloween costume from the deluxe tier, or the boy who referred to his pool as an “olympic-sized swimming pool.” I’m not saying that this kid is rich now, but they probably have a subprime mortgage on a flashy McMansion and lease a nice car that’s beyond their means to own.

The Fastest-Rising Baby Names Of 2014 (And Why Your Kid Will Hate Them In 2027)

If you had a baby in 2014, enjoy! In 13 short years you will be the parent of a surly teenager. Surly teenagers hate many things, but their own name usually tops the list. That’s why last year we examined the top baby names of 2013, and why your kid will hate them in 2016. It doesn’t matter how restrained or normal the name was, how well-planned or creative — sometime in the next few decades you may have to answer to your child’s wrath. It’s not your fault.

Last week the Social Security Administration released the 2014 baby name rankings – the official list of every name given to more than 5 children in 2014. Since the top 10 names are mostly the same as they were last year, this year we’re looking at the fastest-rising names. Now, many of these were not highly ranked at all, given to maybe a few hundred kids, but what’s unusual is how quickly they skyrocketed. All the more reason for your children to hate them. We’re anticipating some of the kids’ arguments, but don’t worry if you’re the real parent of an Aranza or Bode: I don’t think any of these names are really terrible.

[Fastest-rising calculations courtesy of the Baby Name Wizard blog.]

Girls

Aranza
  • Aranza is a telenovela name, a form of  Arantxa (your daughter thanks you for not choosing Arantxa). Basically any name that pegs the mother as someone who watches a lot of soaps can be sort of embarrassing. Just ask all those 20-somethings named Kendall and Lucky.
  • It’s sort of simultaneously beautiful, yet also sounds like the name of an evil cartoon spider. Teenaged Aranza will latch onto the latter opinion.
Daleyza

Awww. Who WOULDN’T want a kid like little Daleyza?

  • Again, 13-year-olds are the worst: any name, however pretty, with the syllable “lay” in it will be the victim of dozens of dirty jokes.
  • A child will figure out that it sounds like “the laser” or “the lazy” and make even more jokes. None of them will be good or funny, because again, middle school.
  • People are stupid, so by 2027 little Daleyza will be tired of explaining that it’s not Da-LIE-za or Da-LEEZ-a.
  • If you think soap opera names will make your kids roll their eyes in 13 years (don’t worry, moms and dads, most things will make them roll their eyes in 13 years): try reality TV names. So it is with Daleyza, from mun2 reality show Larrymania. Fortunately, little Daleyza will have plenty of classmates with names like Khloe and Bethenny to keep her company.
Everly

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4X7b2E_Jq-k]

  • Everly Brothers: charming, old-school 1950s musicians, or hokey as hell? Tween Everly thinks hokey (don’t worry, she’ll come around).
  • Everly kind of sounds like a weird adverb. That’s not really a bad thing, just an observation. They lived everly after. I’ll mow the lawn wheneverly. She’ll have this name foreverly.
Montserrat

Montserrat has it all: it’s not new or made-up. It’s a place name, and it has religious significance. And all of that will be lost on a 13-year-old.

  • The taunting starts early, with the nickname “monster rat.” Unfortunately, it comes from her preschool teacher’s failed attempt to pronounce the name on the first day (hint: it is pronounced exactly like the letters in the name look. Put the accent on the last syllable. Done).
  • Having a name that means “mountain” will not feel awesome when lil Montse hits that junior high growth spurt and feels like she’s towering over everyone.
  • At age 13, Montserrat is old enough to order those fluffy Starbucks drinks, but too young to find it hilarious when her name is misspelled.
Elsa

You’ve loved the name Elsa since you were a little girl, and just your luck, Disney releases a movie with a heroine named Elsa right when you’re getting ready to have kids. I named a character Elsa in a book I wrote in third grade — I get it. [Other characters: Charlotte, Lillian, Lucy, Eleanor. Man, was I ever tapped into the popular baby names of 2015 back in 1995).

