CJDaily's Blog

August 31, 2010

The Walrus Hunt.

Filed under: Uncategorized — cjdaily @ 9:40 pm

I finally have it.  Incontrovertible proof that my 2-year-old is trying to drive me insane.  Ladies and gentlemen of the internet, I give you Exhibit A:  The Walrus.

There is a stuffed animal, a battered pink walrus less than a foot high that is the most recent recipient of Annabelle’s unswerving love and devotion.  (Until she finds a new animal to drag everywhere for a few months.)  This walrus is named Walri.  Or possibly Walry.  He hasn’t told me how he prefers it.  But he belonged to my sister when she was young, and let me just inform you now that she was in possession of several other stuffed animals named Beary, Sealy, Lamby, etc.  Inspired, I know.  Who would have thought this child with such a desperate lack of imagination would go on to hold a degree in medicine?  I can tease her only because she’s now making six-figures while I’m pecking away at my computer, raving about pink walruses. 

Anyway.  Belle likes Walri.  (I prefer the spelling with an “i”, like the French spelling of Henri.  Perhaps the walrus is French as well, which would explain why he is so damn difficult.)  And consequently, she wants to sleep with Walri in her bed at night.  But since she also insists on having him everywhere else as well (attending her bathtime, watching her eat breakfast, etc.) he is never in the same place.  And every night for the past 2 weeks, just as I am tucking her in with her former and now demoted best friends, she imperiously demands the walrus.  She is surrounded by animals and dolls that she will not let me remove from the bed, yet who are no longer A-list friends.  Therefore her bed is starting to look like the Island of Misfit Toys, including 3 different bears, 4 Barbie dolls, an elephant, an owl, a pig, and a baby-doll.  Yet she will not let me close the door and leave until I have tucked Walri in beside her.

Which leads to my nightly exercise, The Walrus Hunt.  I check under her bed, the perimeters of her room, leave her room and do sweeps of the surrounding rooms, then gallop down the stairs and starts tossing sofa cushions about and cursing the tiny walrus’ existence.  He has never, and I mean never been in the same place twice.  I simply don’t know how she does it.  She carries him around all evening and then half an hour before bed she stashes him someplace new.  Yesterday he was under her step-stool in the bathroom.  The night before that he was under the living room couch.  He’s been found under the kitchen table, on the dresser, in desk drawers, and up lamp-shades. 

There have been several times I’ve told myself, through clenched teeth, that I was going to install a GPS in the walrus, but that would probably be the quickest way for Belle to lose interest in him, and move on to another toy without satellite coverage.

But tonight, my friends, I got smart.  Oh how smart I was!  While Belle was saying goodnight to her Boppies (grandparents) I seemed to recall seeing Walri in the den an hour beforehand.  I went and gave the room a good search, and lo and behold!  I found him tucked under a blanket on the futon!  So I chucked him in Belle’s bed, feeling pretty satisfied that for the first time in 2 weeks I would not have to do a walrus hunt before bed.  I thought Belle would appreciate me being able to hand her her friend the minute she asked for him, but when she made the familiar request and I immediately pulled him out from under her blanket, her eyes widened like I’d handed her a rattlesnake.

“Nooooo!” she howled!  “Go GET him!”

Aha!  AHA!!!  Proof, my friends, that my child really wants me to lose my mind hunting in vain for a pink tusked animal!  I was so shocked at her devious plan that I openly choked on my indignation. 

“I am not hunting for somebody I am holding in my hand!”

“Noooooo!  Go geeeeeeeeeeeeet him!”

“Oh heck no, you’ve got to be kidding me!  Take him or I take him away and sleep with him myself!”

Well that stopped her like I’d hit a mute button.  Sweetly she reached up, took her walrus, snugged him against her, and closed her eyes.  I kissed her goodnight and retreated, shutting the door behind me. 

Tomorrow I’m hiding the walrus myself.  In the oven.

August 18, 2010

A dragon is just one more person in search of a friend…

Filed under: Uncategorized — cjdaily @ 7:32 pm

Belle officially has an imaginary friend.  Big Sam, the pink dragon.  I’m not sure where he came from, but Belle has a fascination with the dragons in 2 of her favorite movies (Enchanted and Sleeping Beauty) so that might have something to do with it.  No clue where the name came from though.  I’m guessing she hasn’t read Gone With the Wind lately, although she’s my daughter, so anything is possible.  (Big Sam is the foreman in GWTW.)  But Sam is usually present when she’s trying to distract us from something she doesn’t want to do. 

He made his first appearance last week when we were on vacation.  Jesse was trying to get Belle dressed for dinner, and she ran out of the bedroom yelling, “There’s a dragon in there!”  We quizzed her on the dragon and she told us his name was Sam, and he was eating her clothes.  Guess she figured if a dragon ate her pants she didn’t have to wear them.  Tonight she was sharing her dinner with him.  Originally he was eating her legs, which was why she wouldn’t sit still in her chair, but when I suggested he was hungry, she sat down nicely and offered him some ravioli.  He was very civil after that, and Belle actually sat and finished all of her food, after giving Sam a bite of each mouthful first.  I think I love Sam. 

In other news, we just got back from vacation in LBI.  It was a great week, aside from Jesse being a disaster magnet.  By the end of the week, he’d gotten a cold, run a fever, been stung by a wasp, and deeply gouged his elbow on a broken bottle.  By Friday afternoon I was in the Wawa buying bandages, Afrin, a bottle of disinfectant, a bottle of Tylenol, and a bottle of DayQuil.  The cashier looked at me dubiously and said, “I hope this is all precautionary!”  I had to tell her unfortunately it was not. 

But aside from that we did have a great time.  Swimming, surfing, and burying Belle in the sand were our predominant daytime activities.  Once the sun started to go down we’d come home, wash off the sand, and find something fun to do.  I regret to say I did not come home victorious over the crane games, but I found an even more fun and challenging game–looking for conch shells in the jettys in Cape May.  We went down there for the day and Jesse got me hooked.  He pulled a perfect one out from between some rocks, and I spent the next thirty minutes crawling over the rocks and trying to slither into nooks and crannies in search of more.  I was wearing an ankle length white dress, but this did not deter me from laying down on slippery rocks and scrabbling at shells wedged tightly between boulders. 

He told me that in the mornings before the tide comes in the conchs can be found just laying on the beach, but by the end of the day people have gathered them all up.  We have plans to go back again soon, and you can bet my top priority is some early morning shell collecting!  I’ve always loved digging through rocks and sand, hoping to find something cool.  I always hope while prowling through shell bits and pieces at the beach, I will find some antique ring, or lost treasure.  The closest I’ve come so far is finding what I thought was an antique chess piece by a jetty.  I gasped and lunged for it, thinking of pirate plunder, or antiques from sunken ships, but it turned out to be a black plastic army man, made in China.  I was quite crestfallen.  Jesse laughed at me, knowing exactly what I’d been hoping.  I tell you, I mock those crazies on the beach with the metal detectors and mesh shovels, but if they were ever to actually find anything while I was around I would be so jealous.  I”m not sure if they ever find anything other than people’s lost car keys, but if they do, I’d like a metal detector for my birthday, please.  And maybe a wig and false nose to disguise my plunge into total loserdom.

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