While helping Charlie pack for a friend’s birthday sleepover….
Cassie: You’re packing both of your blankets? (Charlie used to call them “blankies” but he prefers to just call them “blankets” now.) And you’re bringing both of these stuffed animals too?
Charlie: Yea. Why wouldn’t I?
Cassie: I don’t know.
Charlie: Do you want me to get some sleep at this sleepover or not?
Cassie: I definitely want you to get some sleep.
Charlie: It’s the posse, Mom. They don’t care about blankies or stuffed animals. We’ll probably play video games until midnight. If I’m going to get any sleep after that, I’m gonna need the blankets and these guys. (Sighing, he stuffs the stuffed talking Star Wars Wookie and the lion cub stuffed animal into his overnight bag.)
Cassie: Got it.
Charlie: Sheesh. One of the guys from the posse has a stuffed animal, you know. A dog, I think, called “Jingle Bells.” Do I give him a hard time about that? No! Posse friends don’t do that. I told you. We’re like brothers.
Cassie: Sorry. I get it. I get it.
Charlie: Of course I’m going to bring these things with me on the sleepover. Sheesh! Besides, didn’t YOU have a blankie when you were a kid?! That you had, like, forever? Until you were an adult?!
Charlie: Didn’t you bring the blankie to college even?
Cassie: I might have. Who told you that? Chloe or Dad?
Charlie: Chloe, I think. (Pause) Dad knows you had a blanket? Oh. My. God.
Cassie: He knows a lot of my secret things. He’s my best friend.
Charlie: Which is like the posse. We’re best friends, Mom. (Pause.) Anyway, I’m only nine years old so I have a lot of years before college when I have to get rid of these snuggle things.
Cassie: True. Or, you could just hide them in your suitcases when you pack for college. No one would ever have to know.
Charlie: Are you kidding?! No way I am going to do that. I can’t believe you brought YOUR blankie to college. To college! I am going to be way more advanced than that by the time I get to college.
Cassie: I don’t doubt it.
Charlie: And If I ever get married, there is NO way I am going to tell my wife that I had a blankie. That is information she NEVER needs to know. Gawwwd. Totally nuts!
Cassie: But if you decided to bring those things along…to college….you know, as a “just-in-case,” you could. I wouldn’t say a thing. I promise.
Charlie: Whatever, Mom. I am so bored with this conversation now. Pffft.
Cassie: Got everything?
Charlie: Yep. Time to go. (He rushes out of his bedroom holding the overnight bag stuffed with a few clothes but mostly with blankets and stuffed animals. Then, in a “Buzz Light Year” voice) To the sleepover and beyond!
(I follow him down the staircase carrying both his sleeping bag – the one from Pottery Barn that’s in the shape of a puppy dog – and his pillow with the Superman pillowcase.)