Tag Archives: lovies

Scene from a preschool bathroom

The girls’ room at Benjamin’s preschool is pink.  The toilets are low, requiring more concentration than I usually put into that particular activity, but the sinks are normal height.  There are stools near the sinks, usually used by three-year-olds for hand-washing, but also a lovely spot for Lilah to sit, kicking her legs and smiling, while she waits for me to pee.

As I tinkled and Lilah sat, a teacher walked in with two girls.  “Well, hello!” she exclaimed.  Lilah responded with a noise of reciprocal delight.

I zipped up and came out of the stall.  This was not one of Benjamin’s regular teachers, but she is occasionally in his classroom and knows me by sight.  She turned to Lilah.  “You must be Lucy.  Benjamin was talking a lot about you today.”

I sighed.  “No, actually, this is Lilah.  Lucy is Benjamin’s hand puppet.”

The poor teacher looked rather abashed.  “Oh, I just thought…”

“I know.  He talks about Lucy as if she were alive.  And he talks about her a heck of a lot more than he talks about his sister.  In fact, he probably would gladly trade this one in for Lucy.”  I smiled as reassuringly as I could and then led my toddler from the lavatory so we could go wait for Benjamin to come out of his classroom.  As we stood there in the hall, another teacher walked by.

“Hi, Lucy,” she sang out, patting Lilah on the head.

St. Anthony

We’re in D.C. for a few days, visiting my in-laws during the boys’ week off from school.  I had mocked the cries of anguish from the snow-locked Washingtonians till we got here and saw that things really were as desperate as everyone made it out to be.   Even after some serious melting, the roads are all narrowed by at least a lane and trucks work all day long to remove it, although heaven knows where they are putting it all.

Schools have been closed of course, but on Sunday we headed out to the school where my mother-in-law works to do a little sledding.  We tried to do some bunny slopes, but the snow was so deep that we were afraid we’d lose the boys in the drifts.  So, we went around back to the black diamond, which had been nicely packed down by the droves of children who had been sledding there all week.

Benjamin was terrified of the giant hill, and it was only with much coaxing that I convinced him to toboggan down a small slope to one side.  Zachary – small, highly sensitive Zachary – jumped on a saucer and zoomed straight down alongside his father, and by the end of the day he had several war wounds to prove his prowess.  My boys are a lesson in never assuming anything about children, because husky little Benjamin is often frightened of physical challenges, while his anxious big brother is the one standing in the water, screaming “Come on!” at the California surf.  Sledding was no different – Zachary relishes the adrenaline rush while Benjamin is more tentative.

Lucy, chickenshit that she is, did not join us for the sledding.

At the end of the day, none of us could remember if Lucy had come along to the school and watched the sledding from the car.  We did know that she had not gone on the only other outing of the day: a trip to the toy store during which the boys convinced their grandmother to buy then knight costumes.  We were reasonably sure she was somewhere in the house, although I checked the cars carefully to be sure.  Twice.

I gave up on finding her in the house last night, and this morning a new search ensued.  No Lucy.  My mother-in-law went to the school, just in case Lucy had fallen out of the car onto the parking area.  No Lucy.  We all feared the worst.

As my mother-in-law and Benjamin were headed out to the grocery, around 4:00 PM, I figured I should call the toy store to cover all our bases.

I didn’t quite know how to begin.  It feels a little silly to be calling a toy store about a toy that might have been left there, but I’ve done many worse things in my life.  “Hi.  I think my son might have left his lovey there.”

“A brown puppet?” the guy replied immediately.

“You have Lucy?!” I exclaimed.

“Hold on a second.”  I waited, my father-in-law looking on, as the guy went to check.  “Yep.  It’s here.”

“A brown dog hand puppet?  With no legs?” I asked, afraid to hope.

“Yes, that’s it.”

“You have Lucy!”

“We have Lucy!” he replied, not missing a beat.

Only when calling a toy store can a person get that worked up over locating a hand puppet.  I told him we’d be right there to get it, then called my mother-in-law to reroute her onto Rockville Pike, no place for wussies during a snowy rush hour.

As I write this, Lucy is home, tucked into bed with Benjamin and the twelve other babies.  My son is Octo-mom.

I thank you all for your good thoughts and positive vibes as we awaited her return.  But the question remains – just what was Lucy doing overnight in that toy store?  She has a new, knowing gleam in her eye and a bit of a swagger in her (legless) step.  She acts all coy and happy to be safely home, but I know those toy store puppets she was hanging out with and I am betting she was up to no good.

From now on, she’ll be staying home.  I’ve got my eye on her.

I love Lucy

Our children all have blankies, and those blankies are of our choosing.  We chose small, mass produced items, then gave them to our kids as newborns every time they nursed.  Before they were even six months old, our kids had attached firmly to these items.  Zachary has Taggie and Benjamin has Giraffie.  When I was pregnant with Lilah, Zachary decided he wanted to spend his allowance on a blankie for our new baby, and so Bunny entered our family.

Our children’s relationships with their blankies prove once and for all that arranged marriages can be highly successful.

Since we chose these blankies, we were able to ensure we have multiples.  We carefully rotate those little lovies so that all copies are equally worn in.

Once, we had three Taggies, but Zachary left one in a Denny’s somewhere between Sequoia National Park and Los Angeles.   Needless to say, we smartened up with the later children; we have four Giraffies and four Bunnies.

We have, on our bookshelf, a picture frame with three photos, one of each child around nine or so months old, sitting on the floor with a blankie in the mouth.  Actually, Lilah’s blankie is next to her mouth and she is sucking her thumb.  That’s just the nature of their relationship.

Unfortunately, we all know what happens to the best laid schemes of mice and men.  Just when we thought we had figured this lovey thing all out, in strode Lucy, a furry, legless, dog-ish puppet.  This brazen strumpet has caught Benjamin’s eye and stolen his heart.

To be fair, this is not really a love affair.  Lucy is actually one of Benjamin’s myriad babies, and she is clearly his favorite child.  This makes her technically my grand-puppet, so perhaps I ought not be calling her a strumpet.

For the last fortnight or so, Lucy has been front and center in Benjamin’s imaginative play.  She accompanies him everywhere, he prepares special meals for her, and he worries about her food allergies.  Once, he took her with him under his shirt into the powder room as he went to tinkle.  From the kitchen I heard him crooning, “Oh, Lucy, you were borned.  You really, really were borned!”  Apparently, he had gone into labor in the half bathroom.

On Friday, I convinced him to leave Lucy home from school.  I was afraid the preschool would start charging us another tuition if she participated in one more day of activities.

So, right, you know where this story is going, don’t you?  You know about the bedtime searches with him calling “Lucy!  Lucy, where are you?” as I frantically pull up sofa cushions and my husband rips open pillowcases.  You know about the cries of victory when Lucy appears and the soft comforting noises he makes to her as he cuddles her up to bed.

And you know about tonight, when no one could find her.

Somewhere – out there – Lucy is waiting, waiting for her daddy, who went to bed heartbroken without his favorite baby.  After he went to bed, I turned the house upside down, but there was no Lucy to be found.  So, I ask you, send a bit of your positive energy toward that little legless puppet tonight, so that tomorrow my boy will have his baby back.

Either that, or send me another Lucy.