Roger Sealy has a deal with his wife: She gets to pick their children's first names, and in return, he chooses their middle names - with impunity.
And so it was that when Jackee Sealy, of Broomfield, gave birth to a baby boy Nov. 11, a week late, she chose the name Carter. And Roger Sealy joined in a national naming phenomenon when he picked the middle names Barack and Obama.
Not that Roger Sealy needed impunity for such a choice, it's just that in the past his preferred names didn't seem to follow any trends, national or otherwise. After all, he christened his eldest daughter Brooke, who is now almost 3, with the middle name Trout.
"(My wife) didn't know right away - she was kind of horrified,â he said. "But now she's kind of warmed to it.â
Yes, Roger Sealy is a fisherman, and now, so is Brooke, who has caught many a "hugeâ bluegill with her Barbie fishing rod. Even so, dad isn't delusional about how charming Brooke may find her middle name when she's older.
"When she gets old enough, she's going to say, 'Dad, what were you thinking?'â he said.
With their second child, Jackee Sealy suggested that Roger pick the name of a positive male role model. And so, Cooper John Elway joined the Sealy clan. And though the real ex-Bronco quarterback gave the John McCain campaign thousands of dollars and stumped for the Republican nominee in Denver, Roger Sealy doesn't predict that his middle-name conventions will cause any strife between the brothers as they get older.
"I won't hold it against him,â he said of Elway's Republican leanings.
Families across the country - many of whom probably have a history of perfectly common middle names - are calling their newborns Barack or Obama or both, although birth announcements from area hospitals haven't reported other local babies with the name.
Before polls on the West Coast closed Nov. 4, a baby in Florida was named Sanjae Obama Fisher, and another in Arkansas was called Benjamin Barack Kimbrough, according to the Associated Press.
In Maryland, a mother who went into labor on Election Day after voting for Obama named her newborn daughter for the Obamas' two girls, Sasha, 7, and Malia, 10.
Naming children after U.S. presidents used to be common. The name Woodrow, for example, jumped from a ranking of 234 to 46 among popular names for boys when President Wilson took office in 1913, according to the Social Security Administration. And the now-rare name Grover became the 20th most popular boys' name when President Cleveland took office in 1885. (Although it only took three years after a character named Grover appeared on Sesame Street for the name to drop off the top-1,000 list altogether.)
Of course, naming trends aren't reserved for honoring world leaders. After Paris Hilton first rocketed into the spotlight on the "Simple Lifeâ in 2003, the name Paris jumped from a ranking of 463 to 157.
Neither Paris nor Grover are possibilities for a future baby Sealy, according to Roger.
"Three kids and done,â he said. "We're out of there.â