Keeping Up

For some people, keeping up with the Joneses means buying a new Lexus, a $5,000 range, or the latest in lawn-mowing technology. We are apparently not those people. Nope. For us, keeping up means buying deer.

Before you start thinking that we live on some sort of nature preserve with a deer pen in the back (making us by far the coolest people on the block), let me clarify. When I say deer, I mean this:

Suburbia, thy name is garden ornaments.

Of course, there has to be a good story that goes along with this, because never in my life did I imagine owning a garden, let alone ornaments to embellish its beauty.

My parents, who look after P during the day, took her out for a walk around the block one morning. One of our neighbors, Bob, has one of those fantastic front lawns that makes people ooh and aah, shaming everyone on the block into doing at least the bare minimum to keep their lawns looking passable.

He’s got a little Japanese garden with matching fencing and Asian-styled door, perfectly trimmed hedges, and one hedge that looks like a face from a certain angle—with eyes, mouth, and nose carved out with care. Bob also has two deer garden ornaments.

P is going through quite the Bambi phase, so when she saw those deer, she flipped out. Ran to them, hugged them, kissed them, straddled them, started talking to them, and did everything short of proposing marriage.

So when it was time to move along, you can only imagine the scene: crying, kicking, throwing oneself on the ground, etc.

Bob, who does cute woodwork as a hobby, was in his garage making his daily dose of cuteness and witnessing all this go down. Since he’s a very nice man, he felt bad that his garden was practically causing a seizure in his new neighbor, and kindly offered P a wooden rabbit puzzle he had been working on.

Which she happily took, and then promptly started crying for Bambi.

My parents were finally able to wrench her away from Bambi 1 and Bambi 2 (as they had been dubbed), and eventually convinced P to come home. The day continued as usual, with a meal followed by naptime.

Before I start the next phase of the story, I should recount a backstory involving my sister and me. We had the potential of being incredibly spoiled (some may argue that we were—everyone is entitled to his opinion). Whenever we even hinted that we were in need or want of anything, our dad would disappear like a shopping ninja and return with whatever it was we had mentioned.

I’m not talking about super expensive stuff or clothes, but if we opened the refrigerator and wondered aloud whether we were out of vanilla ice cream, or pickles, or sunflower seeds, or {insert anything else here} he’d be out the door before the sentence was over, heading to the grocery store in search of ice cream or other craving of the moment.

It got so that the two of us learned not to ask any questions about food items, magazines, books, or anything that could be found within a 50 mile vicinity. No doubt it made our dad happy to go around looking for things for us, but we never really felt so strongly about vanilla ice cream to warrant an extra trip to the store.

Too bad we never tried wondering aloud where we had parked that Ferrari.

So, during P’s naptime, my father got into his car, and started driving around to various gardening and hardware stores until he found what he was looking for. Our very own version of Bambi 1 and Bambi 2, which he promptly purchased and brought back home.

When P woke up from her nap, it was like Christmas, her birthday, and Persian New Year all wrapped into one. Oh the hugging, the kissing, the pure joy of having her own Bambis. She pretty much spent the rest of the day with the two ornaments outside, ripping out grass and plucking off all rose petals to feed them. Bob’s garden mocked us even more from across the fence.

And that is how I came home to two new garden ornaments.

But wait, you say, you have three Bambis, not two! Oh, you are so right. We do.

Why is that, you wonder? Well, the next day there was a dip in the temperature. My parents deemed the day too cold to let P play outside for too many hours. But she really wanted to play with Bambi. She really , really wanted to play with Bambi.

The concrete Bambis were now ensconced in their areas of the yard, all wet and muddy on the bottom. So instead of bringing them in the house for P to play with, my dad set out once again—this time looking for an indoor ornament.

And that is how we welcomed Bambi 3 to our family.

The shopping ninja was back. We’ll have to make sure P grows up without ever wondering about that vanilla ice cream.

4 thoughts on “Keeping Up

  1. Your dad is awesome!

    I’m very lucky, my husband is the same way. If I even mention in passing something like, oh wouldn’t it be nice if we had some chocolate ice cream right now, and poof, chocolate ice cream appears within the hour 🙂

    The Bambis are adorable by the way, I can understand the infatuation.

    • Thank, Alison! I could drop hints till the cows come home and the husband wouldn’t head out for ice cream…

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