One lunch time at the office, I was enjoying a double decker sandwich and a very tall glass of superb iced green tea (the type that tastes like Bermuda grass and bamboo) together with a couple of workmates, both mothers. In between bites, we were having conversations about an assortment of things: our work load, our officemates, and the workplace. Inevitably, we moved on to talking about kids. Both of them are parents, after all.

They went on and on and on about their sons – how one’s son had a knack for correcting his grandmother’s pronunciation, or how the other’s son’s favorite hobby was asking all these questions. Son-less, I was about to have an out-of-the-body experience when I figured out I could still participate in this parental talk.

And so I shared stories about Katsuhiro, my godson/one-time adopted son – how he had a speech defect, how I introduced him to a lot of things (melon-flavored toothpaste, theme parks, the moviehouse, etc.), and how he had a twin named Matsaomi, who I didn’t really like.

One time, I was at the mall with the twins and I was busy feeding Katsuhiro ice cream. After he finished his cone, I bought him some squid balls and black gulaman. Of course, the other twin didn’t have any. When Matsaomi finally asked for some (that was after only 2 seconds), I didn’t budge. After 5 minutes of pestering me, I finally gave in. I coated the piece of squid ball with a lot of hot sauce and stuffed it into his mouth. It didn’t take him more than 3 seconds before he realized he really shouldn’t have pestered me for food. He made a scene and asked for the plastic cup of gulaman. Thing is, Katsuhiro was still very thirsty so it took me a good minute or so before I passed the cup to Matsaomi. The moment I handed him the cup, he grabbed it and sipped as if it was his last sip this lifetime. Too bad only a gulp was left inside. Still, he was grateful for that thirst-quencher. After gulping though, he got possessed by one of those Children of the Corn children, looked at me like a demon-boy and mouthed, “Putragis ka.” That coming from a 3-year old was really haunting.

That’s the end of my side story.

Going back to my chitchat with the mothers, I also shared stories about my other favorite children – my ex-maids, who were 13-year young’s back then. There’s Joova (the one who watched my porn DVDs, went back to the province and never returned coz she got pregnant), Ipe (or Ife, who exchanged her p’s and f’s), and Tutay (THE Tutay, the original Patani, who I promise I will write a book about because she is the bomb).

My officemates continued to exchange funny stories about their kids and of course, I wasn’t going to be just a listener. And so I related another story, about a friend’s son.

“Mommee,” the little boy said. “Magkapatid pala si aling Sharaunda and aling Furonda.”

“Really?” the mom wondered, since she knew very well they weren’t related.

“Yes,” her son answered with so much conviction. “Parehong Store ang apelyido nila.”

The end.

I just realized I didn’t have to have my own kids just to be able to participate during chitchats about the kids.