What’s in a name?

Another box ticked today. (Well, sort of.)

After dropping Zac off at nursery, Heather and I headed into Oxford to do a bit of shopping and – importantly – have a spot of lunch at our favourite restaurant (the Liaison Chinese restaurant on Castle Street, if you’re ever passing that way).

I say importantly for two reasons.

Firstly it was perhaps the last opportunity for the two of us to go out to lunch together before we embark into logistically challenging two high-chair territory.

And secondly, as we discovered during Heather’s first pregnancy, a restaurant table represents a very pleasant environment for the discussion of baby names.

So, as we tucked into our grilled dumplings, cheung fun and Singapore noodles, two lists were produced and names were revealed in turn. (It was a bit like the recent football World Cup draw, only without Charlize Theron.) Some names were vetoed by one or the other of us, and there were occasional squeals of joy as we discovered a few names which were common to both our lists. (You should see how excited we get when we play snap.)

At the end of it all, we had two combined shortlists: one containing exactly a dozen boy’s names; the other, coincidentally, twelve girl’s names.

For what it’s worth, there had been quite a lot of overlap between us when comparing boy’s names – to the extent where we’ve now both agreed on a favourite – and none whatsoever with our lists of girl’s names. When Isaac was born, it was the other way round: we had to sleep on it overnight before deciding on his name, whereas if ‘he’ had been a ‘she’ we already had both first and middle names picked out.

Which, presumably, means we will have a daughter now …