Leave It

Vegas, I know you’re going to blame me when all you have to play with is a few sticks and one dried cat poo (baseball, baby, you can work it out).   After all, I blamed my own mom for this very problem.   We had sand.  A small metal cup.  Varnished wooden blocks cut from spare two by fours.  Water, a paintbrush and rocks for drawing on the pavement.  Very, very occasionally, finger paints or play dough made at home.  Bubbles.   And yes, the aforementioned sticks.  The only dolls I had were the on-the-shelf sort and I didn’t get a proper stuffed animal until I was in the double digits.   I did have a blanket to suck on, that’s something.

I’m not trying to get your sympathy, child, but I am telling you what your baseline is.  While I was painting concrete with the water in my metal cup and crawling through bushes for entertainment, your mother was trading with her friends for their little boy belts and ties.  You’re not getting any pity from us.  That might have sounded a little harsh, like I don’t plan to buy you adorable soft things and tiny guitars.   I will.  Grandma might not (no, seriously, stop hoping) but your mother and I want you to have more to play with than the compost and the mole holes.  Unfortunately, the dog has other ideas.

Vegas, we’ll probably never remember to tell you these stories. The bits and pieces of your incubation – how we were terrified of childbirth classes but not of childbirth, how we first refused to have a shower and then had to go out and buy more thank you notes, how we danced in the kitchen on the good days, singing to songs we picked just for you.  But, there’s one story we won’t have to tell you because it will play out every christmas and birthday.  The title of the story is LEAVE IT and the star character is your dog, Moses.

Here is how it goes: We have been writing dozens of thank you notes.   And since I’m a visual person, I need to see each of those gifts pulled from their gift bags and associated with a name in order to write a lovely note.  And of course, I love to ooh and ahh over the pretties our friends have given you.  As your lovely little cheeks are about to find out, everything that comes into the house gets gently inspected by Moses…with his tongue.  If it’s soft, if it even suggests a stuffed animal or a squirrel, there’s more than an inspection, there is some hard sniffing, absentminded snortling and a stealthy attempt to sneak it out of the bag.  And as you’ll see, everyone gave you lovely, soft things (some of which resemble squirrels) and oh boy, do we have a problem on our hands.  Vegas, you’ll be lucky if we can get the dog to LEAVE IT before you get here.  But you’re not that lucky child, no one is.   So instead of the vacuum, or white noise, you’re going to fall asleep to LEAVE IT MOSES. MOSES, LEAVE IT. DAMMIT MOSES LEAVE IT LEAVE IT.

Hand-crocheted blankets, teensy soft wash clothes, a stuffed cow from Doha, a too-velvety dog, every.single.outfit, towels, knitted caps, teething rings, pacifiers. All of them. LEAVE IT! I’m afraid we’re going to lose this battle, baby. But as long as you don’t mind LEAVE IT LEAVE IT LEAVE IT you should be okay.

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3 Responses

  1. Wow does this sound like a discussion we will be having sometime down the road… as it is our pup Luna who must lick everything that comes into our home also… Including quests. We use the only phrase that has meaning to her “out of the kitchen”. Sometimes it works while other times it doesn’t. Lately we’ve taken to just sheepishly explaining that our Luna likes to give toe and calf kisses… Isn’t it sweet? Speaking of sweet… What a wonderfully sweet and touching letter.

  2. I am in love with this post.

  3. I love this letter. And I’m more than half afraid our child’s first sentence will be “Dammit, Skippito, I said *stop* that!”

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