Names are an important part of life.
Everyone wants a great name.
Or, at the very least, a unique name with great or significant meaning.
And then there are some people who could care less.
They believe a name is just a simple part of the human experience.
But some take naming a child VERY seriously.
The name has to have meaning, it has to be clear of any others who have the same name, and it must be theirs alone.
And that can cause some issues.
Case in point…
Redditor Acceptable-Sun-3953 wanted to discuss their experience and get some feedback. So naturally, they came to visit the “Am I The A**hole” (AITA) subReddit.
“AITA for not forcing my son to rename his hamster?”
The Original Poster (OP) explained:
“So to start this off, my son is 11 and has been begging for a ‘family pet’ for a while.”
“I finally gave in when I felt we were ready to take one on, and also when I felt he was ready for the responsibility that comes with one.”
“I expected a dog or cat, but he really wanted a hamster.”
“So we spent a little over a week prepping, helping him ‘study’ hamster care, and dedicated a sizable spot in our living room for necessities and home.”
“We finally get around to picking one out at the pet shop.”
“He was set on the name Sonic.”
“But the lady ringing us up mentioned the one he picked out was a girl and that she could get him a boy if he wanted, and he just lit up and said, ‘That’s Amy!'”
“And that was that, we took Amy home.”
“This was in March.”
“My sister-in-law found out she was pregnant somewhere around that time, and last month they found out they were having a girl.”
“Basically what happened was, they were picking out names, and one of the names they narrowed it down to had Amy as the middle name.”
“I made a joke of something like, ‘Hey, we already have an Amy at our house!'”
“Trying to be funny, but S[ister] I[n] L[aw] didn’t think it was.”
“I didn’t think much about it at the time, but a couple of days ago, she asked to come by to talk.”
“She started off by saying the joke I made was in bad taste, I apologized for it, and then she suggested I change the name.”
“I told her I didn’t think that would go over well with my son.”
“And then she outright demanded it be changed ‘whether he likes it or not’ because she wasn’t going to have a child share the name with a hamster.”
“I agreed to talk it over with my son to see what he thought, and of course, he didn’t want to.”
“He even thought it was cool that his cousin would share her name with his hamster.”
“I tried convincing him to rename her Sonic even or some other Sonic character, but he didn’t want that.”
“I explained how SIL feels about this, and he felt a bit hurt because he thought he upset SIL, but he really didn’t want to change the name and didn’t understand why they couldn’t just share it.”
“I told SIL that my son was set on Amy, and she blew up.”
“I’ll admit I got a bit defensive and reacted poorly.”
“But I essentially told her it wasn’t a huge deal.”
“It’s not like anyone is going to make the connection, and by the time her child is old enough to know her name, Amy the Hamster likely won’t be around.”
“She claimed it was embarrassing because she would always know the connection in her mind, to which I simply told her if it was such a strong reminder of a hamster, then maybe it wasn’t a name she should use for her daughter.”
“My brother has told me that I am being selfish for not forcing my son to pick another name.”
“SIL obviously thinks I’m TA, and my mom has said the whole thing is childish.”
Redditors shared their thoughts on this matter and weighed some options to the question AITA:
- NTA – Not The A**hole
- YTA – You’re The A**hole
- NAH – No A**holes Here
- ESH – Everyone Sucks Here
Many Redditors declared OP was NOT the A**hole.
“The lifespan of a hamster is 2 to 3 years.”
“This problem will solve itself.” ~ 7dayweekendgirl
“Amy is also the MIDDLE name.”
“It’s not like that’s the name the child will be called by regularly.” ~ ImNotA_IThink
“I have a cat named Winston; he is 13.”
“A few years ago, I was seeing this guy named Winston and began referring to him as Winston the human to my roommate.”
“I was on the phone with Winston the human, and my roommate from the other room says, ‘Are you talking to me?'”
“I said, ‘No I’m talking to Winston the human.'”
“Winston the human: ‘I don’t know how I feel about being called Winston the human. Why can’t he be Winston the cat?'”
“Me: ‘Well, first of all, I’ve had him for ten years and have known him longer.'”
“‘Secondly, everyone knows my cat is Winston, so if I refer to Winston, they will automatically think I’m talking about my cat.'”
“‘So I have to specify I’m talking about a person.'”
“He wasn’t happy, but he understood. Lol.”
