Baby Girl A has become obsessed with her big brother’s hugging Elmo. He doesn’t play with it any more, so that isn’t a problem. Baby Girl B has no interest in Elmo, so that, thankfully, isn’t a problem, either. The problem is that Elmo is nearly as tall as Baby Girl A and she won’t put him down!
When she toddles around with Elmo locked in a hug, she can’t see anything over his giant red head and bulging plastic eyes. So, she trips over everything in her path (and in a small house with three young kids, there are a lot of things lying around). When she trips, she either lands on Elmo or drops him. This causes the batteries to come ajar because I can’t find the battery cover (I know I put it in a really safe place…) and then Elmo won’t talk, sing, or hug. So she carries him to me, holding him out. “Mama?” she asks. I push the batteries back in place (I tried putting painters tape over them, it helps a little), hand him back, and off she goes, happy again.
Yesterday morning A was carrying Elmo around while I was getting breakfast ready. “Time to eat,” I sang, scooping her up and carrying her to her high chair. “Elmo can sit over here and watch you eat.”
“AHHHHHHH!” A wailed, tears immediately springing to her eyes when I tried to take Elmo away.
“You have to eat breakfast. There isn’t room for Elmo to sit with you,” I tried to explain, pulling a little harder on the furry red arm.
A was not having it. I got the fully arched back, crocodile tears, and high pitched screech that I know meant: “There is no way you are going to pry Elmo away from me.”
If there’s one thing I have learned, it’s that you have to pick your battles as a parent. This was not a battle that meant that much to me. “Okay, okay, you can eat with Elmo.” I buckled them both in, popped the tray on, and handed over her bagel and cream cheese. She immediately stopped crying, picked up the bagel, and began chowing down.
Half-an-hour later I cleaned cream cheese and strawberries of of both her and Elmo. Luckily, Baby Girl didn’t feel the need to eat lunch or dinner with Elmo. But then it was bedtime…