My then, three year old daughter, Meg, received a new baby doll. I asked Meg what she was going to name the baby and instantly she answered, “Jennifer Blome”. Jennifer Blome has been the morning news co-anchor on the NBC affiliate in St. Louis, Missouri, forever. I’m guessing that most three year olds rarely name their babies after news anchors, but after my initial bewilderment, I got used to it and welcomed Jennifer Blome into the family. Strange statements like “Don’t forget to buckle Jennifer Blome”, and “Meg, I think I hear Jennifer Blome crying upstairs” were heard on a regular basis. On one occasion I was walking through the grocery store carrying Jennifer Blome like a real baby per my toddler’s strict instructions. If you dared to call the baby, “Jennifer”, those three year old eyes would instantly stop you in your tracks and remind you to use her full name.
About six months later Meg and I were standing in the basement of “Two Nice Guys”, waiting for our carry out order. It was a Thursday evening and the basement bar of the restaurant was teeming with people sitting at small tables, enjoying libations. Most people were there enjoying a post work happy hour but Meg and I were there because my husband was out of town and I don’t cook. My toddler was tugging on my coat incessantly until I leaned down and asked her what she needed. Meg’s giant blue eyes were even larger than typical and she said, “Jennifer Blome is sitting right over there.” Of course I thought she was crazy, and had to pay the bar tender for our order. Coat pulling ensued and I once again leaned down to hear, “That is Jennifer Blome right over there.” There was so much excitement in her voice. I scanned the somewhat dark bar area and sure enough, sitting at a round bar table, was THE Jennifer Blome, the woman I entrusted to inform me every week day morning so as not to completely fall into a stay at home Mom fog.
Meg begged to go talk to her. I was torn and after watching Jennifer for a few seconds, I concluded that I would seem like a complete idiot if I marched my toddler across a bar and informed her that Meg is her biggest fan! WEIRD! So I chickened out and told Meg that we couldn’t interrupt her. And we left.
There it went….the opportunity. My three year old told her Memaw and Grandpa all about the sighting. She told her preschool teachers and friends. On each occasion, Meg made a point of stating that I didn’t allow her to speak to Jennifer Blome. After a few days I completely hated myself for letting the opportunity pass us by. I was so concerned about appearing as some type of psycho parent and I let that overshadow my daughter’s passion for early morning news. I overheard Meg playing with Jennifer Blome in the days after the sighting and all of the make believe conversations involved reassurances from the bald, plastic, creepily smiling baby doll, insisting that Meg come to the studio for a visit and tour. Throughout the house I would find Jennifer Blome staring at me with judgmental eyes and it all became too much! I took to the internet and sent a message to Jennifer trying so hard to come off as sane. Shockingly I never heard back from the famous anchor. For some reason the email from the mother of a three year old stalker just didn’t inspire a response!
My anchor stalking toddler is now twelve years old and I fear that any dream of becoming a morning news anchor has vanished. Did I kill the dream? At the same time I wonder if embracing that meeting with Jennifer Blome would have led to a teddy bear named Tom Brokaw or worse yet, a baby brother named Art Holliday (Jennifers co-anchor). I go back and forth. The Jennifer Blome sighting has had a lasting effect. I don’t let opportunities pass me by. If I could turn back time, I would march right up to Jennifer Blome, interrupt her happy hour, introduce my three year old to her idol, invite her over to have carry out and let her hold her namesake. I’m not a spontaneous person by nature, but I’m getting better and better. Life is too short to deter your three year old from a good stalking!