We move on to the last couple of isles for inspiration, and my son stumbles upon some toys. He pulls out a dalmatian puppy and plays with it. I am still in my exhilaration of creative energy, so I am glad that he's found a way to occupy himself that doesn't require my reaction to every new bead he can reach with his little fingers. We are enjoying our time.
I am finally done, and we go up to the check out. In my anticipation of my upcoming creative exhaustion, I forget about the dalmatian bean bag toy. The woman says, "did you want that too?" Before I can respond, "oh thank you, I forgot, but no, not really", my son says, "Aah-hun!" He says it with such conviction, both the woman and I marvel at his determination and confidence. It makes me laugh. "I guess so...we'll take the dog too!"
For two days this dalmatian puppy dog does everything we do. My son and his toy are inseparable. To the park. To the grocery store. To the library. Sleeping in his bed. On the way to our favorite Mexican restaurant, and my mouth watering margarita, my husband asks the puppy's name. My son, busy playing in his puppy world, is telling the dog to "sit." My husband hears the word "six." "The doggy's name is Six?" he asks. "No, he was telling the dog to sit." I say. My son, simply says, "yes." Yes what? Is the dog's name Six? Was he telling the dog to sit? (My husband and I still argue this point today.) The dog's name is Six.
Then, gulp...wait for it...my mind is busy...embarrassing moments... the realization that every time we take the dogs--Miss Percy (discussed here) and Six for a walk, and some well-intentioned passer by decides to ask my still-learning-to-enunciate-little-boy what his doggies' names are...they will get responses that sound like "the vile P-word that no woman ever wants to actually have to say" (aka Miss Percy) and "sex" (aka Six). Wow. This is going to suck. How am I going to survive the look of horror on the cute-little-white-laced-Grandma's face when she hears such sex-crazed cult language coming out of the mouth of a three year old? Ownership...yes, he's mine, and yes, I guess we have a sex-crazed cult family. Oh. Shit. Can we change the dog's names?
It has taken some adjustment, but I love Six...even his name. He provides comfort to my son. He helps him express his emotions. Six's hugs only come second to Mommy and Daddy hugs. When I am unable to reach my son's sadness or frustration, Six is embraced. Six says hi to strangers when he is too fearful. Six provides comfort, joy and connection. Six helps him regulate his own emotions. Six helps validate life experience. Six is a passie, blankey, nummy, thumb--any and all of the above comfort transitional objects. Some people might argue that Six is not healthy. That I should wean my son off of Six. Maybe by the time he's six he shouldn't have Six anymore? Maybe Six is going to give him crooked teeth? (sarcasm, lol) No. Six will always be my son's friend, his support network, his partner in crime. Here's hoping, after a good washing and some needed mending, Six can even go off to college.
I might still have the bruise under my eye from Rocket Six blasting into orbit, across the living room, smack into me. I might still worry that we might leave Six at the gas station on a long distance drive. But I guess it is all worth it when my son wants a baby carrier to carry Six around in the grocery store and at the farmer's market. That makes me one proud Mamma. I am thankful for the laughs when a half circle is placed over Six's head and my son proudly announces, "Astrooooonauuuut Sixxxxxx!" or when Fireman Six uses an old straw to put out a fire in the Lego house. I have survived and enjoyed several Six moments. I am so glad that he is part of our family.