When our first child came along, Mary and I decided to call him ‘George’ although no-one in either of our families had that name. This caused some hard feelings and Mary’s mother said call him what we liked but she would always call him ‘Danny’ which was her dearly beloved father’s name. This seemed such a harmless idea that we extended the same freedom of choice to other family members.
The only problem lay with my father who had always wanted a granddaughter and insisted on calling George ‘Abigail’. Very soon, such is the patriarchal way in our family, everyone started calling George ‘Abigail’.
Eventually, heavily outnumbered, we went with the flow.
Every birthday they send necklaces, bangles, pretty little pink dresses, fancy little golden slippers. We only make Abigail wear them when relatives visit or when we visit them. You have to draw the line somewhere.