From the get-go Joe and I agreed the name Elisabeth was a mouthful and assumed we would, at some point, agree on a shorter nickname. We discussed the various choices: Beth, Liz, Lizzie and Libby. Nothing stood out, so we tabled the discussion. Someday, we assumed, she would chose a nickname for herself.
Time went by. We grew accustomed to calling her Elisabeth, and thoughts of nicknames fell away from our thoughts; to us, she became Elisabeth, and Elisabeth only.
Lately Elisabeth has started naming all of her favorite stuffed animals Ellie. When she plays princesses she chooses the name Ellie for herself. All games of make believe have her choosing a new name for herself: Ellie. Ellie, Ellie, Ellie all the time.
It's fitting that she has found the only nickname I am aware of for Elisabeth that we never really considered.
Today in the midst of one of her games, I heard her, quite crossly, say to Madeleine, "STOP calling me Elisabeth! I don't like that name! Call me Ellie!"
I asked her if she really liked the name Ellie. She said she did, and that she preferred it to Elisabeth. I then asked her if she knew that Ellie really was a nickname for Elisabeth. She didn't but, man oh man, her eyes lit up like fireworks on Independence Day. "It is?" she asked incredulously.
I affirmed that it was and, that if she wished, she can tell people her name is Elisabeth but that she prefers to go by Ellie.
The question is, will any of us be able to make the switch?