  • “Let it goooo, let it GOOO!” If you think you’re sick of this now, imagine how tired little Elsa will be by, oh, third grade or so.
  • Sharing a name with a Disney princess has a ton of cultural cache in Kindergarten; less so in seventh grade.
  • Also, stupid children’s jokes: “Do you have a sister named Anna?” “It’s cold in here, right” [pointed stare at Elsa.]

Boys

Gannon

If you’re scratching your head about what a “gannon” is, you probably don’t watch Teen Mom. Me either. It sounds name-ish, and it’s a short name that ends in -n, a pattern that is all over the boy name charts. But don’t worry, your teen will still hate it in 2027 because:

  • TEEN MOM. First of all. You can swear to him that that’s not where you got it, but he won’t believe you.
  • ZELDA. Not just Zelda, but the bad guy from Zelda. And if any name from Zelda is trendy, why not Zelda? That’s actually cool.
  • You may be well-versed in up-and-coming names, but the receptionist at your pediatrician’s office or elementary school definitely isn’t. “Gannon Smith.” “CANNON?” “Gannon.” “No, but like, Dannon?” “Gannon.” “Gander.” “Gannon.” “Shannon.” It’s a new name, but it sounds sort of like a bunch of other names and words.
Karter

Well, somebody’s been taking a page from Kris Jenner’s guide to baby naming. And your baby doesn’t care now, but he’ll care in middle school – not because you’re a bad parent, but because the human brain is beset by obnoxious little demons from ages 11-14 or so.

  • Everyone’s just going to spell it Carter, then you’ll have to say “Carter with a K.” Which isn’t that big a hassle, but what’s the point?
  • And when Kris Jenner has that baby boy at the age of 63 after a few seasons of flagging ratings on E! – thank you, science – Karter is really going to hate sharing his name with baby Karter Kardashian.  Yes, Kris is going to legally change her surname to Kardashian in 2020 or so to keep it “on-brand.”
Bode
  • People assuming that either he – or you – smokes a whole lot of weed. It’s like the name version of having one of those heavy, woven Mexican blankets in your trunk. See also: Kai.
  • The name will constantly get mispronounced as “bode,” unless you pronounce it that way, in which case it will constantly get mispronounced as “bodie.” You’ll try to explain to his teachers that the accent is on the “e” — from which point, his name will be pronounced “boe-DAY.”
  • Seems like it stands out, but his karate class will have a Brodie and a Bodhi … oops.
  • Also, I almost wrote “karate klass.” THANKS KARTER.
Royal
  • You wouldn’t think that people would remember the Lorde song “Royals” well enough to sing it at him in 2027. But they do, because by then our nostalgia cycle is moving faster than ever and we’re all really pining for 2013.
  • By 2027, baby Royal has also internalized thirteen years of your mother-in-law tut-tutting “I don’t know why you had to go and name him ROYAL” every time she visits.
  • The nickname Roy. Just, you know, in general.
Axl
  • The worst fear of any parent naming their child “Axl”: he will grow up to be a music snob. There’s only so many times he can hear “Oh, like Axl Rose?” before he snaps.
  • He also won’t love how, thanks to Axl Rose, his camp nickname was “Rosie.”
  • Unlike the Scandinavian classic Axel, people will think that they’re supposed to smoosh the consonants together.

Bottom line: all of the girls’ names are appealing enough that I can see why parents’ will choose them. Your kids aren’t any more likely to hate them than if they were named Sophia or Mary. Which still makes your kids pretty likely to hate them, because kids are the worst. And the best. Congrats on your 2014 baby!

Your Baby Hates Fashion Week

New York Fashion Week is in full swing, and this year’s hottest accessory is a human baby. Anna Wintour hates it:
Even Queen Beyonce looks a little shady.  But nobody’s crying about it more than the babies. You know, because they are babies.

