Saturday, October 12, 2013

My Other Other Child is Also a Monkey

I wrote a blog entry about a week and a half ago about my “other” child, a sock monkey named E.E., who had become my daughter’s “lovey,” and whom I had to keep track of as carefully as I would another child to avoid breaking her heart if E.E. should ever go astray. Well, wouldn’t you know that a few days later, E.E. somehow managed to acquire a “lovey” of his own, a little pink sock monkey that my daughter dubbed “Pinkie.” (Well, she actually named her “Pink,” but my husband was really bothered by that name for some reason and convinced her to change it to “Pinkie.” Because that’s more creative. Or something. Hey, as long as husband, daughter, and monkey are all happy about it, so am I.)

So now I have another other child to keep track of at all times.

Now, instead of asking “Where’s E.E?” all the time, my daughter asks, “Where’s E.E. and Pinkie?” all the time. And now, instead of her doing things twice as slowly because one of her hands is busy holding E.E., she does things four or five times as slowly because she’s trying to juggle both E.E. and Pinkie at all times. She wants to be carried down the stairs every morning because she doesn’t have a free hand to hold the railing. It takes longer to buckle her into her car seat because she needs to carefully transfer both monkeys from hand to hand in order to slip her arms through the harness. Ditto for putting on a shirt or jacket. And eating, as you can see from the photo above, is a much more complicated – and time-consuming – and messy – business when done with two monkeys clutched firmly in her arms.

But there are also advantages to double monkeys. With both her hands occupied, the chances of her getting her hands on an unattended crayon or ballpoint pen or magic marker are significantly lessened. She has less ability to resist when I pick her up against her will for fear of dropping a monkey. She is more likely to keep herself entertained by making her monkeys dance together (their favorite is the cha-cha, which for some unknown reason is danced to the rhythm, “one, two, cha-cha, four, five, cha-cha;” I’m still not sure where the missing cha’s and the third beat went – sorry Bammy and Aunt Holly!), or have conversations, or hug and kiss each other. But best of all, double monkeys means that when one of the monkeys is banished to the washing machine (as is almost always necessary following any meal involving maple syrup, ketchup, jelly, or marinara, which includes about 80% of all meals served in our home), the other can stay with my daughter. While this is not completely an acceptable situation in my daughter’s eyes, it’s a great improvement over having no monkey at all until the washing machine cycle is complete (I don’t even bother with the dryer; damp monkey is better than no monkey, in her opinion).

So now every time we get in the car – or out of the car – I make sure I count 4 noses, 2 kids and 2 monkeys. When we leave the playground, I make sure I have 2 kids and 2 monkeys. I check at least once per aisle in the grocery store to be sure I still have 2 kids and 2 monkeys present and accounted for.

But to be perfectly honest, I really don’t mind that much. I’m just glad that my daughter has such pleasant and well-mannered friends.

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