When choosing Elliott's name, we were far less scientific about it. There were no polls. There was little time spent studying the popularity ratings that many baby name websites offer. I had always liked my great grandfather Elliott's last name, Katie liked Thomas, her grandfather's name, and just like that we had Elliott Thomas. It was that simple. It was an added bonus that I had a teenage crush on E.T. (the creature and the movie - many reminders of that affair now live in our attic). His initials and memories now adorn Elliott.
The second naming game has been harder. We didn't have any names we'd been carrying around for a lifetime just waiting to unload on a child, so we had to start from scratch. We came up with some possibilities and facilitated the poll, which many of you participated in. The results of the poll tagged Ethan as the preferred name, a one vote victor over Ian. Elijah (my choice) and Easton came up short and have been discarded along with Aunty Mo's choices of Little Joe and Hoss, as well as Uncle Doug's nomination of James Woodrow Hayes (To honor the last great Buckeye Coach Woody Hayes).
We felt the polling was close enough between Ian and Ethan to allow both of them to continue on to the next level of consideration. So, we sat down with both of the names and proceeded with the next logical step. "Elliott, what should we name your brother?" He sat for a moment and considered the choices as seriously as he considers peas or green beans, and declared "Elmo".
I guess his choice shouldn't have come as a total surprise. Elmo has been one of his best friends since Gigi introduced the two of them at Christmas. They've been inseparable at times. Elmo also is an "E" name, which satisfies the criteria of keeping our boys names starting with an E - a criteria we were not committed to but entertained as a possibility. However, I fear that naming a child Elmo might come back to haunt someone. And that haunt might be so inconsolable that "your 19 month old brother told us to name you Elmo" might not be helpful in mending any broken fences.
So Elmo is out. For Elliott, when you read this years from now, we valued your input. To Elliott's brother, we valued your brother's input, but we took the liberty of predicting your reaction.
So with all of these names out, what is in. Elliott's brother will be Ian Paul. Ian is of Scottish origins, the Gaelic name for John, which means God is Gracious. My Catholic family will be happy to have a John Paul on board. I am glad that he will have ties to my spiritual upbringing; Katie and I are committed to making those ties transcend the name.
Katie did point out to me that with Ian, we now have "K" (Keith and Katie), "E" (Elliott), and "I" (for baby Ian), so with a T and an H we could have Keith. I believe Taffy and Happy would make great names for two adorable lap dogs when our boys leave home.
Thanks for helping with our choice.