When Shmoogie started talking about her "baby monkey" a few days ago, I figured she meant the smaller of her two stuffed monkey toys. It was missing, and she was pissed.
This morning, though, she looked into the toy room and gasped, "Oh! Look! My monkey!"
"Great," I said, and turned my attention to the next detail of getting out of the house.
Soon, she came walking carefully back out of the toy room, her hands cupped in front of her. "My baby monkey!" she beamed.
Her hands were empty.
Huh, I said to myself. That's interesting.
Fast forward to nap time, after school and after picking up a slightly sedated Alex from the vet (he's perfectly alright, and definitely, despite Mr. Pants's vehement assertions, not "sad because he can't have babies").
Anyway, naptime. I was carrying an actually sad (because she still has to take a nap) Shmoogie up the stairs when her minor anti-nap protestations turned into wails — "My baby monkey! We have to go get her!"
Me, thinking I'm so smart, I shift her weight onto one arm, still climbing the stairs, put my other hand behind my back and then pull it out, carefully cupping the air, "Ohh!! Look what I found, Shmoogie! Your baby monkey!"
She swatted at my hand, "Tha's not her!"
Hmmm. Well, it was pretty silly to think she would fall for such a simple trick, just plucking an invisible baby monkey out of the air from behind my back like that. How unrealistic.
I set her down at the top of the stairs, still crying, and excitedly "found" the baby monkey behind her bedroom door.
Eventually, after a trip to the potty and a general calming down, Shmoogie was thrilled to show me she had finally found her baby monkey… somewhere generally in the right half of her crib. "Oh! There she is!" I gushed, "Can you pick her up?"
"No, I ca't. You do it."
I gently scooped some piece of space from the surface of mattress in the general area she was pointing at and Shmoogie solemnly accepted "her" from me.
The rest of getting dressed and reading books, etc. was punctuated with concerns over keeping track of the baby monkey until, finally, I put them both in the crib and spread the blanket over Shmoogie… which she immediately flipped backwards with a scowl, as if I was trying to suffocate her baby, "My monkey!"