Sunday, March 16, 2008

He's No Simon Cowell...And Maybe He Should Have His Hearing Checked

Whatever the future may hold for Other Kid, he definitely doesn't have what it takes to be a hard-assed judge on a TV talent show.

We were riding in the car together last weekend when Martina McBride's "This One's For The Girls" came on the radio. I was singing along--something I have a pathological compulsion to do when Other Kid piped up from the backseat: "Are you singing?"

Immediately self-conscious, I said, "Um, yes..."

"Well, did you make this song?"

Not sure now where he's going*, I say, hesitantly, "Um, no..."

"Well you sound EXACTLY like the lady on the radio."

(This post is dedicated to Pasta--an old friend from high school, not only because she recently nagged me about posting more often, but because she was there at the start of my belting it out in the car disorder--singing along to Huey Lewis, The Thompson Twins, Duran Duran and a host of other '80s pop stars while driving aimlessly around in the Wilds of New Hampshire.)

*One place he might have been going: the very same week the above exchange took place, Youngest Niece was sitting beside me while I was singing along to a Christina Aguilera song and she said, "Who sings this song?" And I said, "Christina Aguilera..." And she said, "Then let her do it." (This she learned from one of Second Niece's friends, apparently. Other Kid, obviously is less discriminating and doesn't run with quite such a cynical crowd.)

Monday, March 03, 2008

Perfect Post For February: Call Me Frances

Just after the birth of a baby, there's that moment in the hospital where the pen hovers over the birth certificate form and you want to be sure, really sure that the name you've chosen is the "right" one before setting it down in ink for the government wonks and all the world to see. In the case of Hubby and I, as I'm sure in the case of most parents, the names set down on those official pieces of paper were the result of endless hours of debate and not a little bickering--debate and bickering that often begin well before the birth and sometimes even before the pregnancy. Daughter-Only's name, for example, evolved throughout my earlier pregnancies--when we chose a girl's name only to have a boy and another boy and another boy. The name evolved slightly each time until we arrived at the name we gave Daughter-Only.

Years of work for a name that she had rejected twice by her eighth birthday. For a while, around the time she was four, she insisted upon being called Lisa. A perfectly nice name but not the name we had given her after literally years of effort. And we had no idea (nor do we still) where she came up with the name Lisa (the only possible connection I've been able to think of was The Simpsons, but we weren't fans at that point and I'm not at all sure how she could have heard it). All we do know is that for several weeks, she literally wouldn't answer to anything else.

The second name change made even less sense. One morning when she was six or seven, as she was gathering her backpack for school, she said, "I'm Dr. Ashklomash Coco Peppermint." That one lasted only a couple of days--probably because only she could pronounce it...

During both episodes, I couldn't help remembering when I was in fourth grade and decided my name should be "Frances." I didn't go so far as to insist on my family refering to me solely as Frances, but I did orchestrate a playground game in which we pretended to be from the planet Frantasty and everyone had to be named something that started with "Fran." We were a planet full of Franks and Francines and Franceses. I did it and have no logical explanation why my nine-year-old self wanted to be called what I considered an old lady's name even then. All I can say is that's the same year I went through a persistent, annoying and entirely gross phase of chewing on the ends of my hair.

In any case, Nita, over at Advanced Maternal Age is having name issues with Rio at the moment--issues that any parent (or anyone who wanted to be called "Frances" for no known reason) can probably identify with. She generously shares them in her post "My Name Is..." and in a second post "My Gears Are Grinding." So for a giggle and a trip down memory lane, here's my button:

The Original Perfect Post Awards 02.08

And, Nita, it's all yours!

Browse other winners at Suburban Turmoil and Petroville.