Tuesday, December 30, 2008

The "Aminals" Fireside Chat

Life as I know it would end. The planet would implode. And my time here on earth would be comparable to any level of hell in Dante's Inferno. That is, of course, without the presence of some very, very essential members of my extended family unit. These special individuals, these inanimate, cotton stuffed, faux-fur wearing saviors are the toy animals that my kids cherish with a bond that was established in their earliest days on the earth. Additionally, each of my children possess a blanket(s) that they love probably more than me. I willfully encouraged my children's dependence and attachment to their stuffed animals and blankets so they would sleep better. After all, I was a blanket toting toddler too and one must have something with which to brave the night alone.

However, now I pay the price.

The stuffed animals and the kids plush Koala brand blankets are night time comfort surrogates. As all parents know, the love and degree of affection for these creatures extends beyond bedtime.

I can be heard saying repeatedly through out the day, "Bun-Bun can NOT go out side!" or roaring, "PUT YOUR BLANKET'S AWAY!!!" You see, the kids sneak their "special things" when I am not paying attention.

There are code words for the blankets too. My children refer to them as my "B" when speaking in the singular, or my "B-B's" when whining in the plural form. For Wyatt, my needy son, has two blankets while his sister has just one.

When used in a sentence Wyatt says, "I want my B-B's," which I heard at least one million times a day when he was younger. Currently, Ella resorts to chanting like she's in a cult induced trance, "Bee-Bee, Bunny, Bee-Bee, Bunny, Bee-Bee, Bunny..." until I relent and give her the blanket and her bunny, or alternately, I go running out of the house screaming like a crazed circus freak.

Here is Ella and her "Bun-Bun." She clutches her bunny like a woman in a subway with a bag of diamonds in her purse and a machine gun under her trench coat. She means business. If any attempt to remove Bun-Bun occurs before an adequate "wake up" state is achieved, the screeching that ensues is enough to make my ears hemorrhage for a week. After Ella overcomes sleep inertia, I can negotiate the release of the hostage and put Bun-Bun back into her crib.

Wyatt Linus from Charlie Brown often drags his blanket across the floor while meandering around the house after a nap. He actually manages to pull his blanket over the filthiest place in the entire house, the front door entry mat, at least once a day. My son's name really should have been pig pen. I am certain that he does this on purpose to torment me. He is perfecting how to make the women in his life crazy in the BAD way at an early age.

The children's addiction to snuggling their animals or blankets is kept under control only through my strict enforcement of the no "B" zone during certain times of the day. After overcoming their sleep inertia and drinking their milk, I round up the critters and blankets and put them in the kids beds. If the cuddly things come out again, then "they" go into the tall, tall cabinet in the hallway. This generally results in much shrieking, hysteria, or tears by the child perpetrator, but it is a necessary regulatory action to maintain some degree of control in my household. On such occasions that her beloved Bun-Bun is taken away, Ella will stomp around yelling, "MAD, MAD, MAD," then mumble incoherently to herself about the injustice of it all. Poor baby. NOT!

Sometimes dramatic break out schemes are devised by Wyatt who will be found scaffolding the shelves in the cabinet to rescue his B's. Actually, there have been occasions that he has become stuck like a cat in a tree and can't manage to back down. As he clutches his blanket and screams for help I ignore him until the tear begin. Since I am a Mommy sadist, I like to let him dangle since all is fair in the war of the blankets.

Cousin Trevor, who lives next door, also has his favorite "Doggie" who has many stitches showing the signs of wear on his deteriorating body. He has been loved so much, his fabric skin is dangerously thin and one of these days I think Doggie will just disintegrate. Complete pandemonium breaks out when Doggie goes missing and everything short of calling the National Guard occurs until he is recovered. I bet this has happened in everyones house at one time or another.

Wyatt's best loved stuffed animals are a platypus and California condor. There is a small pig that gets into the rotation, but "Clarence" is really only used when the other two go missing. The condor was a gift from a family friend and the platypus was abducted from his cousin. I am guessing his strange penchant to an American endangered species and a rare Australian marsupial is to be expected with me as his mom. His prenatal exposure to environmental consulting and native rare plant and animal surveys influenced him toward those specific animals.

I often imagine that the "aminals," as Wyatt still says, commiserate with each other when they are off duty. They heartily enjoy a little time in front of the fire, and get a chance to chat unmolested. I can tell by looking at their shiny beady eyes that the following conversation is on a repeating loop between "Perry" the platypus and the condor.

Here is my son Wyatt in action with his condor. As Wyatt was stuffing the condor's ass in his face he told me, "Mom, condors have stinky butts." Such an astute observation and basic logic from a four year old is not often found.

"Ya think?" was my typical sarcastic response to him, which actually left him smiling.

Then I imagine that Wyatt's pig and Trevor's doggie have a few Zen like words between each other such as:

Doggie is down to a canvas like material. He's resembling a Chinese Crested more and more, although slightly smellier and uglier. And in this photo with Trevor lovin' on Doggie (below) note the "bad" end of the stuffed animal is in the kid's nose. Trevor likes to rub the tag back and forth across his mouth and lower nostrils. I can only shake my head in bewilderment. Since both cousins have a hankering for the back end of their stuffed animals and I must blame it on genetics since they are related after all...

Finally, here is my blanket that my Grandmother made me when I was a toddler. Apparently I used to eat my blanket when I was a baby and my Mom had trouble in my diaper. There are those things I don't need to know, thanks MOM, but that I am willing to share anyway...

Finally, I want to give a shout out to all the blanket babies, dolly loving kids and binkey toting toddlers since without them and their favorite things what would we do??


Mountain Woman said...

I enjoyed reading the story of the beloved blankets and stuffed animals. It takes me back to the days many years ago when my son would haul around his favorite blanket. Those days pass so quickly.
Loved the captions to the pictures.

Liza said...

hi julia!

i wish you and your family a blessed new year. take care.

have a blessed new year!

Suzi said...

The loving of the "heinies" must run in the family. Loved the fireside chats.

Yaya said...

That is SO cute!
My kids I nanny for are total Lovee lovers too! The boy calls his the 'silky blanket that I snorf on' while the 2-yr-old calls hers her 'Bubee'.

I LOVE how babies choose their own Lovee's and name it all on their own!

Thanks for the answer to my crib mattress question! Can't even tell you how many nights I've been thinking about that, for no reason!

Carolyn @ momsontheedge said...

My daughter also has blankies (plural - like Wyatt she has two) without which our family could not survive. I honestly don't know what we'd do without them!

And I also have an old blankie that my grandma gave me and that I tore to shreds as a kid. I still can't bear to part with it, so I guess I can't blame Maddie for her blankie addiction! :)

Cute pics!!

Emma said...

Great post! love the photos and their captions! Happy new year!

Emma said...

Yes they will be, they are lovely aprons! do you have your own horse? Gem is a RAQH (pretty easy to tell from the photo) riding seems to be the best escape at the moment.

blueviolet said...

I loved this. My oldest is 20 now and she still loves her blankie.

Happy New Year!

EL said...

I had a blanket that i couldn't let go either... it had a silky edging that i would rub my fingers across when i was going to sleep. It shrank by about 1/3 when my first girl cousin was born. I told my mom she needed some of a 'good blanket' and i took the scissors to the darn thing. worried my mom to death b/c she was sure that night i would be in tears, regretting my gift to her. But nope. i didn't, shockingly! and now with abram, i'm wanting him to have a special 'thing' like a quilt my mom made him or even his little doggie, that looks much like ella's bun bun. but right now he just chews on everything so - well just have to wait and see:)

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