I met the Iskikian family early in my clowning career. The young family had one daughter at the time, Christina. The Iskikian family, like so many families in the area had Pom Pom to a number of birthday parties through the years. I even saw their little family of 3 grow to 4 when their son Spencer was born. It just so happens that the Iskikian family is also very good friends with my son's wife, Angie. It has become quite comical to find myself, (as Pom Pom) invited to the same party as my son and his wife.
Sometimes when kids become too familiar with Pom Pom they tend to take liberties with Pom Pom's personal space. If I am invited back a second time, or a child has just seen me at another function recently, they can get a little pushy or rowdy with Pom Pom. Kids have pulled at my pants, my wig, rooted around in my bag and poured sand down my pants! It is because they have seen the clown a few times and feel as if Pom Pom is now their clown to do with what they will! I have always fended off such attacks with a good natured, "I have a treat for those of you that DON'T pull off my wig!" etc. It works every time. I call it my, "Familiarity Breeds Contempt Theory".
Back to the Iskikian family. The Iskikian kids are not like most kids that become too familiar with Pom Pom. The Iskikian children are always careful and thoughtful around Pom Pom. If anything these children will see to it that the other children are careful as well!
I found out just how much the children thought of Pom Pom one day when little Spencer's mother told him to tell Pom Pom what his hamster's name was. At that time Spencer was about 2 years old and he rattled off something long and multi-syllabled. The only thing within the name I thought I caught was, "Pom Pom". So Spencer's mother translated for me telling me,
"Hamsters name is, Zippity do-da, Reid, Pelfrey, Dollins, Pom Pom, Iskikian", which are all the last names of Spencer's most favorite people.
Believe me there is nothing more humbling and honoring than being named after a childs beloved pet.
I ran into Spencer's mother the other day and I told her about the story I had written about Spencer's pet hamster. She wanted to read it and here are her comments from an email sent to me:
"Dear Pom Pom, We finally were able to get on your website and just read your wonderful story. We are touched, honored and delighted by what you had to say!!! You are still such a favorite in our lives and memories. I personally miss the birthday parties with Pom Pom, but remember.... Christiana made Pom Pom promise that she would do her wedding!!! It's great that at least we do get to see your friend, Solana, periodically :) Gotta go get tucked into bed. See you soon, we hope! Thanks again for the fun honor!!! Love, Kerry, Spencer and Christiana PS Your website is great!--way to go!!!"
(...And people wonder why I do this??)