Who was it? I’m not talking about your high school fling or even the boy or girl you “went with” for 48 hours in seventh grade. I’m talking years earlier, when you were in nursery school. Did you become fixated with someone who left an indelible impression on you? So fixated that you promptly incorporated that person into every aspect of your waking and breathing life?
I did. My fixation was a little boy in my day care class, circa 1978, named Chris. To this day I don’t know what his last name was, or whatever happened to him after preschool, but I do remember two things. 1) He had blonde hair. 2) He was nice. The characteristics that stood out most prominently in my 3 year old mind.
Consequently, “Chris” became my imaginary playment, obviously so that I could continue the fantasy of having this really nice, blonde-haired boy around me even when day care ended. My imaginary pal and I took naps, played dolls, read books, and ate meals together. Chris was eventually succeeded by other imaginary friends and animals, each one dreamt up as a result of the stories that fascinated me at the time. But I never forgot my first and most special friend, Chris.
I’ve been reminiscing about all of this because K. has just developed his first crush. Without a doubt, he’s in love. And I know it’s the same kind of love that I felt for Chris – not romantic per se, just strongly obsessed with the person, and desperately wanting them to be a part of his life.
Who’s the mystery woman, you ask? I’ll tell you…
It’s Daphne. From the Scooby Doo gang.
Yep, K.’s become obsessed with Scooby Doo episodes thanks to my husband, who loved them as a child and clearly has no guilt over introducing monsters and ghouls and other headaches associated with the Cartoon Network to our preschooler, who begs to watch the episodes before bed and then complains about ghosts and monsters hiding in the closet. Actually, it’s not that bad; other than being mildly afraid of the dark, K. seems to bear no scars from watching the shows (at least not yet). And he appears to be completely entranced by every episode. (It’s understandable. I mean, just watch one scene in which Scooby Doo goes nuts for a Scooby Snack. Funny. Charming. Offbeat. I dare you not to get hooked!)
So, from all of this exposure to the groovy Scooby Doo gang, their Mystery Machine, and more Casey Kasem than one human being should be subjected to, my son has developed a fixation on Daphne. That red-haired girl, as he calls her. (Oddly reminiscent of Charlie Brown’s fixation, but that’s for another day…)
How do I know he’s obsessed? Easy – she’s involved in every imaginary game we play. Daphne gets saved from the pirates by Captain K.. Daphne and friends invite K. to a picnic. Daphne and the gang find ghosts on Captain K.’s ship (you notice a theme here?) Daphne joins the t-ball game. Daphne helps Mom and K. with the gardening. Daphne’s daddy (played by K.) is the co-oper at preschool and he’s doing a science experiment involving water and electricity (thank God for “fake electricity”).
He also asking questions about Daphne constantly. I know; I’ve kept a log. The inquiries have become particularly frequent these last few days, during which he’s also been sick. (Maybe the only good thing about being under the weather is that it gives him time to think about his beloved.) Here they are, for your amusement:
- Mom, what was Daphne like as a little girl?
- Where does Daphne live?
- What did Daphne do in school when she was little?
- What does Daphne like to eat?
- Who is Daphne’s mommy and daddy?
- Does Daphne swim/play baseball/eat peanut butter and jelly?
And my personal favorite:
- (To my husband) Can I get a doll of Daphne that poops on the potty?
Ahhhh, to be young and in love!