Before I hear a cry, scream or even a plea to come get them out of their beds in the morning, I hear my youngest pounding his chest. The pounding is accompanied with a soft, bellowing rhythmic noise.
Is he calling for me? No, of course not.
He’s pretending to be a gorilla, but even more so, indicating he wants his gorilla. From morning until night, his most recent infatuation has presented itself in the form of this small, plastic and somewhat realistic looking ape. It stands an inch to an inch and a half tall and taunts me from sun up to sun down.
I’ve gone through similar stages with my eldest and still continue to, but his focus is specific to dinosaurs. Sometimes it’s the favorite of the day, week, but rarely lasts longer than that. This isn’t the case with my youngest and his partner primate. We are going on a month now. Even though he’s formed an attachment to it and gives him a sense of calm to carry it around with him, I regret the day we bought him.
My life is dictated by where he is at any given moment and when we temporarily lose him, it is literally the end of the world. On any given day, there are multiple emails and texts to and from my husband asking if we know where he is because our son is running around the house in a panic while pounding his chest frantically looking for his beloved animal figure.
What is it about this thing? There’s nothing special from what I can tell, but you better believe my son would opt to have his ape over any of the latest and greatest toys on the market. He was a cheap buy during a Wal-Mart run to keep him from losing his shit in the store. Looking back, the meltdown would’ve been better. It would’ve been embarrassing, yes, but it would’ve lasted minutes compared to this prison I’ve put us in where the sentence is keeping tabs on and constantly looking for this damn ape.
I’ve even contemplated buying an additional one or two to keep on hand in case the dreaded day comes where we lose him indefinitely or when I’m too exhausted to look another minute for him. The only thing keeping me from this tactic is when he finds out there are more than one, then I will be the unofficial zoo-keeper of multiple gorillas and I’m barely keeping my sanity with one.
Will this gorilla phase ever end? I used to be hopeful, but I’m starting to think I will see it travel on stage with him as he accepts his high school diploma. Maybe I should be happy it’s not an animal with a more annoying sound or a toy that isn’t as easily transportable.
Until the day comes where this specific gorilla no longer has special meaning to my son and he ends up buried at the bottom of a toy chest or collecting dust hidden away, knowing where that gorilla is will be at the top of the list of survival priorities, along with making sure everyone is fed and clothed.