My son has a treasured stuffed animal dolphin named . . . Dolphin. He has slept with Dolphin for about a year now, but just recently Dolphin has begun to play a larger role in his, and our, lives.
What started as a comfort object while Joey slept has now become a permanent part of my day-to-day activities. Much like my daughter's treasured lovey (a yellow blanket that I'll save for another post), Dolphin now goes everywhere Joey goes.
Last week, I took Joey to the doctor because he had developed a nasty cough. Initially, he refused to let the doctor touch him until she had examined Dolphin, who, coincidentally, had also developed a cough. Joey finally allowed her to examine him when she explained that he needed to show Dolphin what to do, but as soon as the doctor was finished, she was forced to listen to Dolphin's heart.
Dolphin came to church with us on Saturday. He boldly swam down the aisle to the pew (with my son making "swim, swim, swim" sound effects) and splashed onto the seat (with Joey loudly saying, "SPLASH!") as he hit the wood. Later, during the priests' homily, Dolphin showcased his repertoire of tricks. I like to think Dolphin swam into the hearts of all the parishioners that evening.
Perhaps the most challenging part of getting to know Dolphin is learning his language. It is made up mostly of high-pitched mumblings and non-sensical phrases, coupled with grand gestures from his shiny blue fin. I asked my son to translate, but he logically explained that Dolphin doesn't like it when Joey speaks for him, and that he prefers to speak to us directly. Yesterday, it took me twenty minutes of interpretation to determine that Dolphin wanted a pretend cup of hot chocolate. Over the course of our interaction, Dolphin's tone became that of desperation tinged with annoyance.
I love that my son is finally using his imagination, however, so usually give in when he asks if Dolphin can do things like set the table or give me a kiss.
I had to scold Dolphin, however, when he spanked my bottom as I was emerging from the shower. That's just inappropriate.
Beth - 1 (I laid down the LAW)
Dolphin - 2 (The spank earned him extra points)