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What’s It Like to Have Kamala Harris as ‘Momala’? We Asked Her Stepkids

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Cole: Also just a quick note, but we do call Doug “Doug” at home and always have. I consider it a term of endearment. “Doug” and “dad” are both one syllable; they sound similar so it almost felt like a nickname. And now I just can’t stop.

Ella: People always stop me. They’re like, “What? Who’s Doug?” I’m like, “My dad.”

So wait, your mom is “Mom” and Doug is “Doug”?

Ella: Yeah, I write all emails: “To Mom and Doug.”

What was it like when your parents split up?

Cole: There was like a period of, I don’t know how many years, when we called ourselves the “Palazzo Crew.” Because when Doug moved out, he moved into this apartment complex called the Palazzo.

Ella: It definitely, for the three of us, was really bonding. And I think we do have that sense of like, we made it through the random apartments, figuring out the dynamic of it being just us.

Cole: There was definitely a lot of learning to be done for everyone involved. Ella was in elementary school. I was in middle school. There was a time when we’d go almost every night and get a sandwich for dinner at the Whole Foods deli counter next to our house. And Doug was like, “We need to eat better.” So we’d try to cook — and Kamala has turned Doug into, like, actually a good cook — but there was a period when Doug made what he thought was a great decision. He was like, “What if I order premade meals for us that we can heat up once a week?” But this was pre-Farmbox or whatever, so it was like a Craigslist-type situation. So we would just have these Tupperwares of like random spaghetti that were like stained red, that someone would bring to the house — and he’d be like, “Homemade dinner, guys!”

How do you think he’s going to adjust to Washington?

Cole: I think Doug is a bit of a chameleon, and that’s why everyone loves him. Like, he can fit in in any room.

Ella: He’s a good talker.

Cole: I think of all people, Doug was like randomly born for this.

Your dad has never not worked, right? What do you think that’s going to be like for him?

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