Veggie tales

My mother-in-law, the Nana B, is busying herself making fruit salad for a get-together.

She: Travis, can you pass me that apple-banana?   I want to put some slices in with the strawberry-papaya.   It goes so well with this wonderful pineapple-mango juice from the market.

Me: What is this, the Island of Dr. Frankenfruit?


As back-story to this, I frequently call the Ladybug by a nickname: Pumpkin. For example, “Come on, Pumpkin, it’s time to go” or “What do you need, Pumpkin?” or “Holy crap, PUMPKIN GET THAT OUT OF YOUR MOUTH!”

Anyways, the Ladybug and I were playing at Kona’s “Old Airport Park:” she playing on the slides and showing off her new shoes to the other little girls there; I calling her Pumpkin and directing her away from activities leading to imminent dismemberment and/or death. After a while, one little girl, probably five years old, struck up a conversation with me.

Girl: Oh, she’s so pretty.

Me: Thank you.

Girl: Is her name Pumpkin?

Me: [ Laughing ] No. Her name is The Ladybug. I just call her “Pumpkin.”

Girl: Oh.

[ Pause. ]

Girl: I like “Pumpkin” better.


Several days later, the Ladybug and I were playing at another park. She was scooting in and out of the wooden castle playgrounds with some other little kids. Apparently I give out a little-kid-friendly vibe, because another little girl came up to me and started taking.

Girl: Is that your daughter?

Me: Yes.

Girl: Is her name Pumpkin Head?

Me: [ Laughing. ] No. Her name is The Ladybug. I just call her “Pumpkin Head.”

Girl: Oh.

[ Pause. ]

Girl: I can see that. Her head is shaped like a pumpkin.

On a related note, I’m currently taking suggestions for another nickname for the Ladybug.

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