“Girly, your doggie is dirty. He needs a bath.” I say gently as you grasp your favorite stuffed animal – the only animal that has claimed the #1 spot in your heart for almost your entire life.
You look at the animal with uncertainty in your eyes and then you look up at me with your sweet two-year-old eyes and firmly tell me, “No, Daddy. I no like it.”
I can tell that you are scared to let go of your doggie. This is the animal that has been by your side through thick and thin. The one who you cuddle with as you fall asleep each night. “Girly, your doggie is really dirty. I will wash her with your clothes, Sweetie. I promise it will be okay.”
You look again at your doggie and then look at me with a sadness in your eyes that melts my heart. You reluctantly hold your doggie up to me and then, in your two-year-old drawl you tell me, “Be cah-ful.”
Of course I’ll be careful, my sweet girl. You hand her to me and I scoop you up in my arms and I ask you if you want to put doggie in the washer. You nod and we head to the laundry room and while we walk you say aloud, “Doggie take a bath. Doggie dirty. Daddy be cah-ful.”
And now, as I write this, you are coloring and every now and then you look up and announce to me, as if to make sure everything is okay, “Doggie taking a bath?”
“Yes, my sweet girl. Doggie is taking a bath. And very soon you will have him back.”