Listen closely. That’s the sound of someone gasping for breath, suffocating beneath a deluge of fuzz and fluff. A wretched soul inundated with more stuffed animals under one roof than any sane individual could reasonably imagine. A sucker for a sale on all-that-is-warm-and-fuzzy YET PROMISES NEVER TO EAT, POO or SHED. Needless to say, that someone is me.
Eternally, it seems, my brood has been consumed with faux faunae of one kind or another—mesmerized by creatures great and small, enthralled by those deemed weird and wonderful, charmed by the frighteningly fancy and the perfectly plain. That said, wooly beasts from A to Z abound in this household, atop beds and bureaus, spilling from trunks and lurking in corners, stuffed behind couches and propped up in chairs—much to my chagrin.
Translation: I’m tired of cute and cuddly—the stuffed-with-fluff blobs of whateverness that threaten to rule my world. More specifically, I’ve had enough of the dogs that howl at the moon, yap incessantly or fart on command. I’ve tolerated more than my share of earsplitting monkey shrieks, the frenzied slap of hooves on cobblestone and frog-ish croaks that sound more like a chorus of booze-inspired belches than anything. And aside from being fairly adorable and infinitely dear, those fancy-schmancy, computer savvy Whatever-kins have yet to truly wow me. Maybe it’s because I think kids should spend more time climbing trees than climbing levels online.
Yes, I kick my dear children outdoors on a regular basis and ration the time which is spent utterly fixated on the deliciousness of Poptropica and the like. Color me an ogress.
At any rate, the collective toll of all the dot-com nonsense, the pseudo mewing, hissing, chirping, bleating, barking, mooing (and whatever maddening little noises guinea pigs make) that I’ve endured interminably has driven me to seriously consider the notion of gathering the reprehensible bunch together and heaving them into the lawn.
It would be cathartic if nothing else.
But truth be told, I am part of the problem. Whenever I stumble upon something entirely irresistible, something that speaks to me for whatever reason, something my eight-year-old cherubs would deem drool-worthy in every sense of the word, I cave—feeling compelled to buy yet another bit of warmth and fuzziness for my motley crew. Despite knowing there is no room at the inn. Despite acknowledging there is no real need for such an indulgence. Despite understanding full well that I will regret having made said purchase—either immediately, or when my vacuum cleaner chokes on an errantly placed armadillo, on one of Skippyjon Jones’ enormous ears, on Walter’s hapless tail. I will then curse the day it was stitched together and stuffed with love.
I know this much is true. But I cave anyway, adopting yet another fuzzy companion for my charges. One that will be loved without end, humanized beyond all imagining, bent and twisted so as to squeeze into book bags and burrow beneath pillows. One that will be privy to innumerable secrets and included in countless conversations, eager to listen, inclined to agree. One whose care and conditioning will be entrusted to me for hours on end.
“Mom, make sure you feed Frank, and play with him while I’m gone. Remember, I’ll KNOW if you don’t do it and I’ll be really, really mad.” (Waggles finger at me as she boards the school bus and waves goodbye to Frank and me).
Even still, I continue to feed the beast, as it were—adding just one more stuffed animal at a time. One that will sit at the dinner table and oversee baths, help with homework and dangle from monkey bars. One that will be demanded at bedtime and searched for, high and low. One that will journey near and far, be read to, prayed to, listened to and befriended above all else.
Another bit of fuzz and fluff that will be welcomed into this world, unconditionally.
Planet Mom: It’s where I live (suffocating beneath a deluge of stuffed animals, every one of which has a name).
Copyright 2009 Melinda L. Wentzel