Now, you might be thinking “but Molly, what do you know about what babies hate?” Here are my qualifications:

  • I know some babies.
  • And some of my best friends are babies, so it’s not like this is an anti-baby piece.
  • Also I used to be a baby.

Whether your baby is North West or Blue Ivy, Harper Beckham or Suri Cruise, your baby hates fashion week. Fashion week goes counter to everything that baby culture stands for. To wit:

  • Babies love naps. There are no naps at fashion week.

Fashion week is all go-go-go, fueled by coffee, cigarettes, and cocaine, which parenting manuals call the “Three Cs” as a mnemonic so you remember not to give them to babies. Babies, however, are sleepy. And sleepy babies are cranky babies, and cranky babies get side-eye from Anna Wintour.

  • Babies also hate naps. So if you want your baby to sleep like a fat drool-y angel through the show, your baby will choose that time to be awake and angry.

It’s not Thanksgiving at your Aunt Pat’s. You can’t arrange the events of the day around your baby’s nap schedule. So if you think you’re going to have a gently dozing baby in the front row of the Armani collection, you’re wrong.

  • Babies like when adults make ridiculous faces. Catwalk models make no such faces.

Your baby isn’t going to giggle and clap with delight as the models pass by, because babies are interested in faces that move and show expression. If anything, your baby might be scared. I mean I’m 28 and I’m scared of them, a little.

  • Fashion Week is an entire week devoted to clothes – which babies hate.

You know what babies love? Kicking back on the changing table waving their arms and legs during no-diaper time. An event celebrating clothing is an affront to baby culture. Do you think North West likes wearing a bullet-proof vest at her dad’s Emperor’s New Spanx fashion show? She wants to wear Garanimals and pull off her socks to eat.

  • Your baby wants some apple juice and goldfish NOW.

A baby’s blood sugar is a delicate flower, but not like a lily of the valley, more like that plant in Little Shop Of Horrors that craves human flesh. Hell hath no fury like a toddler who knows her mommy has a baggie of Teddy Grahams in her purse. I remember when I was a little kid and I was so jealous of – and a little disgusted by – those kids at church whose parents brought juice boxes and bags of loose cereal to mass. Catholic mass. Which is only about 45 minutes long, maybe an hour if they sing a lot of those response bits instead of reading them. But you can’t bring food to fashion week, leading to our next item…

  • Babies are a mess.

Not YOUR baby. I’m sure your baby looks awesome. But if you know enough babies, you know what I mean. They have sticky faces and pureed sweet potatoes in their neck folds. Their hands have a layer of grime. They literally sit in their own excrement until you clean them. They spew puke (you can call it spit-up, but your baby is PUKING). There are a lot of great places to bring babies – like, say, to visit me so I can tickle their adorable chubby cheeks and make faces at them – but a room full of the finest and most expensive fabrics in the world is not one of them.

  • Nobody likes your baby as much as you like your baby.

And I say this as someone who is totally friends with a lot of babies. Try bringing your baby on a plane and you’ll see what I mean. Your cranky, snack-crazed, sticky little darling is the light of your life. But she sure as heck isn’t the light of Anna Wintour’s life.

It’s not just babies. Kids at Fashion Week have also stirred up some trouble, and kids are really just older babies so it makes sense. Before she was the Princess Of The Internet and a Broadway starlet, our much-loved Tavi Gevinson was a child fashion blogger annoying New York fashionistas with her giant bow hat.

I can’t wait to see what the next big fashion week accessory is. Maybe it will be a living dog, or a very old person, or ant farms. But based on the babies’ – and Anna Wintour’s – reaction, I think within a few years, babies at fashion shows will be “so 2015.”

