This is Pablo. He is my little monkey but will one day soon be passed on to my firstborn. This is funny, you see, because some people like to refer to their babies as being little monkeys.*
I’ve had to stop thinking of Kermie as Pablo because I was actually getting attached to the name, and I don’t think it’s necessarily the most appropriate fit of all time! (Ryan says if the baby is born on May 5, we can name him Pablo; I don’t necessarily think of the name as being from Mexico so much as from Spain, though. Like Picasso! Of course, Pablo Neruda — whose poetry I love — was from Chile. So there you have it.)
(The first Neruda poem I ever read, coincidentally, was about socks.)
Anyway, Pablo is from a grocery store in McCall, Idaho. That is, perhaps, an odd place to find a blue sock monkey with specially-embroidered eyes so that tiny humans with oral fixations don’t chew off the buttons and choke. Nevertheless, that is where Pablo came from. He had a friend who was rainbow colored with a mohawk; if you want a monkey friend, you can probably go to McCall and adopt one for yourself. Or, y’know, since he’s made by TY, you could probably find one somewhere else as well.
Pablo has been trying to help Ryan and I figure out what — if not actually Pablo or Kermit — to name our impending progeny.
As of today, Pablo (and Kermit) notwithstanding, there are eight names still on the list. Eight is better than twelve but still not as good as 2-3, so we took advantage of a very nice overnight getaway to see if our brains functioned any better at 5,000 ft than they did at 2,700 ft. We put each of the eight names onto its own little sheet of paper, and independently ranked them and compared the results, only to find that we had almost exactly opposite rankings — except for the #1 choice which, as soon as I began thinking of it as a real possibility, began to lose its appeal. BECAUSE I AM A FREAK LIKE THAT AND DO THAT TO EVERY SINGLE NAME YAAARGH WHAT IS WRONG WITH ME.
Ryan then seized the opportunity to do some magic math, and combined our two rankings into one composite ranking. You can see Ryan and Pablo hard at work in the extremely well-lit photo here.
I then proceeded to drive him crazy by questioning his technique, criticizing his list, and rejecting his results. He responded by
throwing me out into the snow and locking the door behind me calmly trying things the way I suggested, coming up with almost the exact same results, and being very nice to me even though I was a nutcase.
IMPORTANT NOTE: Just because we came up with a ranked list this past weekend doesn’t mean that we actually have an answer, a top-three list, or anything that we’re ready to share with anyone. I’m sorry if that hurts anyone’s feelings, but that’s what we need right now as we continue to get our bearings on this.
Some of the names that had been early frontrunners are very traditional, fairly common names; three of the eight names, in fact, are among the top 20 nationwide from 2011. I didn’t necessarily have an enormous problem with that, especially given that these three names aren’t quite as popular in Idaho as they are across the country… until I got to thinking about the fact that our last name is so incredibly common. Ryan has had trouble getting a unique email address for this reason, and even in our relatively small city I’ve had my medical records mixed up with another woman with my name. I had begun thinking that it might be in Kermie’s best interest to have a little bit less common first name so that he wasn’t one of a thousand Google hits.
Of the other five names, only one is in the top 100 in the United States; the other four didn’t make the cut, although three of them are in the top 300 and the last is in the top 600.
The name that ended up in the #1 spot has two obvious diminuative forms (think Kate for Katherine or Sue for Susanna), one of which — the one we’d prefer — has some definite cultural associations. These are positive but slightly nerdy connotations, and I’m not really uncomfortable with them, even though I’m sure some people would think we named our child “after” one of the famous bearers of said name (which wouldn’t be the case). Oh well!
Two of the names in the top 8 have no apparent nicknames, which is something that kind of bugs me… but maybe not as much as it used to.
Of course, both Ryan and I had favorites that were the other person’s least favorites. It’s too much to ask that, despite always scoring exactly the same on personality tests, etc., we’d like exactly the same names! His #3 is my name #8, and his #4 is my #7; I had a tie for #2, and the two names on my list in that spot are his #6 and #8 choices.
Hmm. Well, we’ll see. I guess it’s at least saying something that, at that particular moment in time, we both liked the same name for choice #1…
* The sentence immediately preceding the asterisk is hilarious. It’s okay if you don’t know why, though. It’s a location joke. Nothing to see here. Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain, etc.