Tuesday, August 24, 2010


The twins were going to be named Jack and Lucy, but John and I could not agree on the name Jack.

He insisted that Jack is a derivative of John, and is solely a nick-name. I suggested that might be the case for uppity politicians from Massachussetts, but not for western New Yorkers. Or kick-a#@ CTU agents. However, to appease his sense of propriety, I offered up the name Jackson. He became absolutely disgusted. I think Jackson is a perfectly acceptable, nay, lovely name.

A normal person knows that Jack can be “Just Jack,” but my husband is weird.

Because we could not agree on Jack, and because the name Lucy had become inextricably tied to the name Jack, we ended up with two different names altogether. When Caleb came to the hospital to meet his new little brother and sister, we introduced him to “Daniel” and “Ella.” He looked at us, confused, and asked:

“Where’s Jack and Lucy?”

We’ve made the final decision to get a puppy and so this whole name-choosing process has reared its ugly head once again. Here was John’s suggestion:

“We both really liked the name Lucy, so why don’t we just called the dog Lucy?”

“No!” I said.


“Because. We can’t name the dog after my grandmother.”

“But your grandmother’s name isn’t Lucy. It’s Lucille.”

“Same thing! People called her Lucy when she was younger.”

“Not the same thing, but we can just not tell her the dog’s name, if that would make you feel better.”

This from a person who insisted Jack is the same name as John.

Sometimes I want to jump off a bridge.

I’ve actually put more thought into naming this dog than I did any of my kids, which is probably odd, but oh well. I tried to get the kids' input, but they are utter failures in the name-selecting department. Here were their picks:

Ella: Ella.
Daniel: Ella.
Caleb: Fluffy.
Ben: Albert Pujols.

“Ben,” I said, “we’re getting a GIRL doggy.”

“Oh.” He pauses. He thinks. “Ella?”

John had been kicked off the name-selecting committee after the Lucy debacle, so it was up to me. I began to think about how each of my friend Lydia’s pets’ names are a reflection of the places she has lived. The two cats have Japanese and Samoan words for names, and her new puppy is called Edelweiss, a German word.

Our puppy-to-be’s mom’s name is a Kenyan word, because her family lived in Switzerland for a year. (No. They lived in Kenya. Just wanted to see if anyone was paying attention.)

I wanted to give my dog a name that symbolized her own ethnic heritage. We are getting an Australian Shepherd, so I began looking up Australian words. I found a lovely Aboriginal word that means “from the beautiful place:” Kiah. Pronounced K-eye-uh. Not Kia like the car dealership.

All excited, I went to tell John. This is what he had to say:

“The breed’s name is actually a misnomer. Though originally believed to have hailed from Australia, the Australian Shepherd breed was actually developed in the western states.”

Long, long pause. I respond:

“Well. Crap.” (A dirty look commences.) “I don’t like you.”

There’s good news. Kiah is ALSO an African word that means “start of the season.” So, we can say we’re paying homage to her mother’s, um, African roots. Plus, we’re getting her at the beginning of fall, so that works too.

I think getting a dog will be a good thing. I really do. Writing a defense of our decision to get a dog would just take too long, so I’ll save it for another post.

My friend Lydia's puppy, Edelweiss. She's trying to eat my deck! (The puppy, not Lydia. Obviously. LYDIA DOES NOT EAT DECKS!) Lydia, btw, is 4'9". THAT is a Bull Mastiff. They are going to look really funny together in just a couple months.

1 comment:

Toaster said...

I think I like Albert Pujols the best.