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.”
“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.