Thursday, August 8, 2013

The Kindness of Strangers and the Fickleness of Childhood

[Note: This post was originally published on The Mrs on November 29th, 2011. Um... and I currently have no idea where Zeebee is hiding. I'm sure he's around here somewhere.]

I was purging this week. No, not that kind — the healthy kind. The kind that gets unused crappit out of your house and gives you more room to breathe.

That kind.

And in my dusty travels through our storage bins, I found this—

This would be Zeebee. Zeebee was acquired years ago on a trip to our local zoo (yes, we have a local zoo. It takes about two hours to run through the entire thing — it’s perfect for little kids — and it has giraffes. I love giraffes. So much so I really want to buy this shirt).

Anyhow, back to Zeebee. Once upon a time I had a little boy — little enough to walk on his own but not speak, or at least not any language we understood — who fell in love with Zeebee and brought him home from the zoo.

Zeebee went everywhere. Zeebee was essential. Zeebee spent more time in my toddler’s sticky hands than food.

Yes, I know, you’re looking at that photo and thinking, “that toy does not looked well-travelled-loved.

That’s because it’s not the same Zeebee.

You see, one day we silly parents did our requisite inventory list while leaving the grandparents’ house and somehow overlooked Zeebee.

Quelle horreur!

Oh yes! And the hours that followed were full of tantrums of epic, epic proportions, of the like never seen... the kind which, thankfully, I have blacked from my memory because they were that bad.*

It lasted, oh, I don’t know, some inconceivably long period of time until Papa was able to bring Zeebee back to his rightful owner and appease the toddler rage.

So. I did what any parent in need of spare sanity would do. By this time it was October. I drove back to the zoo to discover that since it was a seasonal production, they’d sold out of Zeebee’s counterparts!

YES! I mean, NO!

Yeah. Not pretty. Not, not pretty at all...

So. I did the next best thing. I collected a business card. And I went home and called the number, which was for a toy import company in Mississauga, Ontario.

And I actually reached a woman! A woman whom, when I requested a Zeebee double for future insurance purposes, said her own children were now grown, but she knew exactly what I was going through, and she would love to send us a complimentary stuffed zebra since I’ve gone to the trouble of tracking down their company.

(Yes, it was the same kid from The Secret Weapon — apparently his super powers can work over phones lines and from great distances...)

Anyhow. A few weeks later, a box arrived in the mail. Stuffed inside, were these —

A replacement Zeebee, who apparently decided to relocate his entire family!

I was so touched. And then what happens?


You guessed it. Despite having a whole family of zebras to play with, suddenly my kiddo wasn’t that into black and white stripes anymore. Or their cuddly relatives.

But it’s nice to know other parents have your back. And finding Zeebee was a nice reminder that yes, other people have been there, and yes, they commiserate.

I’m sure this nameless woman would understand toddler fickleness, too.

So I put Zeebee back in the storage bin, where he’s destined to one-day-down-the-road remind me again that there are people out there with good hearts.

People other than those who read this blog, that is, because we all know the ones who hang out here have the biggest hearts. ♥

*Who’m I kidding? My memory is shitty and I’m 99% sure if you’re reading this blog, you probably know that. I forget everything. Apparently whole people, but that’s another (probably not appropriate) story for another day. Actually, my memory’s so crappy I’m not even sure I’ve mentioned my crappy retention before because I forget everything!. But what I do know is that I announce the faulty memory all the time so chances are good that I’ve said it here, somewhere, sometime... maybe?

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