Conversations with a 9-year-old
Those of you who know me might have heard a bit about some of my kids before. One in particular, the 9-year-old, has ended up adopting one of my as of yet unsold Eriks. I have a feeling there's not going to be any getting that one back. Some real gems of conversation are recorded below for phantom fans and parents alike. Gosh, this has been fun!
The situation: 2 boxes, 50 Eriks in each, arrived at 12:06. It's maybe... 5:00. The post office's last pickup is at 7. No matter what, they don't deliver tomorrow, so no one is going to have an Erik for Christmas. Further, the boxes we ordered are too heavy. I'm going to charged twice what I charged, so I'll loose money on the whole deal. I'm on my way to the post office to ask anyone who works there what's the absolutely cheapest way to ship Erik. I feel a little silly, though (and so does Erik) so I had him to the 9-year-old and ask her to hold him for me.
Child 1: (holding Erik) I'm going to pretend this is my baby.
Chérie: That's nice. (turns to lead way to van)
Child 1: (to another child) Ooh, he's scary.
Chérie: Be nice!
Child 1: I know. He's cute, too.
Chérie: (sarcastic) Oh really?
Child 1: Yeah. He's cute, but the mask is scary.
Chérie: (pleasantly surprised) Oh yeah?
Child 1: Yeah. (squeezing the daylights of out Erik) I love him.
Chérie: (tentatively) Okay. His name is Erik.
Child 1: Awwww! I'm going to miss Erik when we go inside!
Much later, going back to post office to ship first three Eriks
Chérie: (handing another Erik to child to keep her quiet) Here. He's not wearing his mask, but that's okay.
Child 1: (kisses Erik on the forehead without being prompted)
Still later, arriving home.
Chérie: Don't forget Erik.
Child 1: I would never forget him. He's my best friend!
Chérie: Okay. Take good care of him, now.
Child 1: (hugging Erik tightly) I will. (reading Erik's tag) What? He's a ghost? You didn't tell me he was a ghost.
Chérie: Read the rest of the tag.
Child 1: Is he nice, though?
Chérie: He's nice to people who are nice to him. (thinks about it) And when people are mean, sometimes he's really mean. (evil grin) That's why I like him.
Child 1: I like him too. I'm going to introduce him to all my Barbies.
Chérie: (nods) I think he'll probably like that.
Child 1: They'll all like him!
The following morning:
Child 1: (enters kitchen with Erik, whose hair is mussed-up and has his mask on crooked) Mr. Erik likes all my Barbie dolls.
Chérie: (wonders "Mr." Erik?) Oh does he now? (shoots playful look at husband, who rolls his eyes)
Child 1: (grinning) Yes!
Child 2: Why's his hair messed up?
Chérie: (noticing his mask string is wrapped around his ear) Here, fix this.
Child 1: fusses with mask, unsuccessfully.
Chérie: You know, he doesn't really need to wear it anymore if everyone knows him.
Child 1: Okay. (pulls mask off again, then spends a long time whispering back and forth with Erik. Ima, (Hebrew for mom) Did you know Erik's favorite color is blue?
Her: Ima, where's my Erik?
Me: Where did you leave him?
Her: On my dresser.
Me: On your dresser?
Her: No. Not my dresser. My... *frantic pantomiming* the thing above my bookshelf.
Her: Yes. On that.
Me: Oh. Are you sure?
Me: Well, I don't know...
Her: *looks sad*
Me: Well, I have an Erik in here with me, but the one in here says that he was left face down on the floor and got dirty--
Her: *sheepish look*
Me: and now he's really sad and thinks that you don't love him because of how he looks
Her: *indignant look*
Me: You have to be more careful with him. The place where he was before this no one liked him because they thought he was ugly.
Her: He's NOT ugly! He's CUTE!
Me: I know, I know, he's wonderful. But you have to be careful with him. He's very sensitive.
Her: Okay, okay... *retreats to bedroom tightly hugging Erik*
My husband: *takes Erik from child as she walks by and starts brushing him with fingertips* Now he's dirty!
Her: *snatches him back and stomps away holding him protectively*