There is no amount of logic or scientific training that can prepare someone for having a four year old. They are absolutely irrational. The latest saga of irrational behavior in my house revolves around a Croc. A Croc named Friendy.
Figure 1: Last known image of Friendy the Croc. Circa 2008
Friendy was Little Isis’s right Croc when he was about 20 months old. One ill-fated August evening, we took Little Isis to a minor league baseball game. There, Friendy the Croc fell off and was lost under the bleachers. He was never seen nor heard from again.
Friendy was not mentioned in Casa de Isis for almost three years. After all, he was a Croc – the most despised shoe on the planet – and I won’t lie that I was a little happy to see him go. Not that I had anything to do with his disappearance. I am completely innocent of any malfeasance in this case.
Friendy remained a forgotten memory for three years. Until about 8 weeks ago when Friendy returned to our lives. Little Isis was riding in his car seat when I heard a little voice ask, “Mommy, do you remember that black Croc that I lost at the baseball game?”
“(sigh) I really miss that Croc.”
A week later he asked about the Croc again. I told him I was sure that the Croc was gone and he absolutely lost his mind. He cried and cried and cried over this poor, poor Croc. He told me that he wanted to give the Croc to the new baby. I tried to explain that (to my dismay) we could get new Crocs for the baby. This did not soothe him. I tried to explain that the Croc is just a thing. It did not soothe him. I am sure I tried 600 other rationalizations that also did not soothe him. Eventually he fell asleep.
A few days later he rementioned the Croc and started again with the tears and shenanigans. This time, however, I got the real truth. He told me that he was worried that having the baby would hurt me and that he would have to take care of it. If he didn’t have two Crocs, how would the baby have any shoes? I asked him why he thought I would be too hurt to take care of the baby and he answered, “Well, the baby is in your belly? Your belly has to break open for the baby to come out.”
I figured that no bit of reality could be any more horrible than what he was imagining, so I figured I might as well let him see the truth. I showed him this video from BabyCenter. Before you click it, it is about as graphic as birth videos come. But, she’s got one hell of an epidural. He seemed totally relieved to know the truth and to see that the woman in the video was fine afterwards. As I reflect, some of his friends’ mothers have had babies recently and I wonder if he had been told about a C-section? Who knows, but he has seemed totally cool about it all, making sure to tell everyone we know, “My mommy’s junk is going to get huge.”
Still, the Croc continues to make an appearance whenever Little Isis is upset about something. He flips out over the Croc for a day or two and then we get to the real issue. You can’t ask him what the issue is at the time, because all he will do is lament over the Croc. Attempts to get at the heart of the matter simply make matters worse. Tonight, we indulged another Croc flip out, except this was exceptionally epic. He got in the shower and wept like I have never seen. He told me, “That Croc was my best friend. He always made me feel better when I was sad. Do you know he had a name? His name was Friendy.”
So, now we wait and see if he will reveal what is bothering him. You can’t tell your child, “Would get some fucking control over yourself? You’re crying over a fucking shoe!!!” At least, not unless you want to pay for his therapy later in life. For now, we just look at the Croc as a flag. An ugly, squishy, hole-filled flag that Little Isis uses to tell us that something is wrong.
More wrong than Crocs.