“We are still friends, and both Winstons love each other.” ~ 718Sapphire
“Seems the name Sonic is available.”
“Suggest she call the baby that.” ~ akw71
“Seriously. It’s a hamster.”
“Do you know the average life span of hamsters?”
“It’s like… 2-3 years.”
“Things will be gone before the child is old enough to understand anything.”
“Your kid will fondly remember the time when his cousin was named after his hamster, though. NTA.” ~ ommnian
“Even if it was a cat that could live up to 20 years, the child should not be renaming the animal just because of some childish idiot who somehow thinks she has a monopoly on names.”
“Wait until the kid is in school and has a bunch of mates with the same name.”
“I honestly am so disgusted with these kinds of situations/Reddit posts about baby names and people losing their minds. NTA.” ~ Jumpy_Spend_5434
“Exactly. And it isn’t like a hamster is an animal that you travel with like you would a dog, you know?”
“Unless baby A.”
“Amy comes to their house a lot. She’d probably never even be around Hamster Amy.” ~ nicoleyoung27
“The funniest part to me is that just based on the amount of energy Sis has expended on this.”
“Every single time she says her daughter’s name, she’s going to think of that goddamn hamster – long after the kid himself has forgotten that he ever had a hamster.” ~ cleon42
“Imagine having such a terminal case of Main Character Syndrome that you have sleepless nights over the thought of being upstaged by a hamster.” ~ Lonely_Collection389
“Yeah, Mom nailed it.”
“I read that as her saying the request is ridiculous.”
“Also, if SIL thinks it’s so important that her child not share a name with a family pet, she completely controls that on her own. NTA.” ~ zendetta
“Honestly, even if the kid does change the hamster’s name, isn’t she still going to associate the baby’s name with a rodent?”
“That ship has already sailed.”
“The whole family presumably already knows about the issue.”
“It’ll be a joke for years either way.”
“SIL is an idiot.”
“Let the kid keep his hamster’s name, for crying out loud. NTA.” ~ Sometimeswan
“NTA. It’s hilarious she still wants to name her kid Amy after she already associates it with a hamster.”
“That’s going to live in her brain forever if she chooses that name.”
“A few decades from now, she’ll say her kid’s name and will automatically get a mental picture of a hamster.” ~ SpeakerDelicious6315
OP came back with some thoughts…
“In hindsight, I shouldn’t have even entertained the idea just to avoid an immediate argument with her.”
“I was a bit naive in thinking it wasn’t a big deal on either side, granted my SIL’s stance still doesn’t seem reasonable.”
“But now that things have been properly explained to him, my son understands that this isn’t his issue and he did nothing wrong.”
“Regarding other comments saying that I shouldn’t have involved him in the disagreement, I just want to add that I am not trying to frame this as ‘SIL vs son’ it is very much our argument.”
“My son’s feelings and opinion were important to me in figuring out how to respond to her.”
“I wanted to know what options he was open to, and when he told me Amy’s name was important to him, I supported him and didn’t push it further.”
“I felt it was better for me to discuss it with him than for her to bring it up and likely pile on even more guilt.”
“NTA. I’d consider changing the hamster’s name to Amy the 1st just to annoy her even more.” ~ Happycatlady1982
“Considering the life span of Hamsters, I would make it into a dynasty.”
“By the time Amy the Human is old enough to understand about names, she will be in concurrence with at least Amy the 3rd or 4th, and there will be a whole family lore.” ~ Eoine
“NTA. The only thing you might have done wrong here was telling your son how SIL feels.”
“He’s a kid, she’s being ridiculous, and he shouldn’t have to shoulder any bad feelings related to her nonsense.” ~ Allaboutbird
“NTA. Also: Always pettily refer to your niece as ‘the little hamster.'”
“What is the little hamster doing?”
“Look, how the little hamster eats!” ~ Sr_Dagonet
“NTA. Amy the Hamster was there before the baby.”
“You and your son are not responsible for how anyone feels about a name.”
“Your SIL needs to grow up if she associates a hamster with her child (laughing here, it’s so ridiculous).” ~ whoops53
Well, OP, Reddit is with you and your son.
It sounds like your SIL and brother maybe need to check in with their emotions.
They’re getting ready for a lot of changes in life.
Amy the hamster sounds adorable.
This will probably all blow over.