Monday, April 16, 2007

Tales from the woop.

It is still lost.

My four year old has a woop. He named it when he was about fifteen months old, in fact it was one of his first words, we just didn't know what it meant. It is a burp cloth that I applied some cute ricrac to. There were two at one time, but the "red woop" got washed with some red clothes and was no longer acceptable, as it was not white with red stripes on it. Then there was just the "orange woop," but that one has some serious issues, and is a little out of favor. I had made a replacement red woop, but it was unacceptable, until the orange one was left at Granny's, and it was a week before it returned to us, but then it didn't smell right, so I took my time washing it, in the hopes that he'd lose interest. He didn't.

The first time I remember NEEDING the woop was when we were in the emergency room when he was about nine months old (most of my memories of his baby-hood involve the hospital or doctor, incidentally) and he was exhausted. It was just me and the three children, as daddy was at work. We'd been there for hours, and he was getting really tired, but I was wearing a black shirt, and each time he'd put his thumb to his mouth and grab for my shirt, he'd see the color and turn away and cry. It was enough to make me cry (I've cried a lot in emergency rooms, quite honestly, usually involving stress and exhaustion). That's when I thought to myself that I'd never leave home without that thing.

Fast forward a year or so, and we were in the emergency room again, but this time, I'd left in such a hurry (a baby turning blue will do that to you) that I forgot it. Things had calmed some, but we were still instructed to spend the night. That's when I got a little desperate and begged my husband to call our friends to come over to watch the other sleeping little ones and bring me that woop. Seriously, not desperate for a toothbrush or a change of clothes, those were secondary, but BRING ME THAT WOOP!

One time he dropped it in a store. We left the store, went to a few other stores, then when we got to the car, he realized it was GONE. We went back to each store, retraced our steps in each one, finally returning to the first store, when we had to ask the teenaged cashier, "um, have you seen a filthy rag with orange stripes and some marker on it?" Indeed he had, and he produced it from under the counter and handed it to us as if it were toxic waste. Grateful AND embarassed!

Recently, he allowed me to wash it. Anyone who's ever had a blankie will know that washing this thing that takes hours to get back to smelling properly of snot and drool and a little bit of Apple Jacks knows what a huge sacrifice this was for him. Too bad after the washing machine was finished, something upset him and he NEEDED his woop. I tried, to no avail, to explain that it was wet and that it needed to go in the dryer. He snatched it out of my hands, while transferring it to the dryer and tried, desperately, to use his woop while he sucked his thumb, but it was so wet that it just made things worse. He hid it from me, I cajoled, he cried, then finally, after I promised that it would only take as long as "one Diego" (because that's a unit of time in four-year-old) and it would be ready for him.

Anyhow, it's currently lost. Fortunately, the pediatrician just a had a man-to-man sit down with him about sucking his thumb, so he's thinking he can go without. He went three nights without his woop, and we made such a to-do about it, and he was so proud of himself, but then last night, he decided that the old orange woop would have to do, he was desperate. He clearly gets his willpower from his mother. After three days on a diet, last Halloween's leftover's look pretty good to me.

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