Most kids have a blanket. Or a teddy bear. Some breed of "lovie" that gets them through tough times and accompanies them to bed each night. We've never been against this concept, and have actually provided a handful of such "traditional" lovies as options over the last 27 months. But Colt's never seemed interested to the point of lovie status. A month ago, when he moved up into the 2 year old class at daycare, he remained the only kid in his class that doesn't have a favorite blanket or stuffed animal in his cubby for naptime.
But last week, he introduced us to a new friend.
Her name is Baby. "My Baby" to be exact. And those two are just like peas and carrots.
She's all of about 2 1/2 inches tall — JUST the right size for the clenched fist of a 2 year old. And she doesn't miss out on much. My Baby and Colt eat breakfast together and he pretends to feed her Cheerios, then she waits patiently on the bathroom counter for him while he takes his shower in the morning — Mama draws the line at toddler co-ed showers. They play together and ride to school together, and each time I've poked my head through the door to pick him up from school this week he has been playing with various things, but – without fail – one hand was always loyally clutching My Baby.
I've tried to talk him into letting My Baby "go night night" at school. Not having it. I've tried to convince him that My Baby prefers to spend her evenings with all the other Little People, in the barn or on the school bus. Nuh uh. So she gets into the car with us and typically takes at least a few tumbles down into the floorboards on the way home from school.
Once we get home My Baby helps Colt with whatever he has on his little schedule that day. Tuesday, it was mowing the lawn. If you look carefully, you'll notice My Baby was accompanied by a yellow golf ball that particular day.
Everything seems just THAT much trickier when one hand is occupied by a pocket-sized Asian girl with a cuddly animal under each arm. But he manages.
They're rarely separated, but Colt does get distracted from time to time and we seize the opportunity to hold My Baby for ransom. Nothing that mean, actually. Jeff will "hide" My Baby in plain sight someplace in the house that Colt is sure to eventually spot her. Like the back of the couch, for example. He'll be playing Legos, and My Baby will be out of sight, out of mind. But there is never any doubt the EXACT moment he gets a glimpse of her. "MY BABY!"
At bedtime, My Baby stands by while the little guy brushes his teeth and gets his jammies. Then Colt juggles a sippy cup, his loved-on copy of Goodnight Moon, and My Baby on the way to bed. Giving Paw a night-night fist bump is getting tough these days as Colt tries to shift things around to have a free hand. Being 2 is so hard.
Colt sweetly puts My Baby in his bed before he climbs into my lap for some Itsy Bitsy Spider. He lays her down on his blankets and tells her "night night", patting her on the back. And now each night when I lay him down and give him a kiss, I also kiss My Baby and then they snuggle down for the night. In fact, I had to sneak in there with a flashlight after Colt was asleep so I could get My Baby and take her picture for you. And finding her in his nest of a crib is not easy – especially in the dark.
Turns out, My Baby hails from a perfectly diverse little cast of characters. I looked her up. And her birth name is actually Sonya Lee. I'm not making this up. I found the following on Fisher-Price.com:
She may look innocent, but her 2-inch-tall, hard plastic likeness doubles as toddler brass knuckles.
It could be worse, right? My Baby could have batteries. Or require machine washing. Or pose a choking hazard. Yep. I'm cool with My Baby. She came quickly into our lives and I suspect she will exit just as quickly one of these days, but for now she's more than welcome to kick off those Mary Janes and stay awhile.