I bought a $20 stuffed Pumba from the Disney Store this weekend. I will now attempt to explain why. While it is entirely possible that the following collection of flashbacks will bring you no closer to understanding why a grown man would purchase a plush warthog, I hope you will be entertained.
Flashback #1: In certain circles, it is a well-known fact that Lynnette is quite the fan of food. In these same circles, it is also understood that Madison is quite fond of Pokemon. Well, when Lynnette was pregnant and her belly growing, our then only daughter devised of a way to combine these two ideas. Madison began to call Lynnette Tepig. Tepig is a small pig and a fire-type Pokemon. The only other thing Madison knew about Tepig is that he was really hungry in the first episode of Pokemon: Black and White. These are the kinds of figurative connections my daughter is capable of, but when she explained the rest of her metaphor I was a proud father.
Madison argued that eventually Lynnette’s belly would grow and thus she would “evolve into Pignite”, a bi-pedal pig Pokemon which bears a striking resemblance to the professional wrestler King Kong Bundy, or Vader, if you’re a little younger.
Finally, Madison claimed that when the “hatch-eggs” had grown to their maximum size while still inside their mother, Lynnette will have evolved into Emboar, the final form of the Tepig evolutionary line. It was brilliant on Mad’s part, especially since both Emboar and Lynnette are undeniably hot.
To sum it up, this is how Madison and I came to call Lynnette “Boar”, a name she answers to because she loves her husband and daughter.
Flashback #2: A couple of months ago – when Lynnette was still pregnant – Madison almost got run over by an ambulance. In Lynnette’s mind, anyway.
When Madison first began her dance classes Lynnette or I would walk her into the building, then wait with her until the start of her class. Over time, though, we’ve loosened a little. We walked her to the door, then eventually let her walk to the building on her own while we watch from the parking lot. Lynnette and I both feel the parental instinct to keep an eye on her, but I also know that part of growing up requires Lynnette and relinquishing some control over our daughter. I have an easier time than Lynnette. I don’t blame her. She carried these things inside of her for 9 months, then went through an incredibly intense and painful process of ejecting them from her body.
Anyway, the parking lot for Madison’s dance studio is tiny. Like 6-stalls tiny. There are, however, several other similar lots adjacent to that one. They all belong to other businesses in the same warehouse complex. We pull into one of those, then drop Madison off. She gives us each a kiss before exiting the car. Then she walks to the door of the studio. When we first started her allowing her to do this, Lynnette and I loved watching Mad walk to the studio because she struggled to open the front door. She struggled to pull the door open. It was kind of hilarious. Then she figured out she could push her way in and the fun and games ended.
One day Madison walked off and headed toward the studio. I had already backed out of the stall and headed toward the exit of the lot when Lynnette screamed. “NO! STOP!” I hit the brakes hard. “What?” I asked. Lynnette’s eyes were huge. “SHE’S GONNA GET RUN OVER!” she cried. I turned to look at Madison. She was still a ways off from the studio, but nearing a lot used by an EMT service. The ambulance had just begun to slowly enter the lot. It was not close to Madison. I think that Lynnette assumed Madison would not look for moving cars while crossing the lots. Lynnette jammed her hands down on the window controls and the thin pane of glass could not lower fast enough. “MADISON!” Lynnette shouted. Madison stopped and turned. “WATCH OUT!” Lynnette said, pointing at the ambulance. Madison turned slightly and caught sight of the ambulance, which was still a ways off, I thought. Madison must have thought so too because she made a hideous face and shook her head as if to say “What now?” or “Duh!”
Lynnette watched Madison make her way into the studio. “Jesus,” I said. Lynnette’s adrenaline was running to high. “Shut up, Phil,” she said. My car would become a fight zone if I was not careful. “She’s fine, she’s safe,” I said. Lynnette was breathing heavily through her nose. This is a telltale sign of stress. “You know, you reminded me of something,” I said. “What?” she said. So I told her:
“You had this crazed look on your face. It was like when Pumba screamed “SHE’S GONNA EAT ME!” Lynnette started laughing and tearing. “You’re lucky that’s funny,” she said. When we picked up Madison and told her what happened, she couldn’t stop laughing.
So, since Lynnette sleeps on the couch overnight (as a way to make sure she can get to a crying kid before the crying kid wakes the other one up and makes that kid cry), I have been sleeping in our bed alone. I have slowly drifted toward the center of the bed and it feels wonderful. “I want you to have Pumba,” Lynnette said. He can take my place. Every night, when I toss and turn, I feel a warm furry thing at my feet. Abby grunts at me if I kick her by accident. But Pumba? He doesn’t complain, even if I swing my arm wildly and whack him in the face. But as awesome as that is, I have to admit that I miss my real Boar tremendously.