Princess A called me to her bedroom to help her with her new bed skirt. In the dismantling of the mattress to get to the box spring and removing the old bed skirt an old familiar friend flopped to the ground--Peppermint Rose. For years I use to swear my derelict father mailed it to Princess A in one of guilt packages. Then one Christmas break we sat around watching old home movies when it revealed itself that Peppermint Rose was actually a gift from one of King Ralph's family members for Princess A's first birthday.
Peppermint Rose was not Princess A's original lovey, no she was a replacement for Baby. Baby was the comfort pal of her life for more than two years. Baby with her pink silky body and her plastic face. She drug her along to the hospital one day when I was having some tests done. Somewhere between the radiation lab and the parking lot Baby went missing. I called every phone in the hospital, placed a APB out on her, filed a missing person report all to no avail. baby was gone--forever! My mother-in-law surprised Princess A with a replacement Baby and a fib that she found her. Princess A was no two year old worthy of trickery. She turned Baby over to reveal the black thread (cause that's what was in the sewing machine at the time and it was a stuffed doll for goodness sake) used to close up a restuff job was not there. She lifted Baby in the air, slammed her to the ground and in her squeaky two year old little girl voice belted out "that's not my Baby". For a year she went lovey-less, until one day without warning she pulled this Holly Hobbie like doll from a pile of stuffed animals, named her and feel deeply in love. Peppermint Rose was born to her soul of comfort. Ole' Peppermint Rose has been cried on when friends disappointed. Has been slammed when parents didn't agree with choices made. Soothed through three surgeries-- regardless of Princess A's age (14, 16, 17). Been an extra plump of pillow for sleeping. Peppermint Rose has traveled the world--from slumber parties down the street to across the country and across the world. She never made it to college, by that time she was fragile. Her arms laced to her body with safety pins. Her guts held in too by yet more safety pins. Her big round face sunk in from lack of filler...refusing a cotton batting botox injection.
And yet in her ragged state of being Peppermint Rose still has a place of honor on Princess A's bed.
Not to be out done by Peppermint Rose, M had her years of love for Sugar Monkey. Sugar Monkey came to us by way of a Build-a-Bear....a Girl Scout field trip. Sugar Monkey was once soft plush like velvet now a matted rough animal. She was easy to want to snuggle all day and night. Sugar Monkey made the same rounds as Peppermint Rose--slumber parties, camping trips, cruises, airplane rides.... The crazy thing about Sugar Monkey is although M always claimed she was a girl the rest of us claimed her to gender confused. Me mostly because when I would make M's bed in the morning while she was at school, tossing Sugar Monkey on the bed she often landed with her tail between her legs. A sign of a male. As M entered her teen years folks often purposely would set Sugar Monkey on the bed in that center fold porn position just to get M all riled up. Squeals from her room would be heard "Sugar Monkey is a girrrrrlllll!!!!" Sugar Monkey was constantly under torment, she took many rides on the ceiling fan blades which sent M into hysterics and tears. Sisters. That is all can say. One freshman day in high school without warning Sugar Monkey took a permanent vacation to the top self of M's closest. Sure Sugar Monkey was loved, she offered the same comfort all lovies offer-- heart ache from friends, healing after countless eye surgeries, extra lift to the night's slumber...I guess my M grew up when I blinked one day and didn't need her monkey love anymore.
Today Sugar Monkey popped out for a keepsake photo shoot.
Oh Sugar Monkey I still believe you to be gender confused. Just look at you, you say male.
Then there was D's lovey, or should I say lovies. First there was Bob, always Bob. Bob started out a lush fluffy nursery comforter. Bob, before named Bob, covered up everyone of my baby girls as they slumbered in their infant state. Bob is now but a large square of muslin. Bob was strung between D's legs and nuzzled up under her chin and lulled to my girly to sleep. Bob has been washed more times than I can count; washed from being drug through mud, held during meals, urinated and puked on and washing was always done on the sneak. Then came the years of "Land Before Time" obsession. Every character of that movie series in plush form was gifted to D and lined her bed. However Chomper was always front and center. Chomper was drug all around town--grocery stores, play dates, family gathering, where D went Chomper went. Chomper if accidentally left behind required instant emergency retrieval. Tears flowed and nights would be sleepless if Chomper didn't join Bob for a night's rest. Although D never liked the femininity flares of girlhood (till recently)-- Chomper did, he got a red lipstick lip painted above his fierce teeth. Which stained his fur. Open his mouth for signs of lesson learned--ability to write "no" and teach a dinosaur that biting is unacceptable is marked in ink inside his mouth. Another sweet stain on the lovey. Finally along came Mr.Lion. Mr. Lion was a gift from the creepy Santa that visited an annual Santa party we attended each year at M's godfather's house. The Santa, creepy as he was with his over active sweat glands and request of a fan to blow him cool, always arrived with gifts in his sack. One year it was the softest silkiest stuffed lion. For a while D was smothered and cramped in bed by not one, two, but three lovies. A sign she was always a high maintenance child. In time Chomper was outgrown. Mr. Lion and Bob stuck. Mr. Lion was so loved he went from having a full standing mane of fur to looking like Don King. D loathed when we referred to Mr. Lion as Don King--such disrespect. Then, just like M, with no warning of ween, Mr. Lion took permanent seat else where. Bob hung on till eighth grade. High school started and Bob was folded up and with precious care placed in the storage room for safe keeping.
Memories tucked tenderly in safe keeping. Memories I can imagine emerging for show and tell when the girls are mother's themselves. Makes me think...remember...my baby girls. I blinked and they grew. Grew up. Still growing up. Growing up minus the lovies that were there childhoods yet knowing with all that love these mother's arm still offer love that cannot be replaced or stored away.