Alter Ego

When Lily is acting up or not listening to me, I often call her Lillabeth. It’s somehow easier to sound stern and commanding when exclaiming, “Lillabeth, get your tiny monkey butt over here this instant” than when I say, “Lily, sweetie, come here before Mommy pops your head off your shoulders and starts bellowing like a howler monkey.” Both have their levels of effectiveness and both include a well placed monkey reference, but somehow, I feel more like “stern mom” when I use the name Lillabeth. Mind you, her name is not actually Lillabeth. Those of you in the know are aware that her name isn’t actually Lily either, it’s just what we call her most of the time*. This Wannabe Hippie, she is an enigma, no?

In any event, at my moms house the other day Lil was acting like a howler monkey and so I hooked my legs around her as she ran by (I was sitting, I’m not that cool) and dragged her into my lap, softly intoning, “Lil-leeee” in an attempt to settle her down. You can imagine my surprise when she clambered up to face me, put her pudgy little hands on my checks and informed me, “I’m not Lily. I’m Lillabeth!” and then flung herself off my lap and started doing summersaults.

Edited to add: Lily is what we call her, but it's not her legal name (and most people can't figure out how we got "Lily" from her legal name). But "Lily" is what I holler when I'm trying to keep her from running into traffic. Is everyone OK now? Didn't mean to cause such trouble...