Friday, May 15, 2009

The Ernie shirt

A few weeks ago, Mary Clare called me from a Hanna Andersson store in Atlanta. She wanted to find out if I wanted her to pick up a few items on sale for William.

I immediately said yes and asked if she could find what we call "easy pants"--or as the case may be for summer, "easy shorts." What makes pants "easy"? (I am resisting the urge to make a stupid joke here, I really am.) It's very simple. Their elastic waists means they can be pulled on and off with no trouble; the lack of buttons or zippers makes them easy for a child to put them on and take them off without an adult's assistance. I was hoping to get some red "easy shorts."

Mary Clare immediately found some red shorts, as well as a pair of blue ones. Then we began discussing the possibilities for matching shirts because the store had a variety of striped t-shirts on sale to choose from.

"I really like this one with blue and gray stripes," Mary Clare said. "And then there's this other looks like, well, it looks like a shirt Ernie would wear."

And as a child raised on "Sesame Street," I could immediately envision what she referred to.

But you don't have to. I took a picture of it for you and posted it right here:

See? It DOES look like an Ernie shirt, doesn't it? Hanna Andersson should hire MC to write product descriptions because she was spot on.

For the record, that is my old Ernie puppet in the photo. That puppet is legendary in my family because he is responsible for the fact that I clung to a pacifier well into preschool.

You see, my mom left me for a few days at my grandmother's house with a decrepit old pacifier when I was about two or three years old. My pal Ernie went with me. Mom hoped that maybe I'd have so much fun at my grandmother's house that maybe I'd forget all about the pacifier--or, at the very least, maybe it would finally just disintegrate, and she'd be rid of it.

At some point, I was playing with my Ernie puppet and I accidentally made the puppet bite off the nub of my pacifier. Like all young paci-ddicts, I howled and pitched a big ol' fit. My grandmother was scared that I had swallowed the tip of the pacifier, and she panicked. Eventually she realized that wasn't the case and calmed down. However, I was still a raging howling mess. So she cast about for a way to soothe me. That translated into my poor sweet Mama Joy bundling me into the car to go to the dime store so we could buy a new one. An hour or so later, we arrived home with a three-pack of brand new pacifiers.

When my mom arrived to collect me, she couldn't believe it. Thirty-odd years later, she still can't believe it. She had been so close to getting rid of the pacifier once and for all, and Ernie had just set it all back by what turned out to be many months.

Ernie lives at my house now. William had already easily given up his binky by the time Ernie arrived here, so Ernie couldn't cause any more paci-related mischief. But you know, I wouldn't turn my back on him for too long. You just never know what he's up to. He and William, as you'd imagine, get along very well, even when they're not dressed alike.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Ernie's a great little guy, isn't he?
William looks cute in his "Ernie
shirt", but better keep an eye on those two!