Want to name my kid? Fork over the dough.

The saga of Kaya’s imaginary family continues (My daughter from another mother). Her siblings now have names. Big sister Violet, big brother Johnny and dog Dukey. Her occasional baby brother does not have a name, and of course her mom and dad are just ‘my other mommy and daddy.’

Then it hit me how she got all these names – they are all from cartoons or Barbie movies.

I feel like a really bad mom. OK, maybe a really pregnant, tired mom who is letting her children watch a bit too much TV so she can rest during the afternoon. So sue me. Better than sending them out to play in the middle of the street, right?

Violet is one of the mermaid’s names in the Barbie movie, “Mermaid Tale,” and Johnny and Dukey are from the cartoon “Johnny Test.” Oh, and Violet apparently works in a lab, just like the twin sisters from “Johnny Test.” Man, I really got to cut down their TV. Next month.

Along those lines, we might have to name this next child Bugs Bunny or Mickey Mouse. Or maybe we should just make it easy on ourselves and call it ‘Disney.’ Could be for a boy or a girl. Hey, maybe we would even get a corporate sponsorship and all the baby’s expenses would be funded by Disney as long as we dressed the child in a shirt advertising the company’s latest movie?

I think I have a winning idea here: selling the naming rights of your child just like people sell the right to name a stadium after whichever corporation puts up the dough. Our next child could be At&T or Dell or Apple (wait, that one’s taken). And, just as stadiums’ names can change, our child’s name would be up for grabs to the highest bidder his whole life. Well, at least until age 18. So he may be called McDonald’s for the first 5 years, and then Ford for the next five. Sure, that might give him a bit of an identity crisis, but that’s a small price to pay for a lifetime supply of free diapers and paid medical bills.

I think Sony Siig has a nice ring to it. We need a new DVD player anyways.

It’s either that or Pampers Huggies Siig.


Would you eat this if you were me?

I am being overrun by two things – ants and hunger.

Unfortunately, I am not hungry for ants, or else I would probably be full. There are so many of them that I have almost come to regard them as annoying roommates – you’d like for them to go, but they live here so you might as well put up with them.

Sometimes I take that attitude. I see them scurrying around the living room floor, on the coffee table or on the wall, and I just say, “Good morning. Did you sleep good? Don’t forget to put your dishes in the dishwasher. And put a check for the electric bill on the table. And can you clean up the kids’ mess while you’re at it?”

Yeah, I wish. If they earned their keep and acted like little fairy godmothers and actually did something useful like tidying up the playroom I might not be tempted to crush the living shit out of them. Sometimes I’m lazy and just stare at them overtaking my house. But most of the time I’m on a mission. Rolled-up magazine in hand, I hunt those little fuckers down. Yesterday, I even broke out the vacuum and started sucking them up like some giant black hole had descended upon them. This is when it really pays off to have a 5-year old son who enjoys torturing insects. He likes to give the ants a slow, painful death by dissecting them with his Swiss army knife. I’m all for it.

Despite our many ways of killing them, the ants are still here. And it’s been nine months. I wrote about this problem before (Ant That Grand). We had someone come and spray in August, and again this winter. But it’s obviously not working. Yesterday I was laying on the couch watching TV when I heard this strange dripping sound that I couldn’t figure out. When I got up to pick up a bunch of the kids’ books that were on the floor, I discovered 15 ants crawling around. I think they had parachuted in on some kamikaze mission to drive me insane and totally gross me out. The ‘dripping’ sound was them landing on the books. I was mortified.

Unfortunately, the ants’ presence has done nothing to diminish my appetite. Eight months pregnant, and I am constantly hungry. I eat, and I’m hungry 30 minutes later. I stay up at night fantasizing about what is the most filling food I can find. I wake up at 4 am starving but too lazy to go upstairs to the kitchen. I would eat my comforter if it was edible.

Being this hungry all the time is work, I tell you. I think I now know what it must be like to be a 15-year old boy. Without the pimples and hard-ons.

What I need is a live-in chef and pest exterminator. They would be two separate positions, of course. I can’t have someone cooking me up ant stew. Unless it was super filling. And tasted like chicken.

Update: As I am writing this, I just spotted an ant for the first time ever in my bedroom. It crawled up on my desk. I think it was carrying a gun and threatening me. I squished it with a yellow sticky note that said “Die, ants, die!” Hope they got the message.

