Over the summer the local library had a sleepover for stuffed animals. Kids would come in and drop off their Teddy Bears and dolls so that they could spend the night hanging out in the children’s section. In the morning, you could go and get them along with a picture of the toy reading a book that would somehow relate to what they were. If they were a horse, for example, they would read about horses and if they were a pig they would read about pigs.
It was all terribly cute to see your child’s doll engaged in such egomaniacal behavior and, if you wanted to, you could check out the book that they were photographed with so that you could read it to them yourself. My daughter took a stuffed penguin and the text that she brought back was one of the most boring picture books that I’ve ever read regarding flightless birds. It was essentially just a list of factoids about penguins printed next to crudely drawn images of them that sort of resembled black and white strips of ripped up paper.
Whatever the case, my kid loved it so much apparently, that she was driven to ask about it over the weekend. Of course it took us a little while to figure out what she was talking about. On Sunday we were driving past the library when she said, “Hey, that’s where my penguin went.”
Now my daughter talks constantly. Sometimes she runs out of things to say so she just starts spouting off shit that’s really obtuse and out there. It’s not unusual for her to start talking about penguins playing basketball or dogs’ tap dancing or anything else really that lacks a fundamental basis in reality. Fortunately though, my wife and I eventually tapped into what she was saying and realized that she was remembering that time almost a year ago that her penguin had spent the night at the library.
As we drove on, my little girl asked when they were going to do that again. Sadly, neither of us had an answer. I tried explaining that it might not be for a while but Dana stuck gold with her suggestion. In a moment of shear brilliance she hit upon the idea of me taking one of my daughter’s stuffed animals to work and photographing it throughout the day. Of course, it was an act that could potentially lead me to great embarrassment and constant harassment around the office but, since I am a totally awesome husband and father, I agreed.
The next morning, my kid woke up before the sun. As I was leaving for work she reminded me of my promise and then shoved two stuffed animals right in my face. One was a HUGE kitty and the other, a much smaller one. She told me that I could have my pick of which one I wanted to take with me. Since I didn’t want to be the guy riding the elevator with a pillow-sized orange cat on a Monday morning, I chose the pocket sized yellow one.
Getting the pictures was easy. Making them interesting was another thing. You see, I work my ass off, pulling 12 hour days for one week out of the month while the rest of the time I just sit around surfing reddit. Since my downtime had just started, my desk was still a wreck but my workload was pretty much nothing. In a kind of fun-house mirror version of my actual life, I realized that taking a half a dozen pictures of my kids stuffed animal browsing r/politics and r/pics was pathetic beyond measure.
All in all, I think it was a success. My little girl enjoyed seeing the photographs that I took and my family finally got to get a look at the place where I work. The only downside was that I actually had to mock up things for the cat to be doing instead of surf the internet all day long. Essentially, I had to do work myself just to pretend that this stupid cat was doing work.