This is a pony. A pink pony. It belongs to our daughter. She got it as a birthday present when she was born. Courtesy of Nana.
At first, she didn’t think much of it. It lay in the crib with her, kinda sad looking because it was ignored. Then one day I walked in and found our daughter sleeping on it. I swear the damned toy was grinning at me.And that’s how a complicated relationship was born.
Since that day I couldn’t tear her away from it. I could only wash it when she was asleep unless I wanted to deal with a siren that would put a convoy of firetrucks to shame. Wherever we went, the pony was there. He held the honorary seat in the cart while grocery shopping. He went with us to pay the bills. He was at the doctor’s office. He even visited the ER when we had to take our son and couldn’t find a babysitter.
One day, we had to do our laundry. Since our daughter was 2 at the time I thought I could reason with her. I sat her down, I explained it’s time to wash our clothes, our bedding and our toys. I took the pony and told her it needs a bath. It is dirty and what do we do when are dirty? We take a bath. Just like us pony needs a bath. She looked at me with her bright blue eyes and happily nodded. I thought the battle was won. Oh, how naive this mama was!
We got to the Laundromat, we unloaded the clothes and I turned around, looked at my daughter and said it was time to put The Pony in to get a bath. She reluctantly put the pony in, I shut the door, inserted the coins, and started the wash cycle.
The minute the machine started spinning my daughter let out a scream so loud and powerful that all the people at the Laundromat came down to see what is going with their phones at the ready to dial Child Protective Services. I can only imagine what was going on in their heads.
Finally I was able to explain through our daughter’s crying what was going on. If there ever was a moment I wished for Earth to open up and swallow me, I would have to say it was that one.
People laughed, the owner brought a bag of snacks for our daughter in the hopes of bribing her into silence. I tried picking her up and giving her a hug. I got smacked and pushed away.
She stood in front of the washing machine the entire time, her eyes following the pony. Occasionally, she would shoot me an evil look that clearly said: “How could you?”. She stopped screaming but she was sobbing, silent tears running down her cheeks. Today I cannot help but to laugh, but back then my heart was breaking.
Finally, the evil washing machine was done. Before I could fully open the door, my daughter was climbing (quite literally I might add) into the washing machine to save her pony. She refused to put it in the dryer. She absolutely refused to even listen to me or the daddy. She in fact started backing away from us, clutching The Pony like her life depends on it. We finally gave up and let her have it. So the pony was wet. So her shirt got wet. So what? We were in Florida, it was the middle of summer, the heat alone would dry them both soon enough.
When we had to move to Croatia, one thing was certain. Come hell or high water, The Pony had to come. The damned thing didn’t fit into any of our bags or carry ons. Not without sacrificing some other more important things. So our daughter is probably the first one who had an entire carry-on by herself. A carry-on consisting of a big pink My Little Pony. The flight attendants did give us a couple of strange looks but shrugged their shoulders sympathetically, and went about their business.
The Pony had made it safely to Croatia. She still sleeps with it. She still carts it around wherever. She lets me wash it now without any problems. She even suggested The Pony takes a bath with her.
Inspired by: brown paper packages tied up with string…