The Life and Times of Kiddie

Lisa, mom, writer, chef, photographer extraordinaire and blogmaster of one of my favorite blogs wrote so beautifully the other day about the trials and tribulations of being a Pacifier Mom. She inspired me to reflect on our own history with Items of Security.

Wonder Boy loved his pacifier and a small stuffed animal. The animal is a rabbit that he named Kiddie, and we are never allowed to call it/him either stuffed or animal. WB maintains he came upon the name given that Kiddie is his kid…his son. Both the pacifier and Kiddie were the two items that were always part of my mental grab and go in the event of emergency list in my mind when my son was little. There was a time that I thought I’d even leave my purse behind before I left those two items. I was all about the matching pacifiers to outfits so I had a ton of them, all makes and models, with their coordinating holders. I used to sterilize them every night and I always had back-ups for the back-ups. Granted, WB had a lot going on back then and the last thing I wanted to do was take away something that so clearly gave him a sense of security however, the pacifier’s time had come…and gone.

It was our beloved nanny who finally made me face the me reality when he was nearly 3 years old that it was time to say goodbye to the pacifier. She was right. In fact, she always nudged me when it was TIME….time to stop feeding him baby food, time to give up the bottle, time to potty train (or get more serious about it), time to put him to bed earlier, blah, blah, blah. She was always right (a well honed skill after having raised 3 children to adulthood herself!) and as reluctant as I was to let my baby go every single time…I thank her for being honest with me and making me THINK about it long enough to then set a plan in motion to do it. I believe it’s hard to really see things when you see them everyday. How often I hear people say, wow, he has really gotten tall…or he is so well behaved (being so used to hearing the opposite!) and then I think about that and realize myself…"you know, that’s true"

So, in the case of his pacifier…my stash began to dwindle as my son began to grow and dart from one thing to another; eventually leaving a trail of pacifiers to be found by disgusted strangers from place to place. One man’s trash is another man’s treasure and vice versa! We finally told WB that we were down to one sacred pacifier and that it was his responsibility not to lose it. He promised not to take it out of the house. That lasted a day or so. He did and he lost it. He was not happy. Neither was I because I felt so bad for his loss. I do think, however, that he was READY to let that particular item go himself. He mourned it that evening and looked for it the following morning. I quickly scooted him past the baby aisle in every drugstore and supermarket so as not to spark a flashback and within a few short days there was never any mention of a pacifier again. All was right with the world.

I do not attribute this to my prowess as a mother orsome innovative technique that was handed down from generation to generation or some magic Ronco product I found on late night TV. I attribute it to one thing and one thing only…Kiddie.

That was 7 years ago and Kiddie is going stronger than ever. He is now (according to my son) a teenager, although we are not quite sure of Kiddie's actual age (I have no idea what it would translate into in rabbit years anyway), his birthday, his country of origin or who his biological parents are. What I do know is that Kiddie is loved. He is part of our family and has traveled the world from the Italian Alps to the white sandy beaches of the Dominican Republic, he's weathered the Palm Desert humidity and seen the red rocks of Sedona with lots of trips to Florida, in between. He has been lost, found, lost and found, again. He has been squished, pulled, stitched up, and smothered with love. He has survived countless spin cycles and scorching front loader dryer heat. He has been swimming, sleigh riding, licked and hugged to death by Sweet Pea who has often tried to organize a coup and kidnap him. He has been the backseat driver in countless GI Joe vehicles on unknown missions and has occasionally borne the brunt of a wayward Nerf dart. He has traveled by plane, train and automobile. He has been to a Star Wars convention (argh..now I'm having a flashback!)and I find him in my purse when we are at dinner, church, the doctor’s office, the movies…having been strategically put there by a young man who adores him but yet is concerned with having people see him carrying Kiddie to the movies to see Iron Man.
Kiddie has even survived 3 days hanging on a tree limb in our front yard when his “Dad” ran off with the neighborhood girls in their wagon when they needed a partner in cuteness to operate their lemonade stand. Wonder Boy somehow forgot where he had left him that day. That evening, the search for Kiddie reached epic proportions. Tears and sadness only subsided for mere moments those 3 days, both his and mine! If only Kiddie would have shouted out to me that he was there in the tree that we were walking past 20 times a day. Usually you can’t get teenagers to stop talking….I wind up with one that is the strong, silent (stuffed) type!

We are embarking on Wonder Boy’s 10th birthday in a few weeks. Double Digits! I am proud to say that he will not have a pacifier in his mouth in the photos that match his outfit…thanks to a lovely lady from Trinidad who wasn’t afraid to tell me it was time.

As for Kiddie…..well, Kiddie is right where he belongs, with Wonder Boy when he needs him…in good and bad times…today, tomorrow and as long as Kiddie can manage to stick close enough to WB when he is out in the Big World as his attention drifts and its only when he gets home that he remembers where he hid Kiddie to tag along on our outings.
I know what the books say…I’ve read the articles in my subscription of Par*nts Magazine that seems to continually renew itself regardless of the fact that it takes me 3 months to find the time to get through one issue. I’ve heard the unsolicited comments by well meaning friends and family that he should really get rid of it that stuffed animal (ouch...Kiddie hates to be stereotyped!) And so, WB sneaks him into my purse or his father’s suit jacket when we go out somewhere, he signs Kiddie's name to my Mother’s Day card and Kiddie has his own Christmas stocking on the mantle. That’s why each night when I quietly make my final rounds and I see Wonder Boy and Kiddie snuggled up in bed together I kiss them both and make a little wish for each of them…one for my son who is growing so fast and who will be a teenager himself in no time…and the other for Kiddie who will always remind me of the boy who loved him and the mother who understood that despite what others may say…growing up is not always as easy as it looks and sometimes, a hug from a very special friend can make everything all better.

1 comment:

  1. What a beautiful post to your soon to be 10 year old. You seemed to capture my attention the entire time. What a wonderful writer you are!!

    Where do the horse come in? You would laugh but that is why I originally looked at your blog. My 5 year old LOVES horses.

    Have a most wonderful weekend