Thursday, October 18, 2007


I’m not sure exactly when or how it all started, but at some point during the last year The Boy became an avid collector of stuffed animals. Of course, he’s a connoisseur of some discernment; his tastes running to the more exotic end of the spectrum—as you can see, not a teddy bear in sight.

Sadly, he’s not very imaginative with naming these treasures. There’s Draggy and Crocky, the first proud members of the troupe; Rexxie, Steggie, and the awkwardly handled Tri-ee; Baby Dog, Brother Dog, and Big Sister Dog (always in that order, naturally); Turdy, whom I can’t bring myself to address by name, but I’m constantly looking for him and dragging him out from under couches, beds, and piles of quilts because he’s a fast favorite, and he just can’t seem to stay put; and finally, there to the left, Finey—the big crocodile. If you ask Boy why Finey is called Finey, he’ll tell you with all the little boy bravado he can muster, “Because he’s FUNNY!”

Every night The Boy gathers this motley crew of cuddly beasties in and around his bed according to some gentle, fluid hierarchy that only he understands. Draggy is always draped across the foot of the bed, the Dog siblings curled snuggly in his tail. Sometimes he graciously allows Crocky or Finey, and Big Sister Dog to sleep with EM. But I know he prefers at least one of the crocodiles on the floor next to his bed, under the heater. The rest he gathers in a furry mass on his pillow. One lucky soul, usually Turdy, gets to sleep under Bobby, his still and ever constant blankie—a crutch which, by the by, he feels more justified than ever in clinging to because “he’s seen that boy on Charlie Brown has a Bobby too, only his is bigger, and that mean girl always locks it in a closet, and that’s not nice, because then that other Charlie Brown boy can’t sleep, right Mom?” And if it’s on TV? It’s legit man—it’s ‘fer real.

I’ve told Boy that when we’re gone, Draggy comes to life and flies around the house taunting and playing with Puss like the naughty, great magpie he is. “And,” I’ve told him, “When you’re asleep? Both Draggy and I fly around the house together, chasing away bats and eating spiders.”

At first, he scoffed and refused to even discuss it.

Draggy isn’t REAL! And MOMS CAN’T FLY!

But so adamant and steadfast was I in my rebuttal, that I now believe he’s at least open to the possibility.

It occurs to me that it’s wrong to fuck with him this way. But I ask you. What’s the point in harboring and so carefully tending such a colorful band of brothers if you’re not going to apply at least some imagination to the practice? And besides, how is a flying mother any worse a fantasy than all that Santa crap we shove down their throats?

1 comment:

Jilly Baby said...

My 6 year old niece has this jet black cuddly teddy bear that she has named "Chalky". She assures us that it's because he's chocolate coloured (thus would be spelled Choccy) but I'm just not so sure!

We've yet to broach the delicate subject of political correctness. She's only 6 after all.