Mama Madison: What's your name? Who's your daddy?

Take a look at the most popular monikers for babies in 2010

As the year and decade come to a close, we are about to be inundated with Top Ten (and 40 and 100) lists. We will see them for albums, books and movies. And I look forward to them all.

But if I were to generate a list of my favorite lists of the year, BabyCenter.com's most popular baby names of 2010 might well come in at #1.

I'm not sure why these baby-naming trends interest me so much, but I could spend hours analyzing the reasons behind each and every Addison (# 9 for girls) and Aiden (the top spot for boys). Yes, the Baby Center's data is all self-reported vs. the official Social Security Administration's data (even Uncle Sam is in on the list-making). But the mere fact that "hundreds of thousands of parents" took the time to share their baby names with the website shows how deep the "what to name to name your baby" obsession runs.

Much of my fascination with the subject stems from the fact that I have a very uncommon (I'd hate to call it unpopular) name. Come to think of it, I was the only Sari I'd ever met until college -- and the other one was actually a Sarah. So, as a kid, I never had a fake license plate for my bike with my name on it. Nor a key chain or t-shirt or whatever personalized tchotchke you could buy at a cheap gift shop at the airport. I was forever jealous of the Jennifers and Julies who had an automatic bond (and matching nameplate necklaces) with their namesakes everywhere they went.

My husband, on the other hand, is a Michael. Yes, he and just about every other boy born in the 1960s (though #18 in 2010) shared that name. This meant, he claims, he was never called by his first name by anyone, but instead always by his last, in that way that guys are prone to do.

So with our own longstanding issues as a springboard, we approached the naming of our own kids like a project. It was so much more fun than painting a nursery. My husband wanted unique; I wanted familiar. We both wanted something classic and classy, but that wouldn't date them (like the dreaded "i" at the end of my name --very '60s). And most importantly, we wanted something that didn't rhyme with anything tease-worthy on the playground, if at all possible.

13, 11 and 8 years later, I think we made the right choices for our kids. But no one ever really has baby-naming regret, do they? How did you find that perfect name for your child? Did you use lists, books or family history as inspiration?

And perhaps most importantly, do you actually know anyone in Madison in with a baby named Madison? It was after all, #8 for girls last year. Yep, Mad Town has made yet another Top 10 list.

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