My daughter and I are involved in a protracted claims dispute over a stuffed animal, an adorable and floppy stuffed sheep. Being a small child, my daughter rather naturally assumes that it (and everything else, if we’re being honest) is hers. Meanwhile, I’m the middle-aged man who keeps trying to take it back because it’s his favorite. You know, in a manly way.
The sheep’s name is Bucket, because I’m awesome with names. I got it when I was in college. (I know, this keeps getting manlier, right?) I’ve never seen another stuffed animal like it. It’s almost overwhelming cute. It’s also frustratingly fragile; I discovered early that its fluffy wool can be pulled out with very little effort.
Therein lies the most significant portion of the problem. My daughter isn’t particularly gentle ever. In fact she’s conspicuously thuggish. Normally I say that with paternal affection as she runs through furniture or moves full-size appliances. (I’m not joking; she’s done both.) When my sheep is involved though, it’s admittedly more of a pouting and defensive critique. I don’t want her easily to destroy what might be difficult or impossible to replace, especially when that thing is so darn cute.
The small remainder of the problem of course is that I’m ridiculous. Some might suggest that I’ve reversed the proportions.