Wednesday, October 26, 2011


The other morning, Seconda told me about a dream she'd had, featuring her new imaginary friend. T-Bone. T-Bone was doing some circus act and Seconda had to rescue her.

That night, when Sec was still awake at 11pm, darting out of her bedroom every five minutes to tell us something terribly important like "I don't like cheddar cheese," and "Don't forget to give me an umbrella when it rains." I told David about T-Bone, in order to boost parental morale.

"She may be a real pain in the ass," I said, "But she's so fucking cool. I mean, where did she even get the idea for a female imaginary friend named T-Bone? Its not like we ever told her about T-Bone Burnett or anything, who is a man, anyway. She is just INHERENTLY cool. Let's remember that."

Sec ran out at that moment to with my lipstick smeared all over her face: "And don't forget to put this lipstick on tomorrow, Mommy, so you can look beautiful like me."

"Coolness does not come without a price," I said unconvincingly to David and to myself.

Then a few days later, we were at a playdate and I was chatting with one of my dear, old Mommy friends and T-Bone come up.

"I don't know where she got the idea," I mused.

"Isn't T-Bone the dog character from one of those PBS shows?" my friend asked.

"What?" I said, somewhat malevolently.

"I don't remember the name of the show but I think on one of those PBS Kids cartoons, there's a dog named T-Bone."

"Oh, great," I grumbled, "Just go ahead and puncture the illusion, which I am desperately clinging to for consolation, that my daughter is inexplicably cool and wildly creative. I need to believe that the defiance and impulsiveness and inflexibility is serving some greater good, some long-term pay off and T-Bone was an important piece of evidence in my case. Which you just trashed. And now I have nothing to believe in."

"Sorry," she said.

I haven't told David that our child's brainchild was born from an unvetted TV show she probably watched at my grandmother's house. I'm sparing him.

Plus -- it occurred to me later that day, when I walked into Sec's room and found she'd pulled very single one of the books off the shelf and left it all in a massive, unapologetic far-flung pile -- it takes an impressive amount of coolness to even recognize a cool name when you hear one. She could have picked Wyatt or Dora to be the name of her new imaginary amigo, but she knew that was pedestrian. There is hope after all.