The Two Mr. Skip-Its

In our house, a dog blanket is a boy’s best friend.

When our kids were born, someone (thank you, whoever you were) bought them each security blankets.  They’re tiny, soft squares of fabric with plush heads growing inexplicably out of one corner.  They’re freaks of babydom, neither stuffed animal nor legitimate bedding, but when our kids need some comfort, they’re the next best thing to Daddy.

Sutton’s is a rabbit, whom we creatively named Mrs. Bunny.  Bennett’s is a sailor dog whose hat says “Skip-It”.  So we called him “Mr. Skip-It”.  (Maybe this is why they’re not very creative with naming.)

Mrs. B and Mr. S are indispensable around our house.  They sleep with the kids, they ride in the car with them.  They would eat with them, too, but we got tired of having to sponge out the pureed carrot stains, so now during meals, the blankets sit in the “VIP section” (Very Important Pets), where they can watch Bennett & Sutton eat from well outside splashing range.

There’s something our kids don’t know, though… a wicked secret Drew and I have kept from them:

Their special blankets aren’t quite as special as they think.

We were worried what might happen if either Mrs. Bunny or Mr. Skip-It ever got lost, so we bought a few extras.  We keep them tucked away in a high drawer the kids can’t reach.

I know where you think this is headed, but when we’ve occasionally swapped in the new ones, the kids didn’t notice any difference, even though they were bright, stain-free and actually smelled like fresh linen rather than messy kid.

Ha… suckers!

Now that our little blanket lovers are a little older, they’re not quite as attached as they used to be.  They’ll drop their beloved blankets around the house, lose them in the couch cushions or under their cribs.  When they want them, though, they still really want them, which means we end up searching everywhere to track them down.

One day last week at bedtime, Mr. Skip-It was M.I.A.  It was getting late and the kids were cranky, so finally, we distracted Bennett and pulled out a backup.  Drew tore our tiny house apart for an hour that night looking for the original, to no avail.  He finally gave up.

The next afternoon, while the kids were playing, I was in the kitchen when I heard Bennett shout, “Two Mr. Skip-Its!”  I ran into the living room, and sure enough, the jig was up.

I was totally busted.  My innocent little boy knew the dark truth: his daddies had been fooling him.  His one-of-a-kind toy was as mass produced as an Alvin & the Chipmunks figurine from a Happy Meal.  I waited for him to lash out, to question what else was real, to have his first existential tantrum.

But incredibly, he just went back to playing.

“Wow, two Skip-Its,” I said, playing dumb.  “That’s pretty cool.”  At the first opportunity, I snuck one of them away and put it back in the drawer.  Whew!  Close call.

I thought it was the end of the story.

Late that night, Bennett woke up crying.  When he does this, it’s usually because he rolled away from Mr. Skip-It in his sleep and now he can’t find him in the dark.  So Drew went in to reunite them and get the boy back to sleep.

But this time, Bennett had Mr. Skip-It at his side, as usual.  Drew asked him what was wrong.

Bennett looked up at him and cried, “I want two Mr. Skip-Its!”

UPDATE: Drew has a better memory than I do.  He pointed out that Mr. Skip-It and Mrs. Bunny were the generous gifts of Doron Ofir, whom he used to work with in LA.  Doron’s prior claim to fame is having discovered the cast of “Jersey Shore”.  Snooki and Skip-It – a pretty solid track record, if you ask me.  Thanks, Doron!

26 comments on “The Two Mr. Skip-Its

  1. Ha! My daughter has had “Bunny” since she was four months old. She is turning four years old next month and she’s still just as attached to Bunny as she was when she was a baby.

    The same thing happened to me – she found the secret stash of extra bunny-heads-on-blankets. Now she has four, and she won’t go to sleep unless she has all four laying on a pillow beside her. Kids are nuts. Haha!

  2. There goes your well thought-out ploy right out the window. There are a few things I learned on my journey: Kids just don’t apply logic the way we do. Also, they notice way more than we think, they just react unexpectedly.

    What a precious story. I’m afraid you will now have to stock up on double the amount of Mr. Skip-Its…

    • Yeah, there’s nothing more fun than seeing the unexpected ways they apply logic. I remember my niece, who was about 6 at the time, being told we were going to ride a subway in NYC. She asked, “So will we be able to talk while we’re on the subway, or because it’s underground, will we just have dirt in our mouths?” Priceless.

  3. They’re always too smart too soon! It’s easy to take for granted that wonderful time when they’re easily outsmarted.
    I tried so hard for BOTH my kids to take a lovey, but no dice. Is there a special trick?

    • I didn’t know there were kids who refused loveys. I don’t think we did anything special other than make a big deal about them. Well, and Drew & I cuddled with the loveys as much as we could so they would pick up our scent. Weird? Maybe, but since they’re supposed to be a replacement for the parents, we heard that would help – and maybe it did.

  4. We have the same thing 🙂 A tiger and a bunny. With one of each tucked away in our closet. They found them too. We told them, those were their bunny’s and tiger’s brothers and they only come to visit when theirs need a bath 🙂 For some weird reason it worked.

    We had a phase were they had to drag these things everywhere too. So rules were established. The lovies can’t leave the house unless we spend the night somewhere. During the day they need to stay in bed, because they need to recover from protecting them all night. It took a few days to get used to, but they got it. Maybe that will help you guys a little, so you don’t have to run all over the place to find the lovies 🙂

    • I love your explanation – and your rules. We won’t let them take loveys out of the car when we go somewhere, so when they’re lost they’re always either in the car or the house. But I admit having them in the car has been a hassle at times. They’ll drop them and then immediately want them back. They don’t understand “Daddy’s driving and can’t reach into the back seat right now”. Tears have been shed. It’s not pretty. 🙂

  5. Our dog, Bernie, has gone through many-a “Squirley” in his lifetime and has never been the wiser! We keep extra ones we bought at Petco in the dog cabinet. He just loves Squirley so much, we fear what will happen when he is finally destroyed and/or Petco quits making him! It’s kind of the same thing, right? (Yes, we have a cabinet dedicated to our dog.)

    xoxo,
    TDR

    • I guess the good thing about dogs vs. kids is that the dog will never gain the dexterity to open the cabinet himself. It’s only a matter of time before our kids can get into the secret drawer. You’d better hope Baby Girl Markowitz doesn’t take a shine to Squirley, or you could have some sibling rivalry on your hands! 🙂

    • Thanks. That could never happen to us with pacifiers, because we have dozens on hand at any time. They always have a handful in their cribs so they won’t have any problem finding one if they wake up in the middle of the night. Did your kid(s) have a “special” pacifier? 🙂

  6. My BF’s grandson has a little Pooh Bear security blanket thingie. He loves it. But he was really puzzled for a while after his grandpa asked him, “where’s Pooh’s body?” Pretty frightening concept for a guy that’s not quite 2 years old, eh? Funny little critters, they are.

    • Oh, boo on Grandpa for making him realize that Pooh wasn’t quite all there! The concept creeps us adults out, but I bet kids never question it. They’re probably more surprised when they go outside and see a rabbit that DOESN’T have a blanket for a body. 🙂

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