Every Generation Gets The April O’Neil It Deserves

As the gloriously childless aunt of 6 little boys, I’ve learned a thing or two. First, if little boys did their own grocery shopping it would be an entire cart piled with fruit snacks and Goldfish crackers, and ketchup to dip them in because little boys don’t really care that you’re disgusted by that (also they wouldn’t be able to pay because those children are unemployed as helllll). Second, the more little boys you have in one house, the lower their ability to direct their pee into a toilet. If you have more than four little boys sharing a bathroom, you may as well install a drain in the center of the floor and buy a hose attachment for the shower to spray everything down at night. The entire room is essentially one of those pee troughs I hear they have in men’s rooms at old stadiums. And third, little boys love the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. It was true in the early ’90s, and it’s true today. So while I normally would have left Ninja Turtles behind with Puppy Surprise and Noozles, I actually have a pretty decent working knowledge of those pizza-eating reptiles.

But guys, Ninja Turtles has changed since we all fell in love with those heroes in a half shell three decades ago. Well, not so much the Turtles themselves – they’re still some weird version of the 90s surfer archetype – but April O’Neil. April, a female human, is the Turtles’ keeper, sort of a combination of Wendy Darling and Lois Lane. While the Turtles are basically static, April O’Neil is an ever-changing, bouncy-haired sign of the times. Like hemlines or employment rates, I think that whatever’s going on with April O’Neil tells you what’s going on with America:

1984– Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (Comic Book)

Profession:

Computer Programmer

Age: 27
Appearance:
What It All Means:

April O’Neil, whitewashed character? Well, maybe. It all hinges on one question: Is that a perm or a jheri curl? 80s style aside, early April is ethnically ambiguous. She was in computer programming when there barely was computer programming. She was a talented hacker back when the only thing there was to hack into was black screens with green writing and the top scores in the nearest arcade’s Pac Man game. Basically, April O’Neil was the future. She’s also a rebel and a nonconformist: remember, this is the go-go 80s, when the successful smart ladies looked more like this:

With her Members Only jacket and bigass scarf, April is obviously dressed for practicality, not fashion. Although those blinding earrings say “hey, I can be glam, too.” Or maybe they’re also weapons.

I know it looks like April’s packing heat but that’s just how jeans made people’s crotches look in 1984.


 

1987 – Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (Animated Series)

Profession:

TV Reporter

Age: 28
Appearance:
What It All Means

Ah, the Reagan Era. Big hair, big shoulder pads, big business. TV reporter is a bit more in line with the flashy professions you’d expect a late-80s leading lady to have. You’ll notice that as TMNT goes more mainstream, April has become conspicuously busty and Caucasian. I tried to Google “why does April O’Neil wear a jumpsuit” (I forget if there was a reason) but to no avail.

April is a smart, feisty lady who obviously needs, from my vantage point, a minimum of eight pockets to store all of her stuff. Buy a purse, April. Buy a purse. Or a fanny pack. Weren’t those the thing during this time?

Also, considering her outfit is all one piece I’m pretty confused about what the belt does.


 

1990, 1991, 1993 – Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (Live-Action Movies)

Profession: TV reporter
Age: ?
Appearance:
What It All Means

If the ladies of the 80s were all about glitz and glamour, the Bush I/ Clinton-era gals were into practicality, sensible footwear, jorts, and unisex button-ups. They were what normcore aspires to be. This was April O’Neil’s Elaine Benes moment: just a regular girl who pals around with the guys, except the guys are these giant turtles to whom she plays den mother. Think less “hot jumpsuit” and more “yellow raincoat from the Lands End catalog.” Although no longer a braniac computer programmer, this April is one heck of an investigative reporter and , like her comic book counterpart, she’s not afraid to admit she likes a good chunky knit sweater.

If you’re wondering where you know her from: Judith Hoag now plays Tandy Hampton on Nashville.


 

2003 – Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (AnimatedSeries)

Profession:

Scientist, I guess? And apparently also shop owner?

