Meet Damnbill and Summer Salt

My kids like naming things. Ethan has come up “Butterscotch” for a small stuffed Golden Retriever toy and “Hiro Fishcakes” for our real Siamese cat. Adorable, right? The names Kaiya comes up with are positively– well, sometimes you just wonder where she got it from, and hope it wasn’t from you.

This is Ranger GI Joe. Poor Joe. He’s missing an arm and he has permanent camouflage makeup, plus he’s a couple inches shorter than Barbie. Maybe jumping out of planes made him shrink. How is he going to get Barbie to notice him? Also, the kids lost all his clothes and gear. Mostly because they left it out and it got thrown away.

A couple of days ago, Kaiya and I were playing Barbies. She got out the GI Joe. “His name is Damnbill,” Kaiya said.

I thought I had misheard. “Do you mean Dan-ville?” I said.

“No.” She got angry. “It’s DAMN. BILL. He is Damnbill because he has to go to work.”

Okay then.

I tried to remember if I’d ever said “damn bill.” Did I say, “I must work to pay these damn bills?” No. Pretty sure I didn’t. Pretty sure my husband didn’t, either.

Well, her grandpa’s nickname is Bill. Was someone calling him “Damn Bill?” I don’t think that’s the case, either.

So random.

Also, meet Summer Salt, Barbie’s friend. The Barbie’s name is actually “Summer” per the package; it’s one of those beach Barbie & Friends, but Kaiya added the last name. This is my favorite. She doesn’t even know it’s a pun! Mwahahaha. And there’s a Ken named “Kan Kan.”

Below are two Barbies who look like they’re dressed to be members of the Pink Ladies from Grease. One of them is Wonder Woman.

“Bo” is also now the name of all of Kaiya’s stuffed animals. I don’t know where she ever heard the name, but she’s in looove with it. So much so that she said, “When I grow up, when I’m 17, I’m gonna change my name to Bo.”

Ethan: “You can’t do that, Kaiya. Do you know how expensive it is to go to court? You’ll never be able to afford it!”

A side note: Did you know when you play Barbies with boys, it always turns into a war? Cadillac and Ethan just can’t help themselves; if they are conscripted in doll play, then the dolls must start a fight of some kind. Sometimes Daddy plays Barbie with the girls. Last time, he had to play Damnbill and it went like this:

Barbie: Hey, let’s all be friends!
Damnbill: I’m the toughest toy in the toybox!
Barbie: I’m the toughest toy in the UNIVERSE! So let’s be friends.

Cadillac was mostly impressed that his 4 year old daughter had one-upped him so effortlessly. Take that, toughest toy in the “toybox.”

For your enjoyment: GI Joe picking up Barbie.

Published by Margaret Dilloway

Middle grade and women's fiction novelist. FIVE THINGS ABOUT AVA ANDREWS, (Balzer + Bray 2020); SUMMER OF A THOUSAND PIES. MOMOTARO: Xander and the Lost Island of Monsters (Disney Hyperion); TALE OF THE WARRIOR GEISHA and SISTERS OF HEART AND SNOW, out now from Putnam Books. HOW TO BE AN AMERICAN HOUSEWIFE was a finalist for the John Gardner fiction award. THE CARE AND HANDLING OF ROSES WITH THORNS is the 2013 Literary Tastes Best Women's Fiction Pick for the American Library Association. Mother of three children, wife to one, slave to a cat, and caretaker of the best overgrown teddy bear on Earth, Gatsby the Goldendoodle.

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