"My boys are sitting here," Ali tells me. They are his imaginary friends. Leila has to have some, too, and I guess they are all squished into the back of the borrowed van I am driving, sharing seatbelts.
They have a lot of them- thousands, no google, they tell each other- competing even in this.
On Monday night we are headed home from the swimming fountains. "I don't like Ali," Ali tells me. "I'm changing my name." He changes it several times, finally settling on "Palm tree fly swim." The next day he is "fire snaky."
Leila just likes "James." It doesn't matter to her that this is usually a boy's name, and her grandfathers.
I have to call them by the names they tell me. Ali goes on and on telling them. I just want to get him ready for bed.
I announced that my name is "super mommy I love you." It sure beats hearing them say Mommy, mommy, mommy five times in a row.