Age: 27
Appearance:

What It All Means

This is a throwback to April 1.0 – because in a post-9/11 world, all we wanted was a little stability? Maybe. I’ve made it this  far without seeing any episodes of this incarnation, but the hair makes me think there’s sort of an Agent Scully thing happening here. You can tell April’s a scientist because she’s wearing a white coat and, more importantly, she has those two loose tendrils of hair that ladies always sported in the early 2000s in order to show people that they were busy and sort of carefree but could totally let the bun down and have nice hair if they wanted to.

 


 

2007 – TMNT (Weird CGI looking movie thing)

Profession:

Archaeologist

Age: adult?
Appearance:

What It All Means

Is this a Bratz doll? This has got to be some sort of Bratz doll. Remember, this was during the heyday of the celebrity gossip cycle about Britney, Lindsay and Paris. Even children’s characters were sort of sassy and weird, with the giant eyes of something that gestated near a nuclear power plant, Michael Jackson noses and Hungry Caterpiller lips. This was also during the era when they started taking all of our beloved 80s and 90s shows and remaking them with cheap computer animation that made it look like it was supposed to be in 3d but wasn’t. You can also see the influence of Lara Croft: Angelina Jolie with the archaeologist job and the big braid.


 

2012 – Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (Computer Animated Series)

Profession:

Student

Age: Like 17 or something
Appearance:

What It All Means

If the last one was a Bratz doll, is this one a Lego person? You know what this April says about America? That in 2012 we were in a recession and we made some cheap-ass cartoons. This looks like one of Clarissa Darling’s video games.


 

2014 – Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (Michael Bay situation)

Profession:

“Lifestyle Reporter”

Age: 20-something

Appearance:

 

What It All Means

Honestly, though, what DOES it all mean? We started with a be-jheri curled ethnically ambiguous computer programmer, went to a sensible 90s tv reporter with Jerry Seinfeld’s wardrobe, then circled around to … Megan Fox. This is where we are and hope we’re all very happy with this outcome.

On one hand, you have that whole “Olivia Wilde is ‘too hot’ to play a journalist” nonsense, and I mean, why can’t an intelligent, professional woman  — who also hangs out in sewers eating pizza with turtles who are also mutants who are also teenagers — look like Megan Fox? But it’s not that I don’t think smart people look like Megan Fox, it’s that I don’t think human people do. But on the other hand, this is a character who, well, hangs out in sewers eating pizza with turtles who are also mutants who are also teenagers. In a Michael Bay movie. Our disbelief has long been suspended. Still, I miss the hard-hitting journalism (lifestyle reporter, April?), the science, the chunky sweaters, the pockets.

Guys, every generation gets the April O’Neil it deserves. And this is ours now, I guess.

My Secret Mormon Mommy Blogger Fantasy Life

Nobody lives like Mormon mommy bloggers – not even Mormon mommy bloggers. Their whole life looks like it’s on purpose. If your blogroll includes a few of these Etsy-shopping, organic waffle-making, cute apron-wearing ladies, you know what I mean. If there were a way to engineer a lifestyle where I was a Mormon Mommy Blogger without actually having to be Mormon or a mommy, I’d be down. That doesn’t seem possible, so instead I can’t help but fantasize about an alternate universe in which I was born in Provo, have 8 siblings, and run an online children’s stationery shop while raising impeccably-dressed kids.

For starters, if I were a Mormon Mommy Blogger … I’d be Mormon. That part doesn’t really interest me — except for the crisp white underwear onesies, which seem so pristine and wholesome that they’re like the underwear equivalent of having fresh farm milk delivered in glass bottles to your door — so let’s move on. I’d be a “mommy,” though, and by my late 20s I could have quite a collection of them: Jasper, Oliver, Clyde, Florentine, and Birdie. Or Wren. I haven’t decided on the last one for sure. Unlike real children, they’d never wear anything with licensed characters on it. Instead, the boys would look like Mumford sons and the girls would dress like cats from a Richard Scarry book.

