We are really pumped right now because some of our favorite friends are visiting us. There's Jess and Jeremy with my favorite Emma, as well as Bobby, Tyra, Andrew, and Austin from New Mexico. Today we all hung out at the E's house on the beach. We do what people do when they get together by the beach: eat, play in the sand, eat, swim, eat, play games, take group pictures, eat, and eat. At one point it was just me and a friend (who has asked for and been granted anonimity) washing dishes together. I had devoured a huge plate and even had seconds. Well, I grabbed my ever-growing gut and the following conversation ensued:

mab: Man! I have stuffed my fat tum!

Friend: Fat Tom? You named your stomach Fat Tom?

mab: What? Tom? No, tum! Why would you think I named my stomach?

Friend: Well, you name other stuff! (I'm proud of this friend… she has proven to be a faithful mabblab reader! She gets brownie points! And brownies. They're in the oven right now.)

Now, to be clear, I name many inanimate objects (cars, computers, iPods) and a few animate objects such as plants. But, I've never considered naming my stomach. Until today. My friend has inspired me. And, I will no longer have to take the blame for my lack of willpower. I can blame Fat Tom.

As I named him, an entire personality took form. Fat Tom has a deep, grumbly voice and doesn't trouble himself with much grammar. His favorite phrase is "Mmmmm! Me eat!!! Me eat now!" If you tickle Fat Tom, he will not laugh unless he's well-fed and happy. But, if he's too well-fed, you can't tickle him at all. He gets cranky when he's indigested. Fat Tom tolerates vegetables, but is really sustained by chocolate, cheddar cheese my friends ship in from the states, and greasy Sonic bacon cheeseburgers with a side of cheesy tater-tots and a Route 44 Cherry Limeade Slush. The Sonic order is not available here, so Fat Tom has gained revenge by getting disproportionately fatter.

Later that evening I read one of the parenting magazines that were around the E's house. There were some interesting tidbits in there on parenting, child safety, and the like. There were also a lot of articles meant to scare parents and make them buy stuff. (Warning! Your newborn could possibly learn to crawl, open the dishwasher, and fall upon all of the butcher knives you're washing in there, impaling herself and causing much harm! Warning! Your washing machine, in addition to eating that mystery sock, could also tip over and crush your child if they happen to be standing in front of it during a freak earthquake! Warning! Do not buy anything at all that isn't made of Nerf! Not even a refrigerator! It must be a Nerfridgerator!!! But I digress….)

Tucked in among all of these things was a story about a woman. Let me preface the next anecdote with the following: The woman appears completely normal, sane, and well-educated. Apparently, while she was on vacation, she began having stomach pains. Her husband became worried and took her to the hospital. Yup. She was in labor. And didn't even know she was pregnant. Apparently, many of the signs of pregnancy never showed up in her. And she had other health issues that masked the other signs. And, she had a belly much bigger than Fat Tom. The baby was delivered fine and healthy. They named him Fat Rob. (No, I just made that up.)

All of this surprise baby talk has got me thinking…. maybe Fat Tom is something more than just my uncontrollable cravings for chocolate treats. Maybe my unquenchable, truly Southern desire for fried food isn't what's responsible for the poundage that is gravitating around my waist. I'd like it to be an excuse like that. Then, Fat Tom would be a real Tom and my waistline would somewhat decrease upon birth. But, it's not very likely, now is it?

That's probably good. I wouldn't want a son who talked in a deep rumbly voice with questionable grammar and whose favorite phrase was "Mmmmm! Me eat!!! Me eat now!"

So, until the wonderful, amazing, blessed flood of visitors subsides (and all of the dinners, tea times, desserts, and snacks that inevitably follow them), Fat Tom will most likely continue to increase. One more thing… The husband of the friend responsible for naming Fat Tom warned me about calling my stomach names and making it talk. He said it won't do much for my marriage. When we left, my hubby kept on his swim trunks and t-shirt he had changed into, but had to put his dress shoes and socks back on. (There were no other options. I forgot to bring him his sandals.) Then, he danced the lemur dance from "Madagascar." (Yes, that's the one you're thinking of…. "I Like to Move It, Move It.") At this point, we struck a silent deal. He wouldn't do that any more and I wouldn't bring up Fat Tom. We're trying to keep the romance alive, not annihilate it beyond all hope of return, you know.

When we got back home, the market guys greeted my hubby as usual. Then, one guy said "Where've you been? What on earth are you wearing? You look strange." Yeah. When the locals start making fun of you to your face, that's when you know you're over the line. It's a good thing he didn't say anything else at that point. Fat Tom doesn't like people messing with my hubby. He gets cranky and may attack.

Fat Tom: "Me like hubby! He give us cake! No one laugh at hubby! NO ONE! AARRRGGGHHH!"

Man, oh, man…. I've got Fat Tom all riled up now. It looks like indigestion tonight.

Fat Tom: "Mmmmm! Me eat!!! Me eat now!"