When I was a wee lass, I had an imaginary friend who went by the handle Baby Tina. Baby Tina was a disastrous bitch from hell, let me tell you. She did awful things like the time she pushed me off the top of the flight of outdoor stairs at our apartment building (she promised me I could fly. I couldn't. It hurt). Or the time she painted the bathroom sink with hooker-red nail polish while I watched in horror, cowering from the voice of my mother shrieking at me through the locked door. Mom could smell nail polish. She got a screwdriver and took the door off the hinges. Baby Tina ran for the hills and I got a wooden spoon upside the ass, repeatedly.
Once she took my mother's brand new Avon demonstration kit, uncapped every last lipstick sample, and painted my face clown-style. It took four days of repeated scrubbing to wash off. I was blamed. But I made sure to rat the crazy bitch out, no way I was going down alone. Of course she skipped off to wreak havoc elsewhere while I was spanked, again, and grounded from watching Land of the Lost. Also, I got sent to therapy. What a scrunt.
For many years, Baby Tina got up to bad girl shenanigans and I took the fall. It was easy for her to get away with it; we looked exactly alike. Also, she vanished any time anyone else was around. So I looked liked a lying, delusional dumbass when I explained, very patiently, that it was Baby Tina who poured a bottle of dish soap into the coffee maker, cut the curtains with pinking shears and scratched the paint off the rollbars in my grandpa's Jeep, not me. My mom never bought it. There were many spankings. It did no good.
Somewhere along the line Baby Tina hitched a ride out of my life for good. Hopefully she landed herself in juvie hall and got her shit straightened out. I really could have used her in high school, though. She would have come in handy. Like, "Oh what's that? You think I made out with your boyfriend? Nah, that wasn't me homegirl, that was Baby Tina. That bitch a playa."Or "I swear to God officer, this is NOT my bottle of purple death-flavored Mad Dog 20/20. I'm just holding it for Baby Tina!"
My kids have never had a Baby Tina in their lives and I kind of can't relate. I guess they just blame each other for stuff instead (Grady), or sheepishly admit their transgression and beg forgiveness (Fletcher) or flat out deny it and call you bad names for accusing them even though all evidence points to them (Gwendolyn). Perhaps I should enlist Baby Tina's help in parenting. She could be the one who "forgets" to buy Toaster Strudel at the grocery store (as if I'm gonna get 'em that. Pssssshhht!) or ruins their favorite clothes in the washer or decides that brownies and popcorn are actually a fine dinner when served with milkshakes. Perhaps I'll summon her, dress her in my pajama pants and a grey pocket t-shirt with no bra and see if my family notices the difference. Then I could go crash some cars or fly off stairs or.... well, the possibilities are just endless, aren't they?