All together now: Ain’t no collar like a Peter Pan collar cause a Peter Pan collar don’t pop

Speaking of outfits, if I were a Mormon Mommy Blogger, I’d also dress like a cat from a Richard Scarry book. I assume there would be a lot of stuff from Anthro and Modcloth in my closet. But as a proper Mormon Mommy Blogger, I’d probably have a Mormon Mommy Blogger friend with an Etsy shop who gives me free clothes in exchange for plugs. I bet I’d like that part. I would be really into statement necklaces and, I think, hair accessories. Every day I’d look like a baby from one of those newborn photoshoots where they stick big stuff on their head.

When accessorizing, think to yourself: “What would a baby from Etsy do?”

My color palette would best be described as “Wes Anderson-y” or “Deschanelesque.”

If I were a Mormon Mommy Blogger, I’d cop to flaws to seem more human, like the leading lady in a rom-com who is beautiful and accomplished, but also trips a lot. For instance, maybe I’d be a little too obsessed with some type of cute dessert. It couldn’t be Hostess Snowballs or vending machine ice cream sandwiches or anything that you can picture coating your insides with First World Diseases. It could be gelato or some sort of attractive donut, though.

My fatal flaw: I love eating a single, picturesque macaron after a long day shopping for cute fabrics that I definitely know what to do with.

That’s as bad as it can get, because you can’t be gross and be a Mormon Mommy Blogger (I mean your kids and your dog can, and you probably write about that, but it’s different). In contrast, I do things like realize that I haven’t cleaned the rim of my aluminum water bottle until a film of orange sludge has developed. I bet Mormon Mommy Bloggers’ lunch bags don’t smell like a dead man ate a bunch of fruit then farted into it- and if they did, they wouldn’t tell you that. Besides, they eat lunch at home, on Depression glass.

The best part about being a Mormon Mommy Blogger would be the house. It would look like an undergrad design major’s aspirational Pinterest (the board is called “Someday…”, with ellipses). I’m thinking it would be a mid-century ranch or a converted 1890s schoolroom, but anything pre-1970 will do in a pinch. Mormon Mommy Bloggers do not have wall-to-wall carpeting. They do, however, have chevron, birds, and owls. I’m sure one of my talented friends would sell hand-lettered wall hangings, so I’d score some of those.

As a Mormon Mommy Blogger, I’d be so precious that I’d have a lot of household items of limited use. Grapefruit spoons, cherry pitters, summer lap blankets, a tiny ceramic mortar and pestle for grinding chia seeds – they’d all be indispensable. We’d have some sort of a twee weekend breakfast tradition, like crepes while reading the Sunday morning comics (it’s not a big deal or anything, but we have a crepe maker). In this universe, I’d be entertained by Sunday morning comics. It would be so cute to be into Nancy or Dick Tracy, but I just can’t. I wouldn’t really “get” Dilbert, but then again, who does?

Oh, to be the kind of adult woman who thinks this is funny. Fun fact: my new niece is named Lulu and everyone over the age of 45 says “oh, like Little Lulu!” so apparently there’s an audience for this?

Somewhere between running my home business and raising children named after old men or wildlife, I’d also do a lot of stuff just for fun. I’d throw parties that are on purpose — theme-y ones, like in the summer we’d all go outdoors with mason jar lanterns and paint silhouette portraits and make root beer floats (can I have rootbeer? better check), or in the winter, a sledding party with a cookie component. The soundtrack would be all adorable ladies with ukuleles, or some artist I’m into who predates the British Invasion. Buddy Holly, maybe.  Of course we’d all play with the dog a lot. The dog has a different surname from our own for some reason, like Mr. Wadsworth or Boots McIvins. Basically anything that sounds like it could be one of those stripper or soap opera names you’d construct in junior high using your grandma’s middle name and your first street. I’d have a hobby – probably photography. In my Secret Provo Life, I’d post a lot of pictures taken in natural light highlighting my freckles. I mean, I have more freckles than anybody I’ve ever seen, but in this world I’d be into having them. It would be like my thing. I have to be positive, because Ruby-Faye has them too. Wait, what were the kids names again?

