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Friday, May 05, 2006

The Taggie Book Crisis

Dear Daughter has her own version of a "woobie." It's her beloved Taggie Book. This is something we bought for Dear Daughter just before her first birthday, and it has been a permanent fixture even since. We dare not leave the house without it, and naptime and bedtime cannot occur without it.

When Dear Daughter was between 13 and 15 months of age she had a few rounds of the stomach flu and we purchased a "substitute" Taggie Book for her out of fear that she would vomit on Taggie Boook and have him left incapacitated in the clothes washer for a time. Being without Taggie Book, we knew, would be more traumatic to her than the flu itself. But by the time we offered her the substitute, she had the original Taggie Book broken in just right and would not accept the substitute. She knew which one was her true Beloved. She had gnawed on the care tags througout one of her teething spells and shredded and frayed it just so, and the pages and ribbons were already a bit dingy and a bit less fluffy due to a few trips through the washing machine. By 16 months of age, if we tried to offer her the imposter, she would flip it to the bottom and find the care tags and rub them between her chubby little fingers. If it didn't pass the test, she would let us know that under no circumstances was this an okay thing. And this remains the case today. The substitue Taggie Book still remains in nearly perfect, untouched condition, fluffy pages, brightly colored ribbon tags, and lacking the dingy look. And lacking the love and attention of her true Beloved.

Today we had a crisis with Taggie Book that I figured would happen sooner or later. While I was busy changing Dear Son's britches I also needed to get Dear Daughter ready for her nap. I sent her to the master bathroom to get her toilet seat and bring it to her Ducky bathroom in the hallway (the toilet seat makes its rounds to either upstairs bathroom depending on the particular demands of the moment). She ran after it and proudly returned (she loves having assigned tasks that allow her to show off her independence) squealing that she "did it!" Then she disappeared around the corner to put in on the toilet. I came around the corner with Dear Son and his freshly changed britches only to hear Dear Daughter wail, "Oh no! Look, Mommy!" as she pointed into the toilet. I peered into the porcelain crapper only to see Beloved Taggie Booking soaking up the water and quickly sinking. I quickly snatched him up with my mind reeling, trying not to show my own shock and dismay. It was naptime. Dear Daughter had not had a nap without Taggie Book since she was 10 months old. I laid the dripping woobie on the counter top and proceeded to help Dear Daughter with the potty duties while silently praying that the world would continue spinning in spite of the crisis at hand. Then the real shock set in for Dear Daughter. He face turned red and crumpled up and the tears started as she wailed and grieved the predicament.

I gave her the choice of napping or not, as I was not sure she would handle being "Taggie-less" for her nap. She chose to nap. I offered the imposter Taggie Book. She turned it over just like when she was 16 months old, fondled the care tags, and said, "No, Mommy! See the tags are rough!" But she managed to climb into her bed and accept a story in between whimpers of, "Taggie Book!" and I left her in her room promising to give Taggie a bath while she napped. She stayed strong, only calling me up to her room once to inquire if Taggie was done with his bath yet. When naptime was over, she was thrilled to find that Taggie was done with his bath, and he resumed his usual and customary spot tucked under her arm. Another crisis survived, and all is well again. I suspect that Taggie will receive extra careful consideration from this point forward during "potty time."

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