Random conversations on a Saturday night


"Papa," said Joy, my youngest one night, "Carry your granddaughter."


"My doll," my seven-year-old said, putting the diaper-wearing baby doll wrapped in a small towel in my arms.

"I have a granddaughter? Who is the mother?" I asked, almost afraid of the answer.

"Me lah!" she said, laughing.

"Then who is the father?" I know I am setting myself up.

"Gor Gor lah!" she said, like it was the most logical answer in the world.

"Your older brother cannot be the father!" I said with mock righteous indignation. "Besides, he is only nine!"

"Pretend only lah!" she replied. "Just hold on to Beldray for a while."

"Bel-who?" By now, I am getting as lost as my wife trying to figure out all the characters and family relationships in Game of Thrones (or as my wife calls it, Throne of Games).

"Belfraaaaay. B-E-L-D-R-A-Y, Beldray. It's your granddaughter's name," said the mother of many dolls.

"What kind of name is THAT?" I asked.

"I chose it for her. I got it from a ladder," said Joy.

"A ladder?"

"Ya, it is the brand of our ladder," said the imp, referring to the step ladder in the storeroom.

"Why not name her LG? That's the name of our TV," I said, thinking it was a logical choice considering how much time these two rascals spend in front of it.

"Don't be silly. That's not a good name for a daughter."

"Or how about the name Onkyo? That's the name of our home theatre system," I suggested, then removing a basketball from the subwoofer, making a mental note to remember to chide Isaac for placing his toys on my precious speakers.

"My doll can't be called Onkyo, she's not Japanese. She has blond hair," said Joy.

"So she has to have a Western name? From a ladder?" I asked, feeling like I was falling down the rabbit hole of child logic.

Then from the kitchen, Isaac, my middle one, and supposedly the pretend father of Beldray the blond doll of the Ladder race, shouted to his sister, "You must take care of your daughter, Joy! With great power comes great responsibly!"

"Does that mean Joy is a Spider-mom?" I asked, then my two kids and I launched into song.

"Spider-mom, Spider-mom, does whatever a spider can. / Feeds her milk, when she cries. / Changes her diaper, so she's dry. / Look out, baby is gonna pangsai."

Yes. We made that random song up together. My children inherited my penchant for composing silly songs, I guess. We even argued over rhyme schemes.

Then I decided it was bedtime and shooed them off to bed. Faith, their autistic older sister, had already tucked herself in.

"Joy, don't forget Beldray," I said, pointing to her doll on the floor of the living room.

"Oh ya!" she said, running to pick her child up.

"With great power, comes great responsibility!" I reminded her.

With the kids finally in bed, the wife and I could finally go for our late night ice-cream date.

"She named the doll Beldray?" the wife asked as we left the house.

"Don't laugh, ok?" I said. "You are the grandmother."