gmail – Can’t create Google contact that populates email address when first name typed

I’m losing my mind here! Two people I email often are my mom and dad. I want to be able to type “dad” in the to: field and have his email address auto-populate. When I type “mom”, her email address is auto-populated. When I type “dad”, nothing. Here’s what’s utterly confusing to me:

The contact name for my mom is “mom”. The contact name for my dad is “dad”.

To start fresh I deleted all contacts with my dad’s email address. I then created a new contact with first name set to “dad” and his email address. No other information.

Gmail still won’t auto-populate when I type “dad” in the to: line.

As a test, I created a new contact. The only data I included was a first name “testori” and and a made up “x@gmail” email address, where x is a random string of characters. When I type “testori” in the to: field “x@gmail.com” is auto-populated as I would expect it to be.

My only guess is that somehow having too many duplicate contacts for my dad at one point is causing this and even though I deleted them all and am starting fresh, Google’s servers still need time to “catch up” and sort this out.

I’m baffled though. Please help!