This story has two parts.
Part 1: The Acquisition of Friend Lion
We had a family errand run yesterday. First stop – get Graham’s hair cut. Reid and I stopped in Anthropologie to pass the time. Anthropologie is also known as the place where Reid calls all the clothes “jammies”. Hilarious if you’re familiar with the store.
There, we happened on a stuffed lion. I held it out to Reid and said, “Look Reid, a friend!” Reid took this about as literally as anyone could. He hugged it tight around the neck and didn’t let go. He carried it around the store, introducing “Friend” to every shopper he saw – complete with a huge double-dimpled smile.
Ultimately, it was time to put Friend away and leave the store, but we all know where this is going. Reid dutifully put Friend back where we’d found him, patted him on the head, said, “Bye, Friend,” and walked away – shoulders slumped. I checked Friend’s price tag, and found that he was 50% off. Thus, our latest acquisition.
I’ve never seen Reid buddy up with any stuffed animal like this. Friend is real, you guys. He takes naps, needs to be buckled in shopping carts, gets hungry for breakfast – you name it.
Part 2: Guilt
Last night, after a happy homecoming with Friend lion, I read Reid a favorite book, But Not the Hippopotamus.
If you’re familiar with this one – it’s about a bunch of animal friends doing fun stuff with each other around town… but this poor hippopotamus is left out of everything. Spoiler alert: the animal friends come around and ask the hippopotamus to join them.
It kinda takes this dark turn at the end though, because after the Hippopotamus joins his new friends, we find out that they all left out the Armadillo.
And yes, that is how sad and pitiful the poor armadillo looks at the end of the book.
After I closed the book, Reid immediately hopped off the chair ran over to his cache of stuffed animals and plucked out this stuffed armadillo that I’d bought him just before we moved out of Texas. Reid has never paid any attention to the thing before, but now that he is aware the emotional turmoil of being left out, I think he doesn’t want the armadillo to be sad anymore.
This was Reid, after breakfast. Armadillo and Friend lion slept in bed with him last night, ate breakfast with him, and subsequently rode to school in his lap.
Because no book is going to tell Reid who to be friends with!