Viva, as her alter-ago “Michael,” has asked me to go on a date with her. I have accepted, and we have both gotten dressed up. The outfit “Michael” wears on our date is comprised of the following: knit winter cap, pulled on haphazardly over Viva’s mini-locs,* a white “wife-beater” tank top with colorful designs painted onto it with tempera paint, a pink madras belt used as a tie over the wife-beater, and navy blue bike shorts with sparkly rhinestones down each side. (I am wearing a white eyelet dress with a green wrap, dangly earrings and a straw hat.) We drive on our ottoman to a lovely restaurant. When we arrive, “Michael” asks if I would like to sit inside or out. I decide on out, so we head out to the backyard, where “Michael” serves me a lovely dinner of plastic food – tacos and something called “soup sorbet” – on a tray, on a blanket on the grass. It is all very romantic, and at one point “Michael” lies back on the blanket and invites me to look at the sky, which is beautifully blue and clear. I lie down for two seconds before I can feel my pregnant stomach overtaking my lungs. Because breathing is important to me, I sit back up. “Michael” looks at me lovingly and tells me I am beautiful. I thank him and tell him he is beautiful, too. And then the following exchange takes place:
Viva/Michael: Do you wanna have dinner and then sleep together?
Mama B: Sleep together?!
V/M [encouragingly]: I have a REALLY nice bed.
Mama B: That sounds nice, but I think I need to get to know you better before we have a sleepover.
V/M [disgustedly]: Agh.
Mama B: Y’know, this has really been great. I’ve had a really good time on our date. You seem like a nice guy. But I need to get back home to cook dinner for my family.
V/M: Yeah, um – me too. I need to get home to see my little brother, Gee-Woo**. He wants me to play videogames with him.
Mama B: That’s sweet of you. Well, thanks for the date and all.
V/M: Yeah, um – I’ll see you tomorrow? We can go to the movies!
Mama B: Sounds good.
V/M: Okay, see you in the morning. [runs inside] Dad! DAD! You wanna play with me? Let’s wrestle!
* I twisted Viva’s hair last Sunday and then took the twists out on Saturday and just left her hair like that, all curly and wild. Completely adorable.
** New kid in summer camp. He speaks very little English, mainly Korean, but apparently they speak some kind of universal play language, because Viva is all up in his business and he’s all I hear about lately.