A few weeks back I was racking my brain trying to come up with a small, inexpensive, nonplastic yet meaningful gift for the Cracker. The last thing he needs is anything more in his toy room, yet he is my baby and dammit I want to get him *something* for Christmas. Finally inspiration struck: a friend for Not-Bob!
(The only thing we planned on getting him was his very own copy of the controversial and banned And Tango Makes Three which I'm pretty sure won't be at our local library. And before you warn us of it's hidden political agenda that's the reason we're buying it.)
For those of you who haven't met him, Not-Bob is a stuffed horse I casually picked when we were visiting Colorado back when the Cracker was a mere 3 months old that has become the Cracker's constant companion. Specifically he's his fav-o-wit "bed fwend" which is what the Cracker has named all the stuffed animals he likes to sleep with. (Seriously, his idea, not ours, but it gives us a good chuckle.)
As far as the origin of the name Not-Bob, after dozens of nope-try-again-Moms I suggested Bob. Shaking his head in you-are-such-an-idiot disgust he informed me "No Mom! Bahb is not a horse! Bahb is a BUILDER!" But Not-Bob? Now that was a hilarious and perfect name in his humble opinion.
Insanely pleased with myself for coming up with the perfect gift, I took off the next day while the Cracker was in school to find a friend in town. (Must have instant gratification. And I don't want to pay shipping.) But to be just right, it couldn't be just any old stuffed horse, it had to be the same company, the same model. We need soft, and we need washable.
Ahh...the thrill of the chase! Just as I was getting started my mom called. When I told her about my quest she reminded me that they sell them at Barnes & Noble. Jackpot! Before I picked him up from school I had found a full-size friend at B&N and a mini-sized friend at our only locally owned toy store. Woo hoo! A family, and for just $14!
But, of course, it was bound to get out of hand. Nothing is ever simple when it comes to my mom and I, but luckily for me my intown shopping resources are very limited. My mom, however, just outside of San Francisco, could simply not help herself and bought two full-sized friends the same day. (No, she doesn't need a life...she has one: buying toys for the Cracker.) But before she could tell me, I was at home on the net where I was searching for more mini horses. Babies! Gotsta have at least one more baby! (And besides, they are only $5.99 = pretty harmless.) And of course I immediately fell in love with this little guy from Not-Bob's former home who we will eventually have to have. The but is that my itchy credit card finger refuses to pay $6.95 shipping (at least for now) for a $5.99 horse that weighs just ounces. And to justify it I start to think that maybe I should just buy two. This guy is awfully cute too, and the Cracker will delight in telling us over and over how he's a horse that looks like a cow, just like our neighbor's black and white spotted cat.
(Small inexpensive token is becoming collector status. But I've been good, so far.)
So I'm resisting and I'm resisting and I am actually able to keep a Christmas surprise a secret for once. (Other secrets = no problem. But if I have a Christmas gift that I am excited to give you? Really bad track record.) (And that would be my mom's fault. My paternal grandmother would send me my gift and my mother would encourage me to carefully slice the tape and open it the second I got home from school. Then she'd retape and remind me to act surprised in front of my Dad, who is no dummy but knew there was no stopping her.)
And then last night, right before bed, a sick little Cracker barfed. And because he was sick and sad and pathetic he had was clutching his best bud ever so tightly when it happened...
Not-Bob was sporting really stinky vomit.
Now really, what was I to do? It was late! And he was sick! And just as much as he needed to go to bed, Not-Bob need a bath or two or three. So I reached into the stash.
"I want Not-Bob!"
"I know you do honey, but he is sick too and he really needs a bath. But before he went into the washing machine he asked if you could do him a favor."
That stopped the crying. "Huh?"
"Not-Bob asked for your help."
"Not-Bob is not a weal horse. He's PRETEND. Oh, and horses don't talk. Horses NEIGH."
Stop being so damn smart and logical and go with me here. "He has a new friend who is very lonely and scared of the dark. Do you think you could let him sleep with you tonight?"
"Not-Bob has a fwend!"
"Of course he does! Would you like to meet him?"
And just as I'd hoped, the Cracker was instantly attached.
"He needs a name you know. Can you think of a good name for him?"
"Okay, well, ummm...how about Charlie?"
"Chaw-wie? Chaw-wie! Yes! I love it!"
So without further ado I present you with Charlie
(And his still-a-secret posse)
The Cracker has now decided he wants more friends for Not-Bob and Charlie.
"Honey, we don't have anymore. Only one friend came to visit." (Hehehe!)
"Dats okay Mommy. I tell San O Cause, and San O Cause will come down! down! down! the fi-place and bwing Not-Bob and Chaw-wie more horse fwends. And San O Cause will eat cookies I make for him and Not-Bob and his lots of fwends will eat hay and apples. Oh, and cawwots too."
Damn I'm having fun.