Monkey down her front.

In a sudden change of heart Bea has taken to sleeping just like Sam used to. Flat on her back with her favourite toy stuffed right up inside her pyjama top. The beloved friend in this case is Baby Monkey, a small plush brown companion that is proving to be quite inseparable at the moment.

Until Baby Monkey recently got promoted Bea would sleep alone. A younger Sam would nightly be found fast asleep awkwardly buried beneath a mountainous assortment of prized possessions. Soft toys, blocks, cars, trains and track, a dump truck as big as a small boy, and even a potty full of pee have all had to be gingerly removed from around a sleeping Sam. In contrast, with a resolute “NO!” Bea would angrily scowl and roughly toss aside any offending daytime friends trespassing in her night domain before settling down.

Somehow Baby Monkey has acquired special status. What makes this friendship all the more interesting is that Baby Monkey actually belongs to Sam. Baby Monkey was gifted to him, but the boy has paid him little heed and he has sat neglected until Bea became smitten with his charms. Strangely Sam has not objected to Bea’s advances on one of his toys and has even encouraged the friendship. Indeed, Sam’s giant monkey is Baby Monkey’s daddy, and Daddy Monkey often comes out to play with his son. Perhaps it is actually this connection with the big brother whom she adores that has elevated Baby Monkey to achieve something no other toy has? Dolls and other toys have had fleeting romances with Beatrice, but not one of the toys intended to be her special snuggle friend has been invited to spend the night. Actually, she hasn’t really paid them much heed in daylight either. With Bea, friendships are briefly made but do not endure.

Her two baby dolls have been unpacked from their trip across the USA but are now resigned to spending their days tucked away sleeping soundly in Bea’s chest of drawers. They must be very tired. At least they get one dark drawer each, and it is roomy because Bea has cleared their new abodes of clothes, but in their separate drawers they must reside.

I pulled dollies out the other day and carefully positioned them having a tea party in the doll house bookcase. They looked happy to see each other. Within hours, when I came back to the room, the tea party was over and the dolls returned to solitary.

Meanwhile, Baby Monkey is getting all the love from Bea. She snuck him into the gymnastics hall with her the other day when we were still doing the parent and tot classes. It was a battle to convince her that having a monkey sticking out of her neckline would be a hindrance on the apparatus, and that he would be happiest watching her from her cubby. She eventually acquiesced and all was well until halfway through the class. Bea suddenly stopped enjoying the jumping and clambering and went into a complete mooch. She totally shut down and refused to play anymore and I had to carry her from the equipment. Back in the cloak area the smiles were back when she happily reunited with her monkey friend, then quick as a monkey herself she scampered out of reach back to her gym friends with him. I spent the rest of the session helping Baby Monkey follow Bea and do all the gym moves too.

I do note that while Bagpuss was thrust up inside Sam’s top he was invariably being fed and enjoying “milky milky”, Monkey is just snuggling and staying close as he enjoys a good diet of solids. He likes the occasional banana, but mainly eats cupcakes.

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