And now we pause for some kiddie drama.
Sophia found her box of old stuffed animals safely tucked away in the upper shelves of her closet. She dug out her most favourite toys from when she was still a toddler – Gerty the giraffe, Joey the brother of Gerty, Mr Penguino, Sleepy Bunny, Big Simba, Bambi, Heffalump and others. They were all in good condition. Smelled great. Not dusty. I kept them in a plastic box with silicone beads.
While hugging her long lost friends, she started doing a roll call. Then realized that one significant animal was missing. Chickie! Where is Chickie!
Folks, meet Chickie. She’s not actually a chick. She’s a duck. Sophia met Chickie at FAO Shwarz in New York back in 2005. It was love at first sight. The only words she could say at the store was – “Bring. Chickie. Home.” Over and over. So we did.
Chickie was happy with all the other animals in Sophia’s kingdom. Note that back then there were no sisters yet. So Soph’s world was filled with stuffed animals and dinosaurs. Everyone had a name. Then in 2010, we did a major clean up. We needed more space for the many other toys, including Lily’s and Stella’s. This was one major group that we donated. I thought 10 times before letting go. Soph said good bye to the friends. I remember that I hesitated. And in the end I took back Sleepy Bunny – because it was easier to wash (not furry) and Sleepy Bunny actually slept beside Sophia. So Chickie went to another family.
Then of course seeing Big Simba reminded her of Small Simba. She remembered this activity she had in school two years ago. They had to give up a toy they loved so they could share it with another child. I forgot the name of the process. Soph actually really chose a significant toy. She gave up this Small Simba. She learned a lot of real good lessons in this process. But once in a while it still hurts.
Tonight’s box had Mr. Penguino. We bought this at Central Park Zoo after seeing and making a connection with the penguins at the zoo. Soph took Mr. Penguino shopping at Barneys. I tried to console by saying that at least we kept Mr. Penguino even if Chickie was gone. I don’t think it worked. Haha.
We finally broke into laughter when i brought out that pink hotdog pillow from under the covers. She has had that pillow since she was 18 months. And she still sleeps with it. It has lost 85% of its filling. But she still hugs it every night. We all had a good laugh. This pillow has no name. It doesn’t come from New York or any fancy place. I bought that for 85 pesos at the nearby grocery store. It was meant to be a temporary bumper against the wall. It lasted almost a decade. And is very well loved.
Perhaps the bestest friend toy Sophia ever had was Gerty. She got Gerty as a gift from my sister Hanni and BIL Trevor. They took her to Build a Bear when she was around 2 years old. Did the whole shebang including whispering sweet nothings into his heart and stuffing it in his chest. Gerty is a boy. Gerty went everywhere we went. He even got a brother named Joey when Lily was born. It was Lily’s coming home present to her Ate Sophia.
I tucked her into bed with lots of hugs tonight. Then she says, “Mom, it’s not really about the toys. It’s about my childhood. Don’t give it all away.”
Oh my. She’s 9. My heart hurts.
Where in the world is Chickie??? Haha.