I’m not saying I’m going to go Single White Female on a Mormon Mommy Blogger, although I’m also not saying not that, if you know what I mean (I don’t).  Mormon Mommy Bloggers are doing what everyone with an online presence does — editing out the boring or unattractive bits of life and painting a nice picture. But you have to admit, they paint it ten times more adorably than any of the rest of us can manage. I’m pretty sure their lunch satchels still smell like fruit farts though, even if the fruit is organic, local, and probably cut into the shape of other fruits somehow.

 

Best of C+S 2013: Celebrity Baby Names

We’ve had an amazing first year here at Cookies + Sangria, and we owe a lot of that to the best readers on the internet. As a “thank you” for making Year One so great, we’re closing out 2013 with a few of our favorite posts from the past 12 months. We hope you enjoy the look back, and we’ll see you in 2014 with new content in the new year! Happy Holidays!

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From Axl Jack to North West to more common names like Winnie Rose and Prince George, a bunch of unknowing babies were born to celebrities this year, but since a majority of them tend to pick the weird monikers of the name spectrum, would it really be that weird if any of these words would be made into names?

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Ten Words That Sound Like Celebrity Baby Names

{originally posted February 13th}

A universe without absurd celebrity baby names would be like a universe without circus peanuts. Some people adore them, some people abhor them, but the world would be a little less sweet — yet fully operational — without them.

I have compiled a list of words that sound like celebrity baby names, because that’s just the kind of lady I am. Note that all of these were chosen based on sound and spelling, not meaning.

Update: As of June 2013, Kim Kardashian and Kanye West named their baby North West. Obviously, they’ve taken the “words that sound like celebrity baby names” thing to heart.

  • Rayon (Boy. It will go on to widespread use among commoners. After a few years, a celeb will use it on a girl to be “edgy.” The Internet will be divided about that.) [Ed. note: A not-so-secret secret here at C+S is that we write/queue our posts up to a month in advance. A few weeks after I wrote this, this post appeared: a (non-celeb) Rayon already exists in the UK! I don’t want you all to feel scammed, so I’m adding a bonus eleventh name at the end of the list.]
  • Peplum (Girl. The mother is quirky and British or French. They call her Peppy.)
  • Cavalry (Girl. She will be aptly and unfortunately horse-faced.)
  • Madrina (Girl. The mother will explain that she is “named after my godmother.”)
  • Loafer (Boy. The mom will refer to him as Lo in interviews (in which she never shuts up about him.))
  • Gradient (Boy. It will go on to mass appeal with parents who like Grady but want “something more formal.” These are the same people who name their boys Brentson and Troyton but only ever plan to call them Brent and Troy.)
  • Attaché (Girl. An aging rocker’s child with a much younger woman. They will insist on calling her Che, but she will become Attie once she’s old enough to have opinions.)
  • Avarice (Girl. Looks like Ava + Alice + Beatrice, all of which are already “in” these days. I bet someone somewhere has already done this.)
  • Aril (Unisex. Starts as a boy name but becomes a popular misspelling of Ariel. Aril and Lira become a trendy twin name duo.)
  • Carton (Boy. With Carter, Carson, and names ending in -on as popular as they are, I’m surprised and disappointed that nobody has done this yet.)
  • Answer (Unisex. The parents will already have a kid with a word name, like Ever or Story — believe it or not, there are already 2 celebrity babies with each of those names. Names starting with A are popular, and it starts with Ann, which is a name, so I don’t even think this is too off-base. The parents will have some cheesy explanation for the name, like “She is the answer to our prayers!” or “Whenever he is questioning something, he only has to look to himself for the answer.” )