My daughter from another mother

My daughter is living in an alternate universe. With an alternate family.

Yup, according to Kaya, she has another family. Another mommy, daddy, and big brother, but her “other” family also includes a big sister and a dog. Fantasize much?

Her other family sounds really swell. They don’t yell. They let her eat all the candy she wants. And they don’t make her take baths. And her big sister teaches her Spanish and how to dance like the tribal Bunlap people we saw on the National Geographic Channel. (Kaya even got naked so she could really do the primitive dance correctly.)

I half expected to run into this “other” family one day, like that Seinfeld episode when Jerry, Elaine, Kramer and George meet their Bizarro counterparts on the street. Of course, I would be much better looking than the alternative mommy. And she would be the pregnant one with 30 extra pounds on her and boobs the size of overripe melons.

It’s all fine and dandy to listen to your 3-year old go on and on about this other, new and improved family for a while. But then, after a few weeks, you can’t help but take it personally. “What, am I not good enough? Do I not give you enough love? Do I not get suckered enough times into buying you treats at the grocery store? Have I not bought you enough Barbie movies?”

Finally, one day when Kaya insisted that her other family was coming to pick her up and take her to her OTHER house (which I’m sure is much bigger, cleaner and pinker), I had had enough. She was sitting patiently by the front door waiting, and would have sat in the driveway if I would have let her. I remembered a story my mom told me about when she was 16 years old and ran away from home to a friend’s house, only to see a taxi pull up and drop a suitcase full of her clothes that her parents had packed for her. I thought about helping Kaya along in her quest to live with these obviously super-duper parents of her imagination and pack a bag for her, but then I remembered that she was only 3. Guess I’ll save that one for 13 years from now.

When I wouldn’t let her wait outside, she started insisting that I drive her to the bottom of our street to wait for her FAMILY. Hmmmm, I thought, I could just drop her off at the street corner and then I wouldn’t have to listen to her wax on and on about how great Mommy #2 is, but then I thought about the police showing up to my door with a pair of handcuffs in their hands and then my children really would be sent to live with another family, so I dropped that idea. Plus I didn’t want to see what car the “other” Daddy drove – probably a Porsche or a really nice Audi station wagon.

Then I realized the solution, the ultimate dare to see if Kaya really liked her alternative family better: “Fine, Kaya, then your other Mommy can take you to ballet.”

Silence. Then:

“Mommy, I’m just kidding. I don’t have another family. I love you.”

“Uh-huh. That’s what I thought. Now get in the car and tell me what a great mother I am.” Or else I’m sending you to live with the Bunlap people and your boobs will be down to your belly button by the time your 20.

And don’t come crying to me for a bra. Because I’ll have given it to your Bizarro big sister. And all your Barbies too.

I swear I packed my massage therapist in my suitcase, but I can’t find her

Alas, poor me. Re-entering reality after a week of spa life is challenging.

There is no one to bring breakfast to my room every morning with my favorite newspaper, there is no healthy evening snack waiting for me when I go to bed, and no one has made me a smoothie in five days. Worst of all, my feet are going through total withdrawal after being rubbed every day two to three times a day for a week. And the lavender-lemongrass scent has long since faded from my limbs after my body scrub on Thurs.

What’s a girl to do?

I tried teaching the kids to make me smoothies and bring me breakfast in bed. After all, Siig has trained them to get him a beer from the fridge. But the experiment didn’t work out so well. Turns out that letting two kids loose in the kitchen for some fun time with a blender and frying pan just means more mess for mom to clean up. Where are those maids and room service attendants when I need them?

I still had Siig to work with. Surely he wouldn’t deny a post-spa-recovering girl from a massage? I tried to convince him to rub my back, but, unbelievably, he said he’d rather go snowmobiling. I decided to switch to a different tactic, a more direct approach. Sitting on the couch watching TV, I stuck my bare feet in his face and played the pregnancy card: “Oh, help a mother out! My aching feet. My back. My neck.” It worked – for about three minutes. Then Siig stood up, mumbling something about needing to teach the kids about how to open a beer bottle with their teeth.

I guess I have no choice but to accept my plight – total relaxation-pampering-me-time is over; now I’m back to being mother of two (and a half), cooker of meals, shuttling of children, writer of articles, blogger extraordinaire and (my favorite. not.), shopper of food.

To ease the transition back into my real life, I think I better get a facial. And a manicure. My nail polish from the Golden Door Spa is already chipping.