I’m not sure where he came from but Frank’s go to stuffed animal, the one who goes with him just about everywhere, is Lenny. Mrs Frank’s Place gets to take Lenny to work sometimes when Frank thinks she’s lonely and needs company in the car. Even I have had the privilege of Lenny’s company when I was sick following the projectile vomiting I took right in the kisser from my daughter. You can read that gory tale here if you so desire: daughter vomiting in my mouth story
Lenny is a Lamb with a sleep cap and his eyes closed. The eyes closed bit will be important in a second.
Just for historical accuracy, I named Lenny. Frank was not speaking when he started toting Lenny around on a regular basis, and we needed to call him something. Lenny just seemed like a nice literation of his species. He’s a lamb, what else were we going to call him, Hank? Hank the Lamb. Makes no sense. Lenny the Lamb flows off the tongue. Besides he looks like a friggen Lenny to me.
Like I said, Lenny goes everywhere with Frank. When Frank spends the night and Uncle Butch and Aunt Sally’s, Lenny is the first thing we pack. But Lenny goes in the backpack, with the binker, juice, and string cheese necessary to make the voyage, not in the duffel bag with the clothes, extra pull ups, his favorite cars, and of course the rest of the animals. I’m not sure what Perry the Platypus thinks about riding in the cargo hold with the diapers while Lenny sits in first class watching Little Einstein movies on the overhead.
And I’m sure it’s no surprise when I tell you Lenny got left behind one day. That touched off a blitz of text messages and phone calls the level of which are normally reserved for national emergencies. Uncle Butch did find him, and peace on earth was restored but we decided to hedge our bets and buy a 2nd Lenny. A stunt Lenny if you will, although his nickname has become “Deployed Lenny”. So he’s the one who goes on the trips and the one who fills in if regular Lenny goes on walkabout at home. And yes, I know we should have done that from the beginning because even Brit Brit and Kim Kardashian know this. But hey, Dr. Spock never said nothing bout buyin no Deployed Lenny.
We still didn’t know how important Lenny was to Frank until the day of Anne Marie’s baptism. June 30th of this year by the way. Frank is 4. Yeah, we’re not good at this.
On the way to the church, Mrs Frank’s Place got a little nervous about the whole deal and asked Frank if he wanted to pray. He said he did. First signal something was not right. Frank prayed the God would open Lenny’s eyes soon.
It’s pretty funny until you realize Frank is dead serious. He has total faith God will open Lenny’s eyes. I’m talking about the mustard seed faith that could literally move mountains that Jesus talked about. This here: If ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye shall say unto this mountain, Remove hence to yonder place; and it shall remove; and nothing shall be impossible unto you. Matt 17:20
We should have known. When Frank mistook my mom for an intruder because she arrived at 1:00am, he ran to his room and got Lenny and his light saber and hotfooted it to our room. He refused to get up on the bed, a steep climb, until he knew we had secured Lenny under the blankets. He just stood there with the glowing green blade of his light saber pointing towards the door in case my 80 year old mother came in.
He was only too happy to recreate the event for me the next day.
Anyway, so now we know the level of importance Lenny holds. Except for Anne Marie. She doesn’t know and I don’t think she cares a whit about the importance of Lenny. So when Frank came running to me screaming “She’s eating Lenny!” I knew exactly what was going on.
AM was chewing on Lenny’s hand. Gotta question the kid’s judgement there. That freaking lamb has been through the wringer a lot, and the washer not nearly enough. There’s not enough mint jelly and Ouzo to make that lamb taste good. It’s a wonder her gums have not started bleeding from all the pestilence she must have ingested.
Frank was despondent. “Lenny’s busted. He’s ruined. She ate Lenny.” I thought he was going to throw himself and Lenny out the window. So I had to take one for the team.
I grabbed Lenny’s soaking wet hand with my own hands and wiped as much slobber off of there as I could. Then I did an examination. Once I convinced Frank that Lenny was not damaged and barely wet, he started to rally. He then went to his sister and admonished her. “No eating Lenny. It’s very dangerous.” I’m still not sure if he was warning her about the danger of possibly choking or the dirt she would get in her mouth, OR if he was threatening her. The part that worries me is I think he was threatening her, but like a mobster does it, not like a kid would do in the school yard.
So we’ve learned some valuable lessons from all this, not the least of which is Lenny needs to go through the spin cycle a few more times. Man he’s filthy. But we also learned not much, if anything, will ever come between a boy and his blind lamb.
How could we have been so blind.