As Oscar and I meandered up the main aisle of our local drugstore yesterday, we came upon a strategically placed display of Pillow Pets. If you’re not familiar with this toy, it features a wildly popular array of super-soft stuffed animals that transform as needed from “pillow” to “pet”–thus the name, I suppose. They come in many iterations–you name the animal, it is probably represented in a Pillow Pet.
I tried to ignore the display; and with Oscar in tow, I thought I could easily get away with it as his preference in toys leans toward the hard plastic variety.
But Oscar stopped at the foot of the display. He looked at it and said, “Mom, Edgar has had a hard week. We should get him a Pillow Pet.”
It was pretty hard to argue with his logic and even harder to dismiss this magnanimous gesture; so, I said, “Good idea. Which one do you think he’d like?”
I knew which one Edgar would like. It was staring at me, through me even. A gorgeous, lush lavender unicorn with soulful eyes and a sassy smile that I could just picture in Edgar’s enveloping arms.
Oscar saw the unicorn, too, and then promptly pretended he hadn’t. Edgar’s propensity for all things soft and occasionally pink or purple has at times challenged Oscar’s still developing sense of so-called gender norms. He picked up the dog, inspected it, and said, “I think he’d like this one.”
But then in the same moment he put it back. Whether it was with resignation or what I hope is his ability to step outside of himself and truly think of others, he picked up the unicorn and handed it to me.
He said, “Here, this is the one he’d want.” However, he promptly added, “But you need to take it to the register.”
I’ll take that as one giant leap forward with only the smallest of steps back.
Well done, Oscar.