Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Replacement Monks

Munchkin has a stuffed animal of a monkey that we received as a gift from one of my co-workers. He is very soft, cuddly, and Munchkin goes to sleep with him every night. If ever Munchkin is having a hard time, we can hand over Monks, and she will bury her face in him to drown her sorrows. Or maybe try to bite his face off. Or maybe just give open-mouthed kisses to. The last two are kind of hard to tell apart sometimes...

Here is a picture of Monks so you can see how cute he is (from the Jellycat Website):

I have a sneaking suspicion that Monks is going to be Munchkin's Linus blanket for the first few years of her life. If we forget Monks, it is generally a crisis and we turn back to go get him. She will go to bed without him (we tried it once), but it took quite a bit of time to convince Munchkin that everything was right in the world when he wasn't there beside her when she was laid down in her crib.

With all that said, the other night Munchkin was having a hard time falling asleep (even with Monks around). I was reading in bed and heard her start to fuss. I put down my book (even though I was at a really good part) and braved the engulfing darkness of her room. The only light that comes into that room is from the cracked door behind me because we have put a blanket over the window for the summer so that she can go to sleep in the dark--a cheaper alternative than new blinds.

As I fumbled blindly to her crib, the pull string from the ceiling fan hits me directly in the middle of the forehead. You would think that having these things for three months would teach me, but the fact that my eyes haven't adjusted yet overpower my memory of the new additions to the room.

Guided by the sound of Munchkin's voice, I bump into the crib and blindly feel for a binky and Monks. Instead of finding these items, I find Munchkin standing up in her crib, binky clenched between her teeth and Monks firmly pinched in her armpit. She reaches up for me, and my soft spot gets the better of me.

I pick her up and back up to glider rocker in her room. My eyes are starting to adjust to my dim surroundings. I cradle Munchkin in, making sure that Monks is up by her face. She encircles him with her arm, closes her eyes, and sucks with increased fervor on her binky.

I gently rock her for a moment, planning on putting her back in her crib. She shifts her weight--not to escape my clutches, but to get a bit more comfortable. As part of the shifting, I watch her push Monks away and he gently falls to my lap. Then the payoff comes.

She wraps her little arm around me.

Instead of moaning for Monks or wiggling her hand like she is revving a motorcycle, she just moves her arm to wrap around as much of my body as she can. My Achilles' heel has been punctured, and instead of putting her back into her crib, I have to sit there for a while longer and feel like Super Dad because she chose to snuggle with me over Monks. I know that Monks is the favorite, but it is good to know that once in a while, Daddy can be a Replacement Monks.


Lana said...

That brought back a lot of memories for me . . . And made me cry!

Johnny said...

Glad to know that I can still make my big sister cry. Just don't let Mark know, or I might get in trouble...