Friday, April 13, 2012

Ladies and Gentlemen, Meet Bell and Pointer

Some kids have their blankies. Others sleep with toy trains. Anna has had her "lamby" since she was a baby. Ethan, my friends, has Bell and Pointer.

What are Bell and Pointer, you may ask? Bell is an orange bell that came as part of a set Ethan got for Christmas from his grandparents. Each bell is a different color and has a wooden handle. Several of them have unfortunately broken, but Ethan is partial to the orange one anyway, for whatever reason. Bell is the last tangible remnant of Ethan's bell phase, which has waned and gone the way of cul-de-sacs and dead ends (clocks and timers are really his thing now, but that's a story for another day).

Pointer is a bristle block, but really not. One day I found Ethan standing on a chair in the kitchen with the bristle block in hand, counting out dates on the calendar. He was pretending to be "calendar helper" the way they do in his preschool class. "That's my pointer!" he announced, apparently referring to the pointer the teacher uses at school to count out the dates.

I'm not sure how Bell and Pointer became a pair, but several weeks ago I noticed Ethan carrying them around the house, one in one hand and one in the other. Then he started bringing them with him to the car the way Anna brings her Lalaloopsy dolls. This started to make me a little apprehensive (I figured school would be next, with tantrums if he couldn't bring them in) so we laid down the law: Bell and Pointer were for home and the car, and maybe the grandparents' houses. Not school. Not stores. Not restaurants. And Ethan has complied, thankfully. We have had several incidents at the breakfast table (just this morning, for example, I told them he couldn't eat with them, and got one thrown towards me, resulting in a time out). But this is usually the exception to the rule.

The neighbors probably are wondering why they hear a sound not unlike a cowbell tinkling every once in awhile throughout the day. That's Ethan jangling his bell as we walk to and from the car. They now have a special place to sleep on his rug beside his bed. He tells them goodnight. So do I. He says (copying Anna again with the Lalaloopsies) that they come from "Bell and Pointer Land." They accompany him to the bathroom, resting patiently on the sink counter while he does what he needs to do.

"My precious bell and my precious pointer," Ethan will say endearingly sometimes. I'm not sure where he got "precious" from, but I'm pretty sure it had something to do with Dan and I talking about the Lord of the Rings movies (we can't get enough of them and were re-watching them again last month). Now every time Ethan says this I can only think of the creature Gollum, clutching the ring with those mad, wild eyes and sneering, "My preeeeciousssss."

Bell and Pointer. I don't quite get it, but then again, I don't quite get why I'll find myself walking around for an hour with a Kleenex balled up in my hand. Or that I like to count steps while I'm walking. Or that I sing tunes to the swish of the windshield wipers. Anna's first pretend friends were Sarah and Fishy. They were her hands. She retained another batch of pretend friends (Tulip, Janey and Naney) until she was in first grade. Ethan has the bristle block and the bell, clutched in each hand, making him smile.


Brenda said...

*laughing* Nice to meet Bell and Pointer! My son has *so* many friends like this. Handbell, coin, stopwatch, barometer, garage door opener. Yes, it's adorable.

My Asperger's Teen said...

My son used to carry around a Beanie Baby he got for his first birthday. It was cute when he was 3 or so, but less cute when he was 11! Kudos to you for setting limits ahead of time - will make it so much easier if his friends decide to stick around for awhile. :)