We returned home to Pennsylvania this afternoon after being away for the Passover holiday. On the way from my in-laws’ house to my parents’ house, we received this from Linda, my mother-in-law:
Oh. My. G-d.
The dog she was referring to is Muttsy, which is one of four stuffed animals Ari sleeps with in his crib each night. However, Muttsy the Dog is the one he cuddles underneath his arm when he goes to bed. It’s always Muttsy under his arm.
Thankfully, Ari was fine without Muttsy during his stay at my parents’ house. He happily slept with a stuffed Panda that was mine as a child.
However, when it came time to put Ari down for a nap this afternoon — at home — the first thing he said as I carried him over to his crib was “Dog!”
“Why don’t you sleep with Ducky? Or Lion? Or Giraffe!” I offered.
Kiddo, I thought, your dog is in Connecticut and won’t be here until your grandparents come in two weeks.
But then another thought came to mind. Isabelle has the same dog! What if I gave Ari Isabelle’s Muttsy?!?!? It’s worth a try!
Years ago, my parents purchased three stuffed Muttsy dogs from FAO Schwarz and had them wrapped up for their future grandchildren. They gave the first one to Isabelle on her first birthday. They gave Ari his Muttsy on his first birthday. (And the third one went to a friend’s baby recently since I am not having any more children!) Isabelle never took to Muttsy the way Ari did so her Muttsy looks brand new despite being out of the box for six years since it spends most of its days inside a drawer in her playroom.
I dashed downstairs and started looking through the playroom bins without asking Isabelle for permission. (Because all I needed was for her to get possessive over a stuffed animal she never plays with.) After about two minutes, I found Isabelle’s Muttsy. I gave it the once-over and brought it upstairs. He will never know, I thought.
And quite frankly, I don’t think he did. But it was also in the way I sold it when I walked into his room. “Look who I found!” I announced.
“Dog!” Ari grinned. He grabbed the dog from me, tucked it under his left arm, and said, “Night-night!”
I have a feeling we’re going to survive the next two weeks.