Being home full time with a child and possessing a bizarre sense of humor as I do, one tends to rely on fun things to amuse oneself. One example for me has been naming Elly's dolls. Since she hasn't taken much interest in naming them herself, I'm quite happy to dutifully take on the task.
I am always courteous enough to give her first dibs on a name, but when her best go is "Dolly", I take it upon myself to opt for something with a little more color. Take for example, her first doll, who I dubbed Mrs. Beasley. Some of you will be belly laughing as I catapult you down Memory Lane, while others will just think it's an odd name. (If you're too young to know who she is, Google it. I'm too old to explain.)
In addition to Mrs. Beasley, our brood includes Cindy, Janice and Paris, to name a few. Cindy is really cute and is Elly's current favorite, probably because she talks. She also laughs, cries and says "Mama". Since Cindy is a fairly mainstream name, it nary gets a reaction when we're out in public and someone asks what her name is.
Janice, however, always takes people by surprise as they kneel down next to my two year old and ask her what her dolly's name is. It is so totally worth the look of bewilderment on their face every single time as she proudly exclaims, "Janice!"
Paris, her least favorite by far, is a knock-off dollar store Barbie given to Elly from a hotel concierge at a recent stay. I bestowed her name upon her because of her cheap, whorish looks. Her short, off the shoulder dress, ridiculous breast to waist ratio and outrageous pumps reminded me of that slutty, self-videoing tart, so I thought who better than Ms. Hilton to be her namesake. I haven't had the pleasure of someone asking her name yet, but it's only a matter of time.
Before dolls came into vogue with our wee one, Elly would often trot up ahead of me with Greg. And there I'd be, pushing a vacant stroller. If you ever want to look like you're ready for an institution, try this one out. The looks you get from people range from, "Man! Is he going to be in trouble when he comes home without the kid!" to "Oh, would you just take a look at that poor wretch?"
Nowadays, my stroller is hardly ever empty, because we almost never leave the house without at least one of the girls in tow. (I try to discourage Octomom behaviors by limiting our traveling brood to one or two dolls.) Generally, a doll ends up in the stroller with Elly pushing it, as she proclaims "Elly push the stroller. No Daddy do it!"
But, just as we can count on Nancy Grace being the douche of the century, inevitably, at some point during our excursion, I end up pushing the stroller. And there I am with a doll securely buckled into the straps, often even covered with a blanket, with no toddler in sight to claim guardianship. Since my attention is appropriately focused on what my little lass is doing, it's easy to forget the spectacle that I must be.
And when Greg is with us, it's even worse because they're usually yards away from me given that Greg likes to power walk. And I don't mean power walking in the Olivia Newton-John-headband/wrist weight-sporting kind of way, but just walking at a pace that exceeds most humans outside of Carl Lewis.
But as luck would have it, the day finally came when I got to play the 'normal' one. It took a trip to Austria for it to happen, but nonetheless I had my moment. We were visiting Salzburg, touring one of the sites when I was finally outshone. There I was pushing around Cindy in the doll stroller with neither Elly nor Greg to be found as two old queens walked around with their cat on a leash taking photos with Fluffy at every artifact. Yup. I'm pushing a doll in a stroller and not getting a second look, while Siegfried and Roy were the talk of the town. I adjusted Cindy's blanket, smiled and strolled along.