The Green Doggy

Posted by jdg | Wednesday, June 06, 2007 | , , , ,

I have tried writing the first three paragraphs of this post three times now; all three versions were intended to explain or justify buying my daughter a $60 plastic dog. Then I realized I had no excuse. I did it. There is no denying it. I bought my daughter a $60 plastic dog, and to make things worse, I only did it because she tricked me into it. Last Friday I was sitting at the laptop while Juniper ate her lunch at the dining room table, and I clicked on an e-mail from Design Within Reach announcing massive discounts and free shipping on their failed line of kid's products. I clicked on the link just to see how cheap that stuff had become, and Juniper apparently had one eye on the screen the whole time, because she immediately shouted, "Juney wants that doggy!"

"Whatever, kid," I said, and we went about the rest of our day's business. Except she wouldn't shut up about the damn dog. That day we went to Eastern Market, a collection of old-school shops that sell fancy cheeses and free trade coffees and lots and lots of pork ribs. Everywhere we went at the market she claimed to see the Green Doggy for sale. "Ask that guy!" she said pointing to the butcher with a refrigerator case filled with fresh pig's heads, pigs feet, pig's snouts, and fresh coon, as though he might also stock an overpriced green minimalist molded-plastic Finnish canine in the back if you just asked him about it. So by late afternoon, after near constant chatter about the "Green Doggy" ("Is he a friendly boy? Where are the Green Doggy's eyes? Juney could ride that Green Doggy! He could sleep in her own room! What's the Green Doggy's name? Can we buy that Green Doggy?") I said the words I thought I'd never say: "Okay, Juniper, when your mother gets home, we'll ask her if we can buy the Green Doggy. We have to order it on the internet, though," I tried to explain. "They don't sell that doggy in Detroit." She wasn't having any of that shit.

"I want that Green Doggy now!"

When Wood got home, of course she agreed right away that we had to order the Green Doggy. "At least she isn't asking for that Dora the Explorer Magic Castle my mom had at her house last weekend."

"She knows me well enough to know I'd never agree to that," I said. "She seems to have located a vulnerability, a chink in my armor of cheapness. The dog used to be $99, and now there is free shipping."

"Just order the damn thing. It's not like you've ever bought her anything that wasn't a germ-infested piece of crap you discovered on the floor between aisles of kid's clothes at the Salvation Army."

"I bought her that Alexander Calder shark pull toy!"

"Yeah, but you won't let her play with it."

So Wood sat down with Juniper and explained that the Green Doggy lives far away in a city called Cincinnati, and right now they are putting him in a big box with lots of pillows and a mailman is going to carry that box all the way up here to Michigan. "It will take him many days to get here," she said.

The Green Doggy came yesterday during her nap:


She climbed on top of him.

She told him to run very, very fast all the way to her own room, where she proceeded to cover him up with blankets and talk to him for several hours.

Someone who had grown accustomed to being covered with blankets and talked to for hours, however, was not at all amused.