Sunday, January 28, 2007

How to make yourself feel like the worst parent EVER

On the day Elise was born, that wonderful, blessed day, she was given a small stuffed lamb. I loved it immediately. I'm not sure if that is because it is actually adorable - I think it is - or because in my euphoric, new mother, drugged state of mind, I loved everything. Regardless, the lamb - "Lambie" (original, eh?) - won me over immediately.

Elise loves stuffed animals. She has about twenty of them. A few days ago she opened a package to find a new stuffed puppy inside, and she actually squealed in delight. But Lambie is special. Lambie goes everywhere with Elise. The other animals are played with and hugged and are sometimes privileged enough to share a car ride or a nap with Elise. But Lambie is always there. Which is why we took him with us when we went to Portland this weekend. Which is where he still is. That's right. See, Lambie is such a constant companion to Elise that he did not get packed into the car this morning along with everything else, because Elise was holding him while the car was being packed. Somehow, though, while the goodbyes were being said, Elise dropped Lambie, and we drove back to Seattle without him. We knew that this wasn't good, but we didn't think it was quite this bad.

When I put Elise to bed tonight, she immediately sat up and looked on either side of herself. Then she went down the entire line of animals that live in her crib, picked up each and every one of them, and looked beneath them. She scooted down to the end of the crib and picked up the folded blankets, looking under them. She looked under the little pillow. I knew that she was looking for Lambie, but I didn't say anything. She then crawled back to the head of the crib and peered down through the crack between the mattress and the frame. I let her look for a minute, and then I said, "Okay, Elise, it's time to lay down". She scooted back to the middle of the crib, looked up at me, and said, "Mammy?" (which is how she says "Lambie"). My heart melted. I didn't know what to do. She was not upset, just curious and looking for her friend. She repeated, "Mammy? Mammy?" I said, "Oh, honey, Lambie's not here right now." Her response? "Mammy, peez. Peez. Peez." She has just recently learned that she will not get what she wants without saying "Please" ("peez"). (We're still working on understanding that saying "please" does not automatically entitle her to the requested object.)

Elise's sweet little spirit shone through when she stopped looking for Lambie and calmly laid down. I sang our usual bedtime song, tucked her in, and left, and she went to sleep as usual. I was glad that she did not have any trouble falling asleep without Lambie - I don't want her to be that dependent on a stuffed animal. I know that a few nights without Lambie will not hurt Elise in the slightest. But it sure made me feel terrible! When I relayed the story to Andy, he immediately went online and found a store that sells Lambie. I had to talk him out of buying one and having it shipped overnight. My sister will be here on Friday and will bring Lambie with her. I think we can make it until then.

I hope so, anyway.


Bob said...

Maybe she's just a big fan of Al Jolson?

Holly said...

Wow...great referencing!