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