February 12, 2013

Monkey, Where Are You?

Last Thursday on our drive home we were playing the usual game of “avoid the healthy meal we had planned to cook and eat." This almost always ends up in one of two ways: $10 pizza from Blind Onion’s happy hour or fresh, delicious inexpensive burgers from In-N-Out. That night we went rogue as we decided we’d go to Safeway and partake in a fried chicken meal deal.

As I took Gwen out of her car seat she haphazardly disposed of monkey who fell to the ground of the parking lot. On high alert for any monkey mishaps, we picked him up and handed him to be safely tucked in her usual spot under the crook of Gwen’s arm. Into the store we trudged, ready to get our fried chicken with its various sides and get our tired butts home.

After an excruciatingly terrible customer service experience from the chicken handler to the cashier, we went home and choked down fried chicken that was as dry as the Sahara, cursing Safeway as we threw out a bag full of wasted chicken and money.

The night progressed as we fell into our usual routine of playing, showering and getting into pajamas. Before heading upstairs we went to collect the two bedtime necessities, monkey and a sippy cup of milk. One quick sweep of the car and house and it became clear that monkey wasn’t in our ownership.

While daycare claims that Gwyneth doesn’t require monkey for naps and sleeps easy without him, we have found it to be a different scenario when she’s at home. On occasional nights we are awoken by a restless Gwyneth, crying through the monitor. Upon further investigation we have concluded that monkey acts as her pacifier. When she awakes for that brief moment to roll over in her crib she requires that little monkey fellow to help soothe her back to sleep. Sometime he’s amiss, having been tossed from that beloved crook under her arm and she will cry. Most often she will cry until she stumbles upon him and drifts happily back to sleep.

This is why we immediately went into active “find monkey war mode.” We certainly didn’t want to be up all night with a crying baby and no way to soothe her. As Jake placed the sweetest phone call I’ve ever heard to the grocery store, we recounted exactly where he was lost, in front of the deli case. Gwyneth was eager to carry the pint-sized container of macaroni salad and we were enamored with her cuteness as she stumbled along straining to hold it. We didn’t even notice that monkey had been dropped so that she could use both hands to help.  

As the kind woman on the phone asked if the monkey had “Hugs & Kisses” on the front you could hear Jake shout an excited “yes!!!” and we all breathed a sigh of relief.

Monkey was picked up from the store and returned safely to Gwen’s arms as she drifted off to sleep only 45 minutes later than her usual bedtime, none the wiser that her monkey had almost become a thing of the past.

It’s situations like these that make us wonder, “why is it that we didn’t order a spare monkey from ebay last time this happened?” And to that, I can’t give you an answer, except that I know there will surely be an order placed yesterday. 

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