Thursday, September 13, 2007

The Adventures of Pink Bear

While doing a load of laundry the other day, imagine my surprise when I pulled out from the washer one of Natalie’s sheets and out pops Pink Bear, one of Natalie’s early favorites. I didn't mean to wash him and I'm sure he didn't mean to be washed. He flopped on the floor of the laundry room and looked as though he was gasping for air, his brown eyes like pie plates, but his pink coat shined like never before.

Picture his adventure: Pink Bear, innocently wandering around Natalie’s room, perhaps conversing with other stuff animals, maybe shepherding dust bunnies under the bed, and suddenly, he is scooped up with some random sheets and blankets and stuffed into a dark hole.

“Hello?” he called out. “I’m still down here. The water is rising rapidly. Any help would be appreciated. Hello?”

Wash, rinse, spin… much to my surprise, he survived them all, tumbling through the blackness like an astronaut in the far reaches of outer space.

I had always considered Pink Bear to be rather on the fragile side. If you squeeze him, you’ll see that there’s not much inside and he is somewhat floppy. Natalie loved him, and she probably still does, just not in the same way she used to when she was a baby. For a while there, Pink Bear was an integral part of her routine, and Natalie never went anywhere without him. For as long as I remember, he’s always had a spot of dirt on his forehead, just about the size of Natalie’s fingers, but who knows where it came from. It's just always been there.

When I picked him up off the floor, he was a little damp, kind of soggy in some places, but the spot was gone and his fur was fluffy and spongy again, just like he was when he was new. I didn’t have the heart to throw him in the dryer, so I set him on top to air out before being tossed back into the teddy bear circulation.

I’m sure he has quite an adventure to share with the other stuff animals, as I don’t think that many of them have gone from one end of the wash cycle to the other and lived to tell the tale.

Keep on truckin, Pink Bear. When Natalie grows up and forgets about you, you’ll always have a special place in my heart, right next to Bubby, Little Buffalo and Surprise Bear.

Later on today.

I showed Natalie how clean Pink Bear was and she seemed pleased but mildly interested. She picked up the big purple Hippopotamus nearby (it was the closest animal to her) and told me that she thinks it smells funny and needs to be washed.

“No, I don’t want to smell it.”

I think one animal inadvertently in the wash is enough for one day, don't you think?

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