Friday, June 25, 2010

Thoughts On Toys, Curious George

Slept in a little this morning, it's about 6:30 a.m. Stella is surely going to be awake soon, so I probably won't have long to do this. So here we go.


Man, it's been hot, am I right? As they say in "Biloxi Blues" it's been like "Africa Hot." The metal stairs leading up to our apartment are black, and every morning the sun shines down on them, making them even more hot. Ick and icky poo.

Slept with the fan on, right near the bed. It worked, even better than our AC unit upstairs, it was more immediate, you know?

In Stella's room we have installed a portable AC unit that rolls around on wheels, and is about the size of a small refrigerator. It is probably the best AC unit in the apartment. It has this snaking tube that reaches from the back of the unit to the window, where the hot air is piped out. When you first turn it on in a hot room the tube becomes actually hot to the touch, which is kind of crazy and in a way fascinating.


Anyway, enough about the weather. I mean, how boring can I be, right?

What else is happening? What else is happening with Stella?

We saw "Toy Story 3" yesterday afternoon, partly to help escape the heat. We went to a movie theater on Court Street in Brooklyn. First we waited on a line that was not moving at all. Despite it being about 2:15 p.m. on a Thursday the place was just about packed. What's wrong with these people, don't they have jobs? :-)

Then we moved to a ticket dispensing kiosk. There were five but only one of them worked. We were starting to get frantic, because it was getting closer to movie time, and we weren't sure whether it would sell out. I was holding Stella the whole time, because this is her new thing, she wants to be held all the time. A kindly Latina woman let me buy tickets ahead of her because she was going to a later show. So, once we had our tickets we started to go to our theater, theater 12. This was on, no joke, on either the sixth or seventh floor of the movie house. We went up, up, up escalators, some of which didn't work, of course, me holding Stella the whole time.

I later joked to Randi that we went up so much that it actually took water longer to boil.

Soon enough, though, we made it the theater playing the movie, although we missed the coming attractions and some of a short animated feature that played before the movie. But the actual movie itself was wonderful, and I recommend it very highly. I think Stella liked it a lot too. In fact it is the first movie that she has ever made it all the way through. True she did have to get up and walk around, or at least between us, and she made some noise toward the end, and was kind of anxious, but by and large I think she really loved the movie.

Which was good, because it would be nice to go to the movies, pay for a tickets to a kid friendly movie, and then actually see the movie in question.

I've caught about half of "Marley & Me," "Alvin And The Chipmunks: The Squeequel," and "The Princess And The Frog." They were all entertaining, or at least parts of them were. Then inevitably Stella would get way too antsy and I would have to grab her and walk around the theater, and then it would be Randi's turn.

Maybe she just didn't like these movies? I don't find that impossible to believe.

I don't think it's revealing too much to say that at the end of the new "Toy Story" the boy, Andy, has to decide whether or not he is going to keep his toys. In fact that's kind of what the entire movie is about. And, gosh darn it, who hasn't had to deal with that dilemma? When I was a kid I slept with about 10 stuffed animals every night, but over time outgrew them (thank god) and eventually had to realize that maybe someone else would benefit from them more than I would. The decision to give them away was easy, but I still miss my Curious George doll.

It was a gift from my brother Stu, and I think he bought it at a stationary store downtown. I had forgotten that he bought it for me, but he reminded me years and years later, and I think it was so cool of him to get this present for me. It immediately became my favorite. It had a red shirt that said "Curious George" on it, and a red baseball hat, the brim of which was turned up.

It was my absolute favorite, and I loved it. When I was in my early 20s I decided that since I was no longer playing with it that I should give it to my younger cousins. I didn't realize though how hard it would actually be to part with it. As I was handing it to them a voice inside my head said "no!" don't do this, keep George, but give away anything else. But I didn't listen to it, and parted with my toy, but with a heavy heart.

This was the right thing to do, I thought at the time, though it made me sad. I felt really adult, you know? And I thought that part of being an adult is being sad when you give up your childhood toys.

Maybe, however, that meant that I wasn't quite ready to actually part with it.

About six months ago I asked my cousins for it back because I have Stella now and she is just crazy about George too. But the doll was long gone by then, removed in a cleaning binge some years ago. I am not mad about it, because I gave it away, it was theirs to do what they will. I have to admit, though, that I was dismayed to hear the news, I never imagined I could actually lose George forever.

My cousins are wonderful and sweet people, and bought a new, modern version of the George I lost, again with a red sweater but this time with much more realistic monkey hands and feet. Stella is crazy about it, and sleeps with it sometimes. In fact she loves it, probably the way I loved mine way back when. Maybe she even loves it more because it is hers. It's entirely possible that she wouldn't have taken to mine this way, and I would have been kind of surprised, maybe even, this is silly, a little hurt? Who knows?

All I know is that somehow, in the back of my mind, I know that if I ever am walking by a yard sale and I see my old school Curious George doll I will almost certainly snap it up and bring it home. Although I'll probably wash it first and throw it in the dryer for a good long time before bringing it into the house to stay. Because let's not be too sentimental here.

1 comment:

Amanda said...

It's totally not hot here yet. In fact it's supposed to be rainy and cold on the 4th of July. I guess that's what I get for moving to the Pacific Northwest.

Awesome for taking Stella to the movies. My kid's only 9 months old so we have a long time before we can ever go to the movies again (and we have no babysitter whatesoever!) We had one, but she moved.

I never had any attachment to my childhood toys. I don't know why, I don't even remember them.