Posted by: LucidMystery | January 27, 2008

The Adventures of Monkey

I was shocked and horrified last night when I realized that someone very close to me is not very well known among my friends. This someone has been with me for most of life and has helped me adjust to living in different states, going to a new homeschool group, getting over Justin Timberlake, starting college–all of the mile markers of life! This someone has gone of most of my family vacations and has been through the airports of 4 different countries, always making it through those uncomfortable baggage areas unscathed. This someone was a constant figure in my life when I moved 12 different times, lost friends, gained new ones, and adjusted to my surroundings. This someone is my Monkey.

Monkey was a present for me when I was about 18 months old. My grandpa brought him back from Boston when on a business trip (that’s why Monkey’s red corduroy overalls say “Boston” on the front) and we have been inseparable ever since. As I write this, he is sitting on the pillows of my bed–leaning sideways–staring at me quizzically.  Time has not been the kindest to him, hence why his head flops in every direction and no matter what angle you look at him from, you can see at least two places where he has been stitched back together (well, actually, since mom sewed a shirt on top of his grody old one, you might not be able to see half of them.) But he has been through quite a lot to earn the title of my favorite toy from childhood.

One of my most amusing/traumatizing memories for Monkey is part of the reason why his head flops so much (the washer did him in). If you only remember one story from the history of Monkey, remember this one, especially as you wonder why he smells a little funny. I was 7, Elisha was 5, and Monkey was the innocent bystander. Although we were supposed to be taking naps, Esha and I were playing in our room, and I did something that apparently aggravated her quite badly. With a look a look of sour indignation, she grabbed Monkey off of my bed and ran as fast she could to the bathroom with him. Shrieking all the way, I chased her down the hall and threw open the bathroom door where I discovered Monkey in grave danger. Grim determination now covered the 5 year old’s face as she held onto Monkey directly over the toilet.

“Take one more step and Monkey gets the toilet!” she declared.

Now at this point, let me just pause and say that I was older and assumed she was still at least somewhat under my control. I thought she might think through her actions and the potential consequences, if not the punishment she got from Mom and dad, then certainly my retaliations!

I took a step forward. Monkey was plunged headfirst into the toilet.

Horrified, I began wailing. Now, I’m sure Mom had heard us before this, but maybe she was clinging to some hope that we would have worked it out for ourselves. No such luck. She came flying down the hallway to discover the source of the disturbance and saw me crying while Esha triumphantly grinned and Monkey bobbed in the toilet bowl. Now the outcome of this I still find quite distressing. Monkey was sent through the washer, as he needed, but he was never quite the same. Esha was lectured on the importance of not throwing other people’s stuff in the toilet, and I was sent to time out. Fair? I think not. Monkey and I had a long, sad, discussion about this after he came out of the dryer. We did eventually overcome that blow, but I maintain one of us will end up in therapy one day and will bring that story up.

Monkey has had many cringe worthy moments throughout his life. From being puked on multiple times when I was a kid (sorry about that) to being scrunched like a contortionist into a tissue box when I was sophomore in college (coughMattBakercough), he has proven that he is more than capable of withstanding trauma and recovering all the stronger.

You see, Monkey and I have a special bond. He isn’t technically any particular species of monkey–he actually doesn’t even have a tail, which indicates he is no monkey at all; but that doesn’t bother me. And it doesn’t bother him that I refer to as such. Monkey is to me what Woody and Buzz were to Andy; what Mooshu was to Mulan; what Emily was to Sara Crewe. We made one dynamite duo. As the years have gone passed, I am significantly less dependent on needing to see him around before I go to sleep, and he doesn’t require stitching up so often. As it is with all grown-up children and their old toys, our relationship is now based on history rather than need. But that’s how it should be. Monkey is a soothing presence, a creature comfort of home no matter where I am; and that’s what he always will be.


  1. Do you (or did you) plan to be buried with your special stuffed animal? I did.

    This was my favorite line: “We did eventually overcome that blow, but I maintain one of us will end up in therapy one day and will bring that story up.”—especially if it refers to you and Monkey, not you and Elisha.

    Did our game of Loaded Questions inspire you to write this post? I seem to recall someone not knowing who Monkey was during that game.


  2. I love Monkey! His Boston shirt intrigues me. I loved your little childhood story.


  3. I’M SORRY OKAY! I’m sorry I forgot about Monkey. It won’t happen again. I loved having him around for the Maine trip.


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