Yesterday I invented a game whereby Sophie and I took turns pelting eachother with this horrific-looking and very realistic ape-like stuffed animal (our friend Neil got this for her, inexplicably, for her first birthday). She is laughing so hard she tells me she has to stop so she doesn’t pee her pants. She throws the monkey at me as hard as I can yet I catch it; she collapses onto the couch in an astonishingly small bundle. But I nail her with it, everytime. She screams, 90% pure glee, 5% terror, and 5% anger that I am Mama and more powerful and it will be this way for as long as she lives. Her telescoping strategy proving ineffective, she begins throwing the monkey at me then scrambling as fast as she can behind the couch. Where I of course corner her and send the creature missle-like directly down the cave she has sequestered herself in.
After dinner that night the monkey somehow re-emerges and the game starts again. After a few rounds Sophie hightails it downstairs, in fits of nervous giggles. Upstairs the family and our dinner guest settle a bit, while I tuck the monkey into the arm of the chair, fully planning revenge when she comes back upstairs. She stays in the other room and I cajole her to come out. Ten minutes go by and finally I say,
“Sophie… Sophie! Come on. I won’t throw the monkey anymore. I promise. I won’t throw it.”
A pause, then a cautious sing-song:
“Well, it kind of seems like you wi-ill… !”