“I’m going to call Madeline “Monkey Girl,” Nick said as we were driving home from the bookstore recently. I’m sure it had nothing to do with the fact that his sister was tightly clutching two brand new monkeys in her little fists. She spied them in the kids section of the bookstore, and held onto them the whole time we were there, dragging them all around with her.
When I was growing up, I was obsessed with penguins. Loved them, loved them, loved them. It later changed to elephants, and I definitely still hold a soft spot for them to this day. I wanted Madeline to like elephants like me, and started collecting elephant stuffed animals for her right before she was born. They’re such gentle giants with those long, long eyelashes, how could you not love them?
Well, she has managed to resist their charms and has fallen in love with another animal … the monkey. It is only fitting, really. She *is* a total monkey herself. Always into, under, over or climbing anything she can get her little feet and hands on. The Husband didn’t believe me when I told him what she spent her time recently doing … until he saw it for himself. Nick had brought a small stepstool into my bathroom to reach something and, of course, like all good six-year-olds, he didn’t put it away and left it there. Madeline climbed on the stepstool, and then from there climbed onto the laundry hamper. The laundry hamper happens to be right next to the bathroom vanity and within minutes, she was sitting in the sink trying to get the water to go on. She kept trying and trying because she knew that water came from that faucet, but luckily, she couldn’t figure it out.
A few months back, my mom got her one of those Paul Allen monkeys that have become popular again, and Madeline drags that thing e-v-e-r-y-w-h-e-r-e. If you ask her “Where’s the monkey?” she’ll look around until she finds it. For sanity’s sake, I’ve added a few more monkeys to her collection and they seem to be fairly interchangeable. ‘Tis a lesson we learned when as a baby, Nick became very attached to a frog. It was the only thing he wanted to take everywhere with him, and, well, when you only have one, it becomes a bit of a challenge.
When we were on vacation last month, we stopped in a little gift store. She started yelling from the stroller, “That! That! That!” I followed her fingers to see what she was pointing to. She had spied a monkey hanging from one of their shelves and was shrieking until I brought it down.
For her recent birthday, Madeline received this great collection of sock monkeys that my Mom found on Etsy (LOVE Etsy!), and she’s been busy dragging them all over the house. It’s funny because as many monkeys as she has now, she definitely uses different monkeys for different things. Certain ones go in the car, certain ones go in the high chair and so on.
What can I say? She’s a girl who knows what she wants.