Snags has the imagination of a crazy person’s reality. A schizophrenic’s perhaps. I don’t know if he actually hears voices, but he certainly holds conversations with invisible people — people that aren’t exactly real, like Darth Vader and The Mystery Gang from Scooby Doo. He once spent weeks, or maybe it was months, talking to Eric and Dr. Kaufman and the Phantom Virus, characters that were in Scooby Doo and The Cyber Chase. Most recently, he’s been holding his hand to his ear as if it were a telephone and having conversations with Darth Vader and The Emperor. And he’s been known to suddenly shout out in the middle of dinner for someone to “STOP FIGHTING OVER THERE WITH YOUR LIGHT SABERS!” Then of course, there’s the fact that Snags has changed his identity many, many, many times over the past few years. I’m not sure how it’s taken me this long to wonder why I haven’t ever hauled him off to the doctor to get this checked out. A visit with a psychiatrist perhaps, to reassure myself that this is just his imagination at play and that he’s not actually CRAZY…
But anyway, given his imagination, I thought it would be fun to make up a story, something utterly impossible and fun, and share it with him. After all, Snags usually likes my made up stories. He often requests them. “Mom,” he asks most nights before bed, “Can I have a telling story? Please? Just one short one before I go to sleep?”
So one afternoon a few weeks ago, I found myself a little bit bored and dare I say sick and tired of listening to Snags having one sided conversations with Darth Vader and the Emperor on his hand phone, and I decided to tell him a story…
But before I tell you more, let me give you a little bit of background on my inspiration for the story, which I took from Pinocchio, my own mother, and Bill Cosby… Pinocchio, you may recall, is the story of a wooden puppet that gets turned into a real live boy. My mother, well she used to tell my brother when he was a kid, that she got him from a shelf in a department store and that she could return him at any time… And that sort of reminded me of Bill Cosby, and that bit where he says something like “…I brought you into this world and I can take you out, make another one that looks just like you…”
It was with those thoughts in mind that I came up with this story. This story that I made up on the spot and thought was a pretty ingenious idea: both brilliant AND funny. So funny, in fact, that I was chuckling in my mind the entire time I was telling it. But oh, the wrath I brought down upon myself!
See, I told Snags that he was originally a baby doll and that I bought him at Toys R Us. Everyone, I told him, all of our family and friends, and even strangers, thought I was crazy for carrying a doll around. So I started to pray to God to turn the doll into a real boy and when he was 7 ½ weeks old, God did! But, the night before that happened, right before I went to bed, I had tossed Snags the doll into my toy box because, well, he was just a doll… But then in the middle of the night a noise woke me up. I heard something crying and there was a bad smell in my room. Our dog had started barking, so I turned on the light to see what all the commotion was about and saw the dog barking at the toy box. I got out of bed, went over to see what was going on, and lo and behold, there was Snags, alive and waving his arms and crying. And he’d pooped his diaper!
I went on to tell Snags that the scar over his eye, the one we’d always told him he got from throwing himself on the floor and hitting his face on a toy when he was a baby, was really from the dog taking him out of the toy box and playing fetch with him when he was still a doll. That, you see, is where the dog’s teeth had scratched his doll head… Now, I thought this was all very funny, but apparently I was wrong.
Snags totally freaked out and screamed and yelled at me. He was so stinking mad I couldn’t believe it. “No!” He screamed. “You’re lying! That’s not true! I was never a doll! Why would you say that? I’m not going to trust you anymore!”
I was taken aback at his outburst and suddenly I felt very defensive. It was just a story, after all. A story I kind of liked, you know, since I made it up (even if Pinocchio and my mother had sort of been the inspiration for it). But still…
In my defensiveness, I’m a little ashamed to admit, I turned into a bit of a child myself and kept insisting the story was true, and that Snags shouldn’t be so upset. In fact, I told him, “You can ask your dad and Uncle Dan when they get here. They’ll tell you this is all true!”
And of course Snags did. He ran screaming to my husband and his Uncle the moment they walked in the front door.
“Dad!” He yelled. “MomsaidIwasadollandGodturnedmeintoaboyandIknowsheslying!”
“What?!” my husband responded. “She said what?”
“MomsaidIwasadollandGodturnedmeintoaboyandIknowsheslying!” Snags repeated.
My husband looked at me, shook his head in disgust and said, “Now WHY would you tell him THAT?” and my brother, Snags’ Uncle, started laughing.
“It’s NOT FUNNY!” Snags cried. “It’s not true, either, is it Uncle Dan?” he insisted.
But my brother, well, he’s a lot like me and can’t resist a good moment when he sees it.
“Well yeah it’s true!” he said, with a big smile spreading across his face.
To which, Snags got even angrier. My husband had to calm him down, and I had to admit that it was just a story. But I still maintained it wasn’t such a big deal and he shouldn’t have gotten so upset about the whole thing.
And my brother, he seemed a little deflated when the truth came out. But I think that’s because up until the point where I had to come clean and admit that the whole “Snags was once a doll” story wasn’t true, my brother was probably thinking that if my mom ever did return him to that department store, at least there was a chance his nephew might be sitting on the shelf next to him.