Duck-Duck and Fringies

Before Henry was born, his Aunt Joeli gave him a super soft little plush duck. And I made him a fleece quilt with fringes on the edges. I don't think either of us had any idea how huge those two things would be in Henry's life.

There is a whole other world in our house, occupied by Henry, Duck-duck (aka Duckie) and Fringies. They have quite a range of fantastic imaginary abilities and voices of their own. (These voices are created by Henry in the octave higher than his own voice, but he NEVER breaks out of character once he decides that only Duckie or only Fringies is going to respond to you.)

Duck-duck and Fringies are Henry's closest friends and fellow tormentors of Calvin (who alternately gets really irritated with the irrationality of their world and then can't help but join in with his own plushinator, Kookie the Elephant).

Duck-duck and Fringies are members of the family. When we had to send pictures of the important members of Henry's family for a collage at preschool, he insisted that we must take a picture of Duck-duck and Fringies to include.

And they are not just any random members of the family, vaguely referred to as cousins or brothers - oh, no. Henry is Duck-duck's daddy. I discovered this one day when I was congratulating (and thanking) Henry for stopping what he was doing to go to the bathroom instead of wetting his pants. Apparently my positive reinforcement wasn't enough because Duck-duck's falsetto chimed in: "Good job, Daddy!"

And Henry is a good parent, often going to great lengths to ensure that Duckie gets his nap.

But even better than that is that Fringies...? SHE is Duck-duck's mommy.

True to their characters, Fringies is the adult in given situations, and Duckie is definitely the naughty little baby. Fringies is the one who snuggles and comforts. Henry is always careful to let her rest when she needs it. He makes sure her "head" has a comfortable pillow and that she can see the TV from where she is propped up. Because moms do that. Ever so often.

Despite her mild-mannered motherly image, Fringies has all kinds of interesting super powers. She drinks from straws. She sprays all manner of imaginary liquid - toxic and non - at any moment from any of her fringes. She turns into a myriad of creatures for Henry's playtime enjoyment - from a baby to a tent to a beach towel to a super cape or flag. At Halloween time she was a ghost capable of sucking blood (through her fringies, of course). Yeah, and my three-year-old sleeps with her every night. (I guess that's how we got Duckie, huh?)

Duck-duck does more childish things, like inserting the word, "Poopy," in songs about Jesus. He also enjoys hosting sleepovers, even though none of his little friends have as much personality as he does.

More and more, Duckie gets blamed for all manner of misbehavior - there is no end to the things that miscreant talking plush can do around here. David has learned that saying, "Henry, don't throw your duck" doesn't work at all. He has actually been heard saying things like, "Well, tell Duckie that if he flies across the room into the window again, he will have to sit on the highest book shelf for the rest of the night." Henry passes the message along.

I'll also admit that we have allowed Duckie to give the family prayer a time or two when Henry wasn't feeling in the mood or else emphatically felt that Duckie needed a turn, like everyone else in the family. And Henry is sure to remind us to tell Duckie that he did a good job.

It is always interesting how well Duckie can use words to tell us when he needs a drink or when he feels scared or needs someone to hold him or help him or give him a kiss. He is actually much better at communicating about his needs than Henry is about his, so whenever Duckie needs something like this, we're sure to give it to Henry at the same time.

A master choreographer, Henry creates all kinds of adventures for Duck-duck. The other day I was washing dishes when I heard Henry muttering behind me, rummaging in the cupboard:"Now, what in the world could I use for a train car for Duckie?" The pasta strainer was apparently ideal.

My favorite all time derivation of the Duck-duck and Fringies world, however, was this: Henry spent a good half hour one day trying to get Duckie to sit right and arranging Fringies' fringies, then came and got me from the laundry room to tell me, "Look Mom! This is a sculpchoh of a man on a horse.

Yeah, the sculpture thing ranks right up there with the times when Henry insists that he needs someone to snuggle with at night and I tell him that he has Fringies and Duck-duck. To which he responds, "But Mom, I need someone hugh mund to snuggle with!"


KatieBug said...

Creative and SO cute!

Super Happy Girl said...


Ok, I declare this post the cutestest post I've ever read. Makes me want to have a baby.

He makes sure her "head" has a comfortable pillow and that she can see the TV.
Oh man.

Ice Cream said...

Oh what fun. I love it when kids create there own relities. I also love that he recognizes the need for occasional hugh mund time.

NOBODY said...

I could NOT stop laughing at the picture of fringies getting a drink. That boy is 100 kinds of cute and hilarious.
I loved this post. Every letter.
I could hear D saying, "Well tell Duckie..." and it made me laugh out loud.
What an imagination.
p.s. only you would have a three year old that knows the word "sculpture".

NOBODY said...

I second NCS, minus the "want to have a baby" part.
I've had nuff a that for a while.

Anonymous said...

You need to put a LOL warning on that one...i busted up in my cubicle!

Dawn said...

That was just so sweet! What a precious little daddy/son he is. :-) Kids have such great imaginations.

Sorry I've been a stranger!

someone else said...

How did I miss this post?? This is too precious. My oldest daughter had a whole collection of imaginary friends before our second daughter was born. It was interesting to hear all their adventures. One day my husband almost sat on Big Jack because he didn't see him in that chair. Kids....they're so creative.

Hope you're doing ok and that you have a very wonderful Christmas!

Real said...

You've been tagged for a Christmas Hoopla. Come on over and see!