GeePee

Most kids have favorite toys, blankets or dolls they lug around for years.  Eventually, the beloved things become threadbare and filthy, even more treasured with age.

My son Matt had Lucky, a Care Bear.

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I have no idea where Lucky ended up.  But I do know where daughter Mo’s stuffed lovey dog Philly is.   That’s Philly, upper right-hand corner of the photo, in my grandson Tate’s crib.  There are two dogs in the crib.  The other is attached to the pacifier hanging from the baby’s mouth.

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My best guess is the stuffed fox will be Tate’s lovey.  They had their photo taken together every month until Tate’s first birthday. I was visiting when they had their first mugshot done.  Fox appears to have enjoyed the experience a bit more than his baby brother.

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My cherished childhood lovey was GeePee.  She spent the first twenty-five years of life living in a Glen Park Elementary school classroom, where my grandmother had taught.  Hence the name: GP.  In my mind, it was always “GeePee.”

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I must have been about seven when we met.  Our family was visiting my paternal grandfather’s home in Tavares, Florida.

Grandpa and his second wife, Irene, lived on a lake.  The water from their spigots smelled like rotten eggs.  They had a pier, a motorboat, and a nearby beach where long prehistoric looking alligators sunned themselves.  A visit to Grandpa Jay’s was filled with adventure.  Once Grandpa pinched a playing card with a clothespin, drove the pin into the ground so the slim card edge faced me.  Handing me a loaded pistol, he showed me how to sight the gun and said, “See if you can split that card right through the side, Alice.”  It took several shots, but I did it!

On a big sun-porch, Grandma Irene helped my sister and me make crafts.  I remember gluing shells to cardboard covered in black velvet.  It was there on the sun-porch I first encountered GeePee.  She had different hair then.  Her dress wasn’t tattered, and her body wasn’t patched.  Over the years  I loved all those holes into her and hugged her bald.  Mom made her new hair, and repeatedly sewed on “band-aids.”

When Irene saw how I adored GeePee she allowed me to take her home.  For that alone, I revered Grandma Irene.

I later learned Grandma Irene was often a raging bitch.  One year Irene’s sister Mrs. McComb visited.  Mrs. McComb baked, from scratch, heavenly dinner rolls.  Mother asked for the recipe.  For a lifetime Mom complained Mrs. McComb had intentionally changed the recipe so Mom’s rolls would flop.  I guess bitchy ran in the family.

I unearthed the roll instructions from Mom’s old recipe box.  Fun to see her handwriting.  1958–Proof I was six not seven.  We always visited during Easter vacation.  I would have turned seven later that year.  November 28th.  (Memorize the date, please.  FYI:  I like sparkly things. And chocolate. Preferably Fanny May.)

You may want to test this recipe.  Be forewarned, they will probably flop.

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One of my very favorite picture book author/illustrators is Mo Willems.  He wrote the delightful Knuffle Bunny series.

In the first book, baby Trixie loses her lovey, Knuffle Bunny.  She gets really frustrated trying to tell Daddy what happened.  All three books are darling.  You might read them to cheer yourself up after your Ice Box Rolls flop.  Click here for more about Mo!

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