Hello, My Name Is:

Heaven help us if my children are ever lost (an unlikely event given that the boys are always in their stroller, and Maddux is required to have one hand on said stroller at all times — but we mommies do worry!).

I do my best to teach them their vital info and the numbers “9-1-1,” but it’s definitely a work in progress.

Maddux still identifies the number 9 as a seven. When I ask her what number she should dial if there is a fire, she usually says — with an air of absolute authority — “one-three-six” or some other random series of numbers. But at least she knows all of our names and where she lives.

Today, since James is finally talking fairly competently, I decided to quiz him on his personal info.

Me: “What’s your name?”

James: “GROCCOLI!” (big smile on his face, no broccoli anywhere to be seen)

Me: “OK, Broccoli, what’s your mommy’s name?”

James: “BACON!” (Wait, what? We’re pronouncing that correctly now? Or only when we’re telling the police we were raised by a slab of cured meat?)

Me: “What’s your last name, little guy?”

James: “MADDUX!” (laughing uproariously, because being a lost little boy is super fun)

Me: “Where do you live?”

James: “Poppa’s truck! AAAHAHAHAHAAA!”

Me: “OK, let’s try this again. Your name is James.”

James: “GROCCOLI!”

Me: “What is your last name?”

James: “I go downstairs, play diggers and trucks?”

Me: “Not right now. Your last name is Phillips. You live in (name of our town).”

James: “Phillips! I play trains!”

Me: “Yes, your name is James Phillips. Where do you live?”

James: “Nana’s house! In da bathroom!”

Me: “You had better hope you never get lost and picked up by the police, kiddo.”

Meanwhile, his sister has no trouble telling people her parents’ first names. From time to time, if the rude “Mommy-mommy-mommy” chorus isn’t doing the trick when she’s trying to interrupt adult conversation, Maddux will make herself known by uttering a very polite (but also very forbidden) “Heather.” And I’m not entirely sure that her preschool teacher is convinced Chris is her actual father, because Maddux introduced us as “Mommy and Chris.” So now her teacher calls us “Mommy and Chris,” too, even though I thought I was fairly clear about the fact that Chris is, indeed, my daughter’s dad and not a random boyfriend.

As annoying as it is that our sweet-faced preschooler occasionally abuses our names, I like to think she’ll remember this information if she ever finds herself lost at the mall. Let’s hope if Groccoli ever gets lost, he will have our handy Walking Encyclopedia of Grown-Ups’ Real Names along with him for easy reference. Otherwise, we’ll see this on the news:

Boy named Broccoli claims he’s been living in his
grandfather’s truck and his grandmother’s bathroom
and working illegally as a digger operator.

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