• Erin Griffith

Wood Baby

This is one of those stories that has followed me into my adult life that I will never live down, even though I was too little to have any recollection of the actual events. It's a story that comes up every time I complain about the amount of toys my children have and that they don't play with half of them. My mother always says, "You carried a 2x4 piece of wood around as a dolly for months when you were little."

When I was growing up I didn't have a lot of toys. Mostly because toys were expensive and I chose to play with pots and pans, lids, plastic bowls, washcloths, butter dishes, and wooden spoons instead of the toys I did have. So, my parents didn't waste money on toys that I wouldn't play with anyway.

Anyway, at some point, I pulled a 2x4 piece of wood off of the scrap wood pile and began treating it as a dolly. I wrapped it in blankets and carried it all over the place. I pretended to feed it and patted its back. I slept with it. For all intents and purposes it was a dolly to me. This was alarming to my grandparents who rushed to purchase or make real dollies to give me. I was not interested. I chose to play with my wood baby instead.

After a while, my mother, frustrated, took wood baby and drew a face on it. From what I heard, I was devastated and never played with wood baby again.

I asked my mom if there were any pictures of wood baby, she said that she looked and could not find a picture with wood baby even in the background. I like to think that lack of photographic evidence was probably out of sheer embarrassment on the part of my parents and that they wanted to make sure that I could never be humiliated by embarrassing pictures of me carrying around a 2x4 piece of scrap wood as a dolly. Instead, here is a picture of me dragging my father's cat Doc around by his neck. Apparently he enjoyed this and let me drag him around all the time.

I like to think that I was advanced in the imagination category. It also could have been that I was just a weird kid.


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