I wish that I could find the picture that matches the one vividly in my mind. I’m sure it will turn up after this post.
2 or 3 year old me is sitting on the couch with my Aunt Caryl preparing to open her birthday gift to me. I open a Bert puppet from Sesame Street. He has an egg-shaped plastic head with a tuft of black hair on the top.
Many things disturb little me about this gift, but what I say first, according to witnesses present, is Where are the legs?
I remember the long arms and also having to summon all of my preschool-sized courage to look up inside that plastic head to see where the hair was attached on the inside. To reach up into that vast crevasse and touch it was almost too much, but somehow I needed to to prove something to myself.
I had to touch that spot.
I don’t remember what happened to Bert and his plastic head and polyester striped shirt. My mother out of kindness probably had him disappear, though I also remember using him for puppet shows in a pinch.
Fast forward to a bright classroom idea I had last week.
In my classroom were two Christmas trees. A tiny one perched on a table in the reading corner topped with a cute Lambchop finger puppet I found. She made a perfect tree topper with her red Christmas hat and little arms and legs looking like she was just sitting there on top of the tree.
I was proud of myself for having the idea to use her there.
This gave me the idea that I could use a Curious George puppet to top the other tree for an equally classroomy, whimsical look. After all, Curious George is one of my favorites!
Almost immediately my six year old daughter noticed, becoming visibly upset over this use of the Curious George puppet.
Mommy, take that down. It’s fweaking me out. Where are the legs? There are no legs!
Sympathetic to her plight, I removed George from the top of the tree and further asked about why it was so upsetting to her to have him as the tree topper.
It’s just reawwy weird that it looks like there are no legs and just this GIANT TREE growing out of Curious George for the legs.
Lambchop has legs. I don’t have a picture.
Sensitive to her feelings in a similar, yet different way, George came down, replaced by a paper star. Much more natural.
Unlike those mannequins in Old Navy with no heads.
Let’s get out of here, Mama. This place is fweaking me out!