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Baby gift for the TomKitten? A normal life

With a much-awaited arrival, maybe it's time to end the couch-jumping
/ Source: contributor


Now that TomKat has a little TomKitten, little baby Suri, the rest of us can make noise again. If you believe tabloid reports, you would need a week of hardcore auditing just to banish that image of Katie plugged up with an adult pacifier and surrounded by wall hangings exhorting her to keep mum. The notion of giving birth in a quiet, soothing atmosphere is certainly admirable, but if you consider the whirlwind zaniness little TomKitten just entered, this was the last peace and quiet she will ever get.

Welcome to the fishbowl, kiddo.

Let’s face it: having celebrity parents isn’t a good thing at the best of times. Sure, you have the beach house in Malibu, Rodeo Drive as your very own walk-in closet and a nagging curiosity about those poorly dressed, unattractive people who sit in the small seats at the back of an airplane. On the surface it seems like a lifelong conga line, but truth be told, most celebrity kids are a late-night traffic stop away from writing “Mommie Dearest” in a comfortable suite at the Betty Ford Clinic.

We’re rarely surprised anymore by the screaming train wrecks that are kids raised in the celebrity Petri dish of Hollywood. Wacky and troubled are de rigueur among kids growing up in a world where strange is the new normal. The celebrity world is one filled with props — be they stage sets, costumes or relationships. When accessorizing your public image extends to having rosy-cheeked Pottery Barn kids, it’s no wonder the resulting rug rats end up having more issues than the magazine rack at Barnes and Noble.

With this in mind, should we welcome the mini-Mapother to Planet Teegeeack (that’s Earth, for those of you less conversant with TomKat’s beloved religion than they are) or should we observe a moment of silence for yet another celebrity kid doomed to trundle through life with perfect teeth, no pimples and a name ripped from a 1924 gardening catalog?

The other option: Make a bowl of popcorn and pull up a chair while we wait for the show to begin. Because trust me, it already has.

I like the popcorn option.

What now?The juggernaut that is TomKat faces a busy year, with movie premieres providing a never-ending supply of talk-show couches begging to be jumped, and incessant tabloid whisperings about a rocky relationship prompting gratuitous public displays of affectation.

The litigious lovers could do a lot better than adding a baby to this mix. Then again, it is Hollywood, and what kid wouldn’t want a flamboyant furniture-hopping 43-year-old dad and a 27-year-old mother best-known for playing the emotional equivalent of a chocolate lava torte on the teen soap opera “Dawson’s Creek”?

For TomKat, the way to happiness has only just opened up. It is a way paved not with purification and spiritual self-awareness, but dirty diapers, midnight feedings, and concern over that nasty funk drifting from the back of the Lexus.

For TomKitten, the way to happiness might be filled with scary things hiding in the closet. To better understand these monsters, a quick peek at the parents is in order.

The Tom half of TomKat is used to the glare of public spectacle and, despite a tendency to play the Generic Tom Cruise Character in most of his movies, he’s been loathe to play a similar role in real life until now. The sole father figure he played on screen in his early career was Lestat in “Interview with the Vampire” — not really a solid PTA-meetings-and-soccer-coaching paternal role model. More recently, Tom’s “War of the Worlds” character suggests he learned a bit about parenting from his time with Nicole and their two adopted children. Should Xenu return, “Worlds” offered an object lesson in how to save the TomKat household.

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Perhaps TomKat would appreciate a few parenting suggestions?

First off: Medicine has its place. Speaking as someone who sat in on a couple births, I hope Tom put his “vitamins and exercise before drugs” speech in the closet for the blessed event. There is a time and place to make your points about using medication. A hospital delivery room while your beloved Kat is in labor with her first baby is not the time or the place for philosophical debates about psychotropic substances. Perhaps a wise (and still able to walk) Tom has saved that talk for a knee-slapping night with the parents-in-law afterward. If Tom was really smart, he ordered up a round of epidurals for everyone in the birthing room and threw in a couple (quiet!) bottles of Champagne as well.

Secondly, lose the couch routine and random, icky displays of affection. America loves the fiercely individual character, but comes after the freaky nutcase with pitchforks and fire. If you don’t believe me, Michael Jackson has a couple spare rooms you can rent over in Bahrain. The couch-and-underwear shtick was cute in “Risky Business,” but when you’re in your mid-40s, a smile and “I’m very happy with my life; Katie really is a doll” works wonders with the suburban red staters.

Third: Try hanging out at Casa Del TomKat for a while. Despite the rumors, new mothers do not like their husbands jetting around the world for movie premieres and German talk shows, no matter how many jets you insist are idling at the airport to whisk you home. Parenthood isn’t a subplot in the next “Mission: Impossible” sequel, complete with highly-flammable technology. Changing a diaper requires little more than a garden hose, an industrial-strength gas mask and you actually being there to do it.

Another interesting moniker
I don’t hold out much hope for this latest chapter in the celebrity kid chronicles. The first decision celebrity parents have to make is a name for the little sprout and the last thing you want to do is follow in the nomenclatural stumbling of celebrities like television chef Jamie Oliver (“Daisy Boo” and “Poppy Honey”) or Toni Braxton (“Denim” and “Diezel Ky”). Celebrity birth is traumatic enough without being saddled with a name that will inspire spit-takes at Beverly Hills High.


Tom Cruise

No, if there is one kind thing TomKat could have done for the little Kitten, it was to break with this questionable Hollywood tradition. Leave the produce aisle to Gwyneth Paltrow. Start a new Hollywood fad by choosing something normal, something people can spell without a Peruvian dictionary, something that will look good under that bleary-eyed mug shot when the little devil goes through the terrible teens and gets pulled over doing 130 on the 405 with more snow than Aspen’s Steeplechase in February.

So does “Suri” pass the spit test? Hmmm… Questionable at best.

Since I doubt TomKat decided to start breeding Alpacan llamas or have a special affinity for the Syracuse University Research Institute, we’ll run with the official press release and trust that Suri has its origins in Hebrew, meaning “princess,” or in Persian, meaning “red rose”. Personally, my money bets that Tom took one look at the fringe of hair on top of the wee TomKitten and immediately thought of his favorite song from the musical Oklahoma!  “Hush, you bird, my baby's a-sleepin'!  Maybe got a dream worth a-keepin'. Whoa! you team, and jist keep a-creepin'. Don't you hurry with the surrey with the fringe on the top!”

While the name won’t inspire peals of laughter, I’m disappointed TomKat missed the perfect name, one that they are already very familiar with, practically leaps off the page and certainly rolls off the tongue of their entire entourage.


Oh well, they came close. Good luck kid; your birth was probably the quietest moment that you will get for the next 20+ years…

Writer Ian Ferrell submits this article with a sense of relief that his mom decided against “John-John.”