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Almost Busted

When Maddie first bonded with her Silky
and we saw how truly attached to that thing, I had a spurt of
foresight and ordered a second, “backup” Silky for her.
We try to keep them in regular rotation so they wear down at about
the same rate, rather than have one become tattered and ratty and
need to pull a shiny, pristine replacement out of the drawer.
We’ve gone to great pains to keep Maddie from seeing both
Silkies at once and have successfully kept up the illusion that
Silky is truly a one-of-a-kind.

One of the benefits of having two is that we can wash the thing,
and with all the “love” it gets showered on it, a
regular bath is very much in order. I try to swap them out every
couple of weeks, getting one clean and fresh and in the backup
drawer while she’s not looking. It’s important that
this is done somewhat frequently or the difference between
“clean” Silky and “dirty” Silky will be
very evident and the jig will be up.


I’ve had a bit on my mind recently
what with the whole new baby and unemployment thing going on, so
Silky hasn’t made it into the wash for over a month. Every
time I manage to get a load of laundry in it’s invariably
naptime and Maddie’s snuggled down with the thing, so I sigh
and leave it for next time. A few days ago, though, I was
determined; Silky had begun emitting a bit of an, um, odor, and was
looking a little gray.

Time for a bath, Silky.

When Maddie arose for the day, I sneaked into her room and smuggled
the spare out into the kitchen, cleverly hiding it in a dishcloth.
With the laundry basket right next to the kitchen waiting to go
downstairs, I figured I could grab Smelly Silky and stash it
quickly in the basket, Maddie none the wiser, and whisk Clean Silky
out from its hiding place. So far, so good.

Maddie’s a bit clingy and snuggly in the morning (mmmm!) and
it was a few minutes before she laid Silky down and went to play.

Quick as a jackrabbit I snatched it up, shoved it in the basket,
whisked out the replacement, and went about the laundry.

I am so good! I am triumphant! I thought as I went about the

Maddie had her breakfast, got dressed, and then curled up on the
couch with new Silky and a book while I dressed Cora. A few minutes
later, Maddie crept into my room. “Mommy, can you change my
clothes please?” What?

“Why, kiddo? Did you get them dirty?”

“No, Mommy, they smell bad.”

Okay . . . I took a sniff. They smelled fine to me. “They
smell fine to me.”

“Mommy, I need different clothes. I don’t like the way
they smell.”

Maddie’s never done the diva thing about dressing, so I
decided to humor her and went to change her clothes. “Do you
want to pick out what you’ll wear instead?”

“I don’t care. Anything but these. These make Silky
smell bad. Pick out clothes that make Silky smell good again,


Obviously, changing her clothes did nothing to “help”
Silky’s smell.

“Mommy, Silky still smells funny,” my child said, now
eyeing me distinctly suspiciously. I thought fast.

“Well, kiddo, I bet Silky will smell different after we go to
the park. Fresh air always makes things smell better. Maybe Silky
smells funny because it’s been inside a while.”

Fortunately for me, Maddie accepted this partial explanation and, I
thought, let it go. When we got back from the park, though, I
noticed she brought Silky out of the stroller and gave it several
judgmental sniffs. Nodding appreciatively, she said, “You
just needed air, Silky.”

I came THIS CLOSE to getting busted. The Great Silky Switch. I
really gotta wash that thing more often.


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