Monday, March 03, 2008

My butterfly

Zoe has developed favorites among her animals. She calls them her "babies" and carries them around, and they get special kisses at night before bed. Sometimes they go to Grandma Carol's with her and get carried around there, then brought home again at night. She's a very good little mother.

Her current babies are Hoot (of course, he's the standard baby), Heart (a little beanbag heart from V-Day that Papa Ray and Grandma Judy gave her), Butterfly (a stuffed butterfly from God knows where) and Other Butterfly (a smaller butterfly that's a wrist rattle from when she was a tiny baby when, ironically, she wanted nothing to do with it).

For the last week or so, Hoot, Heart, Butterfly and Other Butterfly have gone just about everywhere with the child. She fills up her little arms with all her babies and off she goes.

Then, last Tuesday night, tragedy struck. Other Butterfly was inadvertently misplaced. I knew it was in the house somewhere, and likely in the library, but it was already bedtime and Mommy was single-parenting it that week and has become very, very good in the art of deflection. "Mommy doesn't know where Other Butterfly is. Other Butterfly is hiding. Look! Let's read your favorite book! It's Corduroy!" We went to bed with 3 of our 4 babies' whereabouts known and although she was concerned, it wasn't the end of the world. Whew, I thought. That was easy.

Then, first thing next morning: "Mommy find Other Butterfly?" Oh. Shit.

Um, no, sweetie. Mommy did not find Other Butterfly. But Mommy now knows how to calculate diluted earnings per share, so it wasn't like Mommy was sitting on her butt eating bonbons after you went to bed.

We looked again that night to no avail. Then the next night, and the next. Yikes. Other Butterfly appeared to have flown the coop.

This weekend she asked again, so we recruited Daddy to help in the search. We looked under every chair cushion and every ottoman. We dumped out the toy box. M checked her little kitchen thoroughly, and I even looked in her wee pots and pans (Hoot has wound up in a Dutch oven in the microwave before, so hey, anything is possible). We checked her bedroom and ours. Zoe even helped in the hunt, going so far as to check the Puffs box on her nightstand. No such luck. Other Butterfly was still missing.

A short while later, the search was called off and we all moved on to other things (Mommy paying bills, Daddy fixing something or other, Zoe playing). As I was sitting at the dining room table Zoe ran in, stopping as soon as she saw me. Her whole little face was beaming and she pumped her little right fist triumphantly in the air, clutching Other Butterfly:


"Oh, my goodness, Zo! That's awesome! Daddy, look! Zoe found Other Butterfly!"

She danced around the dining room table, looking much like a butterfly herself.

"Zoe 'cited! Mommy 'cited! Daddy 'cited!" And it was true. We were all very excited that she finally found Other Butterfly.

"Zoe, where did you find Other Butterfly?"

"In Pooh car!"

Ah, yes. One of her favorite stash spots. Under the seat of her Winnie the Pooh car. Rookie mistake, Mommy. The Pooh car should be the first place checked. I won't make that mistake again.

Later that evening we got Zoe ready for bed. I searched the Pooh car and found Other Butterfly there again. And Hoot, Heart and Butterfly. The girl is consistent.


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