Spring, she has not sprung just yet. I’m sure our relatives and friends in the northern U.S. are faced with similar frustrations at the moment. The longer days and the date on the calendar have you itching to get out the seed catalog or the baseball mitt or the spring coat, but the conditions outside still call for two pairs of socks on your feet and a bag of kitty litter in the trunk of the car. “Man makes plans while God laughs,” someone told me once.
Bean’s never been That Kid yet on a flight, but we always like to take steps to ensure maximum compliance. At the top of the post is a picture of the goody bag I’ve assembled to amuse her while we cross the Atlantic tomorrow.
At the bottom is a picture of the only item she’ll actually care about.
Fingers crossed for happy trails….
The Internets tell me the Oscars are coming up. I have seen exactly one of the films with a nomination this year. One. Fortunately, the drama at home is of the highest quality. In fact, if you drop by at about 7:50 PM, you should catch a veritable tour-de-force of improvisational acting.
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INT. LIVING ROOM - NIGHT MUMMY finishes putting away toys and switches off the television. KIDLET looks up, alarmed, from the coloring book in which she has been dreamily scribbling. KIDLET (aghast) Wall-E! MUMMY No Wall-E. Time for bed. KIDLET Oh, no! MUMMY Oh, yes. Kidlet scrambles down from the table and runs into a far corner of the room. KIDLET (desperately) I want juice, please! MUMMY (advancing) You have juice here. KIDLET Want food! See the fishy! MUMMY (picking up a blanket) Time for bed, dear. KIDLET Change the nappy? Mummy checks for biohazards. MUMMY Nothing there. She picks up Kidlet. KIDLET Oh, dear! Go see the ducks? Please? Please?! INT. STAIRWAY - NIGHT Mummy carries a wriggling, WAILING Kidlet up. INT. BATHROOM - NIGHT Kidlet YOWLS. Mummy pastes a toothbrush and sticks it in Kidlet's hand. A moment's silence as Kidlet sucks the paste off: yum! Mummy SIGHS. INT. BEDROOM - NIGHT Mummy fishes pajamas out of a dresser. Kidlet begins desperately pulling toy food from a toy stove. KIDLET Make the food! Apple in a bow-el. Spoon in a bow-el. (holding up toy banana) Bananama! Undeterred, Mummy comes at Kidlet with the pajama shirt. KIDLET (CONT'D) No! Kidlet goes limp in the middle of the floor. Mummy pulls off Kidlet's shoes and tights. She shakes Kidlet out of her shirt. Kidlet flops back onto the hardwood, not protesting when her head connects: BONK. Mummy wrestles Kidlet's noodle limbs into the pajamas. MUMMY Bedtime, sweetie. Kidlet suddenly retracts into a fetal position. KIDLET Nooooooooo! Noooooooooooo! Mummy lifts the tiny, raging nautilus into the crib and tucks blankets around her. MUMMY Good night, cupcake. I love you. KIDLET (suddenly sunny) Goot night! Sleep a tight! Ha ha! Mummy SIGHS. She turns on the night light and goes out.
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The lamentations and wailing in this house are at a fever pitch. I’m pretty sure you could hear it from Cofton Park, a miserable wail carried to you on the fresh October breezes:
“Baaaaaankit, ohhhh my bankit, oh dear!”
Inside the house, Bean squats in front of the washing machine, moaning and groaning. Her racket actually manages to pierce through the sound of the machine’s 1200-rpm spin cycle. When not in total despair, she gets angry, beating the machine with a stick and a stuffed fish. You see, we are washing her blanket, and she will not rest until she can cuddle it again.
Like most toddlers, the Bean has latched on to a security object, in this case a cream-colored blanket that is fuzzy on one side, satiny on the other, and has a Pooh Bear in the center. Also like most toddlers, the Bean struggles with consonant clusters, so “blanket” is known as “Bankit” around here.
Bankit was given to us by longtime family friend Josie, who baby-sat my brother and I back when we were Bean-sized. It has been Bean’s favorite for a good year now, and only recently has become an object of anxiety as well as adoration.
She can’t go to bed without it. If she’s dozy in front of the television and too lazy to get up herself, she will shout “BANKIT! UNGH!”, and the nearest member of staff has to toss it to her. It is a cape and a peek-a-boo screen, a magic carpet and a tent.
It’s also a chew toy. Bean chomps furiously on Bankit in her rages like an Angevin king who’s having a spat with a Pope. As a result, it frequently stinks of sour milk and “Weektabeex”. So into the washer Bankit goes.