The Picture of Dorian Big Boy OwlPosted: January 3, 2014
Remember Big Boy Owl, beloved comfort object of Das Big Boy? Well, he’s still here (thank god!) and they’re still besties. BBO accompanies Das Big Boy to school (yes, DBB goes to the most wonderful preschool three days a week, and I think he would totally love it if not for the other children, whom he claims to play with but generally ignores).
Anyway, Big Boy Owl is not aging well. It’s the hard living. Getting carted around everywhere. Slept on. Loved. Occasionally vomited on. He’s like the co-dependent live-in lover of a frat boy (I speak from experience, but not with Herr Husband who thankfully aged out of his fratiness).
Let us compare his party photos from his recent third birthday with those from his second.
He’s gone all squashy, and his fur has clumped and lost its sheen. His color is fading. And his beak is retracting. He sprung a hole out of which an intestine like tube of beads emerged that I finally sewed up on his birthday. Of course, we love him more than ever.
As you know, the debate over whether to have a BBBO (Back-up Big Boy Owl) raged hot and heavy over here. I think it’s disingenuous to have a secret second comfort object. Herr Husband thought it was a good move. So he ordered one from Amazon which we squirreled away in the basement. As Big Boy Owl’s looks began to fade, we realized Bizarro Big Boy Owl would never fool Das Big Boy. So we started washing BBBO with every load of laundry (and you know how much laundry we do. We have two kids. And I only own three pairs of pants–skinny jeans in blue, gray, and black, which are apparently about to go out of style. Crap). Anyway, the more we washed BBBO, the fluffier and more beautiful he became. Meanwhile, poor BBO seemed to be deteriorating at an ever faster clip. It was creepy, somewhat akin to The Picture of Dorian Gray, but in reverse. And with owls.
Then one evening, I brought a load of laundry upstairs so I could put on pants before leaving the house for some sort of social gathering. (That’s right. I do stuff with friends now. And, even better, I drink wine!) And Bizarro Big Boy Owl was in the laundry basket, where Das Big Boy discovered him. “Is that Big Boy Owl?” he asked in his joking voice.
“No,” I told him. “That’s Big Boy Owl’s brother. He came for a quick visit.”
“Get that thing back in the basement,” I hissed to Herr Husband.
But BBBO kept turning up, mostly because Herr Husband used him to placate Lil Liebchen when I was out wearing skinny jeans and drinking wine. Because obviously Lil’ Liebchen is in LOVE with Big Boy Owl. She snatches him from her brother every chance she gets. So we put BBBO in her crib for a while. And Das Big Boy kept finding him and saying things like, “We have two Big Boy Owls,” and “I want Real Big Boy Owl,” and “Where’s the Other Big Boy Owl?” and “What does Grandma and Grandpa’s microwave say?” (He’s currently obsessed with microwaves. More on that later, too.)
So on Christmas we gave up. I officially named the other owl Dorian, and decided she was Big Boy Owl’s sister (Apparently, Big Boy Owl comes from a big family. He has Baby Owl, who is his little sister, an unnamed brother who came and went, and now Dorian. Of course those last two were played by the same stuffed animal. That’s fine. We’re open to the mutability of gender and identity.) Dorian stuck around for Big Boy Owl’s birthday on December 29, and now I don’t know if she’ll ever leave. Das Big Boy loves to play Is-it-Dorian-is-it-Big-Boy-Owl? And now, after feeling sorry for Big Boy Owl because Dorian’s looks seem to be staying, I feel sad for Dorian. Big Boy Owl gets to go to school while she sits in a toy box like an ordinary stuffed animal.
And that, friends, is how you know I’m crazy.