Oh, you don't want me to name my child one of the top ten most popular names in the world right now because it happens to be the same name as your third grade bully?
So, when a conflicted dad decided to consult the moral compass of the internet otherwise known as Reddit's 'Am I the As*hole' about the names he chose for his twins, people were ready to help deem a verdict.
My wife and I welcomed twins in November. We struggled to have children for a long time (9 years) and had our twins via IVF. It was a long battle to have our babies and when we chose their names it was something we not only took seriously, but poured a lot of love into because we knew they would be the only children we would name. We chose the first names Ezra and Esme for the twins.
Their middle names are more uncommon so we won't share. But what I will say is part of what went into the choice for these names was the length. Growing up I had a long last name (10 letters) and my parents gave me very formal and lengthy first and middle names (Frederick Lawrence).
I always found my name very stuffy and old fashioned. I go by a nn derived from my middle name now. I also took my wife's much simpler last name when we married.
So we announced the name of our twins when they were a day old and when we announced the names we were aware my parents might not be in love with them, but I stupidly believed the twins being born would be enough of a deterrent for a negative comment.
About a week after they were born my parents asked what kind of names they had and how could we give them such juvenile and incomplete names. I told them they were neither of those things and they needed to be careful about how they spoke about their grandchildren's names.
I thought they had listened but then in January they started calling them Winifred and Douglas. At first we weren't positive they were talking about the twins but then we were celebrating my niece's 10th birthday and my parents directly addressed my daughter as Winifred and I knew it was them they were talking to.
I told them those were not their names. They said those were nicknames they had given them and everyone has a nickname, that it's not like we gave them names that could lend themselves to nicknames.
I said Ezzie and Essie if they really wanted nicknames. They ignored me and they continued to use the 'nicknames.' So we decided not to be around, because on top of that they were telling my siblings that the names they had chosen were better for my children.
My siblings thought they were crazy. My parents tried to see the kids a few times since and I always told them no. They asked why and I told them they do not get to see our children if all they can do is insult their names. My parents accused me of trying to control them and said nicknames are a part of life.
I told them what they had done wasn't giving a nickname, it was renaming my children in their own heads and my wife and I do not want them renaming them. I also said we will not further encourage the use of the 'nicknames' they gave them.
My parents said if I had stuck to the family way of naming babies none of this would be happening and they said I was being unfair to them. AITA?
Of course, the jury of internet strangers was ready to weigh in on this family 'nickname' mess. Here's what people had to say:
NTA. What your parents are doing is bizarre. You can't just make up completely different names for people because you don't like them. It's disrespectful to you and confusing for the kids. I wouldn't want to be around them either.
NTA. Your parents sound like narcissists. They are bullying you.
NTA. The names you and your wife chose are lovely. Your parents are way out of line, disrespectful and controlling and good for you for standing up to them.
NTA. A nickname...is shorter or more affectionate. Winifred and Douglas are completely new names your parents are trying to rename your kids with.
NTA. Think of new names for your parents and see how they like it. I can think of a few good ones.
Everyone agreed unanimously here that this dad isn't wrong, but at some point his parents will probably quit their campaign to rename their grandchildren.
Calling a completely different name a 'nickname' is a hilariously bold move, and grandparents that are capable of that kind of clever pettiness are probably people you need in your kids' lives. Good luck at the next family holiday, Ezra/Douglas and Esme/Winifred.