Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Mommy's Other Name

Avery and Lexie call me "Mommy." No surprise there. It's what most little kids call their mother. But, it didn't occur to me until last week that they might know I have a legal name, too.

This realization came in the playroom at our house one evening just before "night night." Lexie walked over to me, held up a domino and said, "I have Deeeemi!"

I looked at her with a slightly confused expression on my face. "What?" I asked, thinking that surely she had not just said my last name.

Lexie put the domino up to her ear just like a cell phone and exclaimed, "I talking to Dara Deeeeeemi!"

Geof and I immediately looked at each other and started laughing. This was incredibly funny to us, because we've never had a conversation to explain that Daddy is Geof and Mommy is Dara. What was the point? We always refer to each other by our parental names. And, seriously, the twins are only two years old. It's not like they're going to be filling out medical forms or school permission slips yet. Why would they need to know?

Well, somehow, Lexie figured it out, and our laughter made Avery want to join in the name game fun. Monkey see, monkey do! They both took turns shouting "I want to talk to Deeeeeemi!" in between rounds of loud giggles.

After pondering the source of this outburst, I finally came to the conclusion that they must have paid attention when I was on call for NCDOT recently during two major incidents: a rockslide in the North Carolina mountains and a snow storm that blanketed many parts of the state. (Yes, I realize natural disasters seem to eerily coincide with when I'm on call. Awesome. Watch out for hurricane season!) I spent a lot of time during those weekends talking to reporters - including the one working with Geof - on the phone. The girls who desperately wanted me to stop working and play "destroy the house" with them must have overhead me and replicated the professional way in which I greeted the callers.

If anything, they deserve props for actually pronouncing my name correctly. Ninety percent of the adult population can't seem to master it, so clearly, they're going to be genuises if they can manage it at age 2. I mean, really, it's only eight letters combined. And, it doesn't sound anything at all like "Darin" or "Daria." For the record, I'm also not related to Demi Moore as some have inquired in the past. Sigh...

I thought this whole "Dara Demi" obsession would end that night when we tucked the girls in, and they drifted off to dreamland. Nope. It's an every night thing. Except now it's shifted into song.

The girls aren't really able to do a thorough job brushing their teeth on their own, so we let them try first and then we help them complete the task. They won't hand over their toothbrushes unless we sing them a song. It started with singing "Happy Birthday" to Dora and Elmo, the characters on their brushes. But, this week, that changed.

"Mommy, sing Demi song," requested Lexie.

Oh great, I thought. I had no idea what "Demi song" was, but I definitely knew that if I didn't make one up soon, Lexie and Avery would not let me bat clean-up during the evening brushing routine.

The things I do for good dental hygiene.

I made up a horrendous song that goes like this: "Daaaara Deeeeemi. She-eeee-eee love-uh-uhvs you! Daaaaara Deeeemi. She-eeee-eee is your Mommy, too-ooo."

Of course, they loved it. Now, they demand that I sing it every night during teeth brushing time. My worst fear is that I'm going to forget the words and the off-pitch tune, and the girls' teeth will decay and fall out, because they will except no musical substitutions.

So far, I've managed to file it away in my Mommy brain with the other silly songs I've created about Thomas the Train and Pooh Bear (which Avery adamantly refers to as "Cooh Bear.") I may not be the next Scotty McCreery, but at least, my kids' chompers are clean.

I'm looking forward to trading the first/last name interest for a consistant "Mommy." I like it better. And, I've never heard anyone mispronounce it.

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