Friday, June 10, 2011

A Few of Our Favorite Things

Other than my family, there are very few things I can’t live without.  (Let’s pause for a moment as Joel laughs somewhere off in the distance.  You done, honey?  Okay, let’s proceed.)  Sure, there are things I depend on, like my phone or my morning caffeine, and there are most definitely things I enjoy (like this blog and soaking in the tub) but when it comes to what I feel I need to survive, the list is pretty short.

If you asked this of my boys, I think you would get a very different answer.  (That is especially true of Graham, as the answer you’d get from him would sound more like “heh” than any distinguishable word.)  I'm not surprised that they have grown attached to things, as that seems to be their nature, but I am surprised that their reliance on certain items borders on obsessive. 

Take, for example, the stuffed “friends” that I chose randomly from a pile and so lovingly provided upon their birth.  For Cael it was Bloose, who swiftly became his first love.  Cael drags his poor blue moose (get it?  “blue” + “moose” = Bloose) around the house and treats him like a glorified crash test dummy all day. 

“Want to ride in my truck, Bloose?”  “Let me take you for a piggy-back ride, Bloose!”  “I’m gonna throw you by your ear, Bloose!”  “Do you pee through your tail, Bloose?”

Bloose has gone through the wash, been dumped in the trash, accompanied us on trips and to the doctor, been peed on, thrown up on and in general, loved hard.  One mention of a night without Bloose’s company instills a fear in my son more traumatizing than a world without baseball. 

Graham, being different as he is, has an alternative approach to his puppy friend, Barker.  Graham is a gentle kid, so Barker gets snuggled, tucked under blankets and kissed repeatedly throughout the day.  But then occasionally I will catch Graham in the act of some assault on his poor friend, like trying to lynch him or surgically remove his eyes with a small piece of uncooked macaroni he’s found on the floor.  I’m not really sure how to interpret this behavior—do I chalk it up to his way of taking out aggression that he can’t direct toward Cael, or should I be locking my door at night?  Will he snap one of these days?  I can imagine Graham’s tiny little feet hobbling to my room during the night to beat me senseless with a soft-soled shoe.  I think I should invest in a baby-proofed padlock or even more effective, I could just dangle a pair of nail clippers in front of the door.  That oughta keep him out.

Okay, maybe not.  But he is very reliant on Barker nonetheless.  I have back-up clones of each of their friends, but given the amount of love and “affection” each has received, they look like drug-addicted and malnourished shadows of their former selves and I fear a switch-a-roo at this point would not go unnoticed.

But what other items are must-have for my maniacal sons?  Although Cael has outgrown it and Graham can’t yet navigate it, our Cozy Coupe is still an essential item.  It is the first thing to be pulled out each morning, the last thing to be put away and is without a doubt the single most argument-inducing item in our home.  So why keep it there when it is such a source of strife?  That’s easy—because I’m a glutton for punishment--err, a Mommy.

And while I might not really dig the added hassles/aggravations/dirty diapers each day, I am willing to put up with all of it and more for those few moments of pure, oozing silliness that come when two boys decide to give each other rides to the grocery store and return home with items like “tomato milk” or “blue apples”, or like last fall when a plastic car got turned upside down and magically became an orange hand-crank ice-cream maker straight out of the 1960’s.  Where did this kid come from, anyway?

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