Our little Grand who stays with us a lot will be two in a few days, and her Mama has been wanting to retire her pacifier from use. And for some time now, Our Girl has been calling it “Popeye.”
We’ve gone through quite a few in her two years---pink ones and Purdue ones and those emblazoned with the blue “COLTS” shoe; a Santa one and a diamond ring one, and even one with her own pair of Bubba Teeth showing---quite fitting, as her parents are sporting a set in one of their formal wedding photos.
As am I, sorry to say---I just lost all reason. I’d been working on the reception food for 200 for days, had had the kitchen co-opted by the tile crew the week before, THEN I painted the kitchen while all the appliances were out of it (more convenient?---what was I THINKING?). Plus we had houseguests for that week, and I was just plumb slap-dab wore out when I got into that dress and those pantyhose.
They made a lot of pictures beforehand, and I was just sagging, with all the supervising of the kitchen left to do. So, when they called me up for pictures, they stood one on each side of me, DS whipped a pair of the teeth out of his pocket and handed them to me, I popped them in, and for all eternity, we smiled into the lens. I can only plead the insanity of being plumb tuckered out and perhaps had just slap lost my mind.
(My Sis took pictures home with her, and passed them around to her friends as the Bride, the Groom, and their Mother).
Today as BabyGirl went down for her one o’clock nap, I could hear her talking to herself and it, and then a bit of consternation as she lost it. I have rescued countless Popeyes from beneath beds, carseats, and various furniture. I’ve rambled in purses and bags and stroller-seats and the floors of cars, touching who-knows-what detritus and crumbs for the sake of that Popeye (Passy) (Nonny) (Foi-foi). So I went up, retrieved it from beneath the bed, handed it over, and she sagged into sleep.
As she came downstairs from her nap, we set out the potty seat atop the toilet and she took her perch. A moment later, waving the Popeye was her undoing. PLOP! It went, right down the chute into the water. We looked big-eyed at each other, and bemoaned the tragedy. We got her dressed, looked mournfully at Popeye one last time, then I lured her out to watch “Ernie” for a moment while I donned a rubber glove and wadded Popeye to his final resting place into a paper towel, thence into the kitchen garbage.
We went back, peered down into the paper-filled water (anybody ever get a little one to sit there a minute without five handfuls of paper going into the bowl?), flushed, and lamented the passing of an old friend.
Smart salute (woebegone “bye-bye” and forlorn wave) as we flushed Popeye away, with the wavery soprano (me) notes of “Taps” in the background. (Actually, I sport a pretty formidable baritone---weird, huh?---but soprano seemed more apt. And wavery because it’s hard to hit the high notes in such a moment).
We did everything but fold a flag, but after many a farewell and a last wave, we came bravely out to rejoin “Ernie” for a little bit of comfort. She and her Ganner are out blowing bubbles now, and I suppose that’s apropos, as well, that symbol of lifting in flight and winking out from human view.
And so Popeye is gone forever. Seems fitting somehow---Burial at Sea.