Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Naughty bird

Something today reminded me of a little game I used to play with my children when I was a young mother and I just wanted to share it with you.

I’ve told a couple of stories about my life when our sons were young. The weirdest one has to be the Thomasina story. But today’s story isn’t anything like that. It was just fun.

As a young mother, I loved playing with my boys. I was warned by the elders in my life that childhood would be gone in the blink of an eye and just in case it was really true, I wanted to be prepared. So I used to do fun things with my children and I tried to be a good and loving mother. Like my mother was. One day I bought a couple of hand sock puppets, nothing very fancy; they were colorful and cute. One was a blue puppy and the other was a toucan.

I would pull the puppets over my hand and pretend that they could talk. I would ask questions, the puppets would respond and my sons were thrilled to see them talk. It was like magic! The puppy was good-natured and sweet. And the toucan on the other hand, well he was a bit of a trouble-maker. Three guesses as to which puppet my sons wanted to come out and play all the time.

Toucan glass

Toucan creation by Linda Vanden-Martin (aka~perceptual enigma) on Flickr.

The toucan soon became the favorite and for a couple of years he had quite the adventures at our house. You see, he had formerly been a pirate’s bird but had escaped to the mainland, ending up in a zoo until he managed to fly through the cage all the way to Lancaster County and an Amish farm where he was promptly made into a sock.

Mommy’s crazy. Yes, I know.

The toucan liked driving the car, too. He often came with us when we went on our errands. “Make tutu drive, mommy!” they would both squeal. And so, with no other cars on the country roads we travelled, tutu would take the gear shift of the little Volvo 240D, shift into 4th gear and drive from side to side a bit.

Immediately, I would exclaim things like, “Tutu! You bad bird! Get back into 3rd gear and start acting right!” And tutu would stop but not after my boys had giggle fits about the whole thing.

The bird used to make faces behind my back and sass me, but he always apologized saying that he picked up the bad habits from his pirating days.

The boys were mesmerized.

I remember one day in particular, a day when I was uncharacteristically down-in-the-dumps and my youngest son came and said to me, “Let’s play tutu, mommy”. I told him that tutu had gone out of town for a few days, and then I quietly hid the little puppet in a really good spot. I hid him because they would find him like they always did and they would beg me to play tutu and gosh darn, I just didn’t feel like being a funny little former-pirate-sock-bird that day . . .

I looked for that bird high and low after that. I spent hours searching. And I never found him again. It makes me sad to think of it even today. I think that I put him in a big toy box that was destined for a friend who had younger children than mine. I had collected some baby toys and set them aside for her. And I think that tutu ended up in her home although she says she never saw him.

Anyway, just a memory. Everyone got over it and the blue puppy was still around but he was always second-best anyway.

And so ends my trip down memory lane.

Love,

PS ~ Healing well! Thanks for the kind thoughts. It’s always something with me.

24 comments:

Bonnie said...

I think he needed a rest and went back to the ship!

Glad you are healing - no more skipping down the lane for a while!

Julie Harward said...

That is so cute...I loved to do characters with my kids too and they too were so thrilled. I still do it with the grands...they love to be chased by the witch with the scary laugh that lives at my house! LOL
I am so glad you are healing up! Come say hi :D

Donalyn said...

We had this book when Ellyn was little - it was a child's version of some Kipling "Just So" stories. My aunt was the manager of a Salvation Army store and had given it to her [along with many other things - we had more of those little Fisher Price people than Toys R Us]. Anyway, I had a yard sale and somehow the book got mixed in with the stuff for sale and someone bought it without me realizing it. I was heartbroken and I've never been able to find that same book again. The things we remember, eh? Hope your knee is better - mine is finally at about 85% after the sprain in January. Welcome back!

The Wife of a Dairyman ~ Nancy said...

What a great mom you are! I'm sure your kids cherish this memory of Tutu and of you, spending all that time to entertain them :)

Low Tide High Style said...

Oh no, now I'm sad about tutu too...and I never even knew him!!! And I feel even worse that the puppet I had for my kids was a skunk...hmm there goes my mother of the century award...again!

I hope you are feeling better!

Kat :)

Char said...

such a sweet story

Linda said...

Moms are so imaginative! Just think of Tutu making more friends and children happy:) You're probably stiff as heck and black & blue but I'm glad you weren't seriously hurt.

Oliag said...

What a great and imaginative mom you were!...and what a bittersweet story...I can just picture you driving with a puppet on your shift hand:)!

So glad you're healing quickly...

Rachel said...

Well that story has made me want to try a little harder to have some fun around this place for my 2 girls. Sometimes I think it shouldn't be this hard to just kick back and have a good ol' time....But it seems to me somedays it is very hard. But now I have been inspired to renew my efforts :)

Jayne said...

What a sweet, sweet story Kate. I took Sam to see Toy Story 3 yesterday, and well, it is about how Andy is all grown up and does not need his toys any longer. Made me teary...

Country Girl said...

Dear Rachel,
I couldn't respond directly to you because your e-mail is not enabled.

I nearly didn't post this because I thought it read like something to the effect of "hey, look at me! look what a great mom I was!" But that wasn't the point.

The point was exactly what you mentioned in your comment. It's hard being a mother sometimes. Damn hard. But when you get older, and you look back, and you begin to wish you had maybe done things differently, had a little more fun perhaps, well that's why I told the story.

I was lucky to have had a wonderful childhood. My father made up stories all the time, so perhaps this is where my penchant for story-telling comes from.

Childhood is too short. And the best thing you can spend on your children, in my humble opinion, is your time.

xo and thank you, all.

~ C.G.

Hilary said...

I bet you were a great Mom.
We all look back and wonder, could we have done it differently, done it better.
But I look at my daughters, they are fine and beautiful young women, and I know that at least in part, I must have done some of it damn good.
It would be fun to find a replacement for 'tutu' and gift it to them some day.......:)
They could save it for their kids.

Deb said...

what fun....my kids loved stories..and puppets...

Mental P Mama said...

Awww. You are a great mom.

Snappy Di said...

Good to hear you are on the mend. Pain is not our friend once we reach a certain age.

Great memory you have about the puppets. What fun and how easy it can sometimes be to entertain a child if we just take the time.

Di

Andi said...

You are an awesome mom! :) So sorry Tutu got lost. I am sure the boys will carry on the tradition with their children. What a great memory to have.

The Japanese Redneck said...

Wouldn't it be great if you found another Tutu. Imagine the shock on your boys faces.

Great story. Glad you're getting better.

Daryl said...

Aw... maybe like the toys in Toy Story he ended up in a child care center and entertained a lot of other kids whose didnt have such a creative mommy

Madi and Mom said...

What a wonderful run Tutu had in your home and the hearts of your family. It reminded me of my own Toucan story. When my daughter was in her teens she started collecting Hallmark ornaments. Each year we gave her one. She married a wonderful young man in 1998. That year for Christmas I found a perfect Hallmark ornament. It was a Toucan. I don't remember the exact words on it but it was close to 'toucan' make memories better than one'!! I just loved it as did they,
Madi and Mom

JackDaddy said...

I just read your Thomasina story. I really thought you were going to come downstairs and find that the kitten was alive! :)

Too many Disney films I think!

Cloudia said...

so happy to find you are feeling better!





Aloha from Hawaii

Comfort Spiral

jillsy said...

Great memories!! I can just picture Tutu driving! :-)

Kacey said...

Ah, aren't memories like this the best? (well, not that you lost him!)

Donna S. said...

Love it!!
Sounds like how I play with my grandkids....so no worries....you'll get to play again when the grandchildren come!!!!!!!!!!!!!