Crisis of a Four-Year-Old
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Crisis of a Four-Year-Old

A Short Story for Those Trying to Briefly Escape Daily Life

Crisis of a Four-Year-Old

“Babbit, the rabbit,” I hummed the tune I had made up to myself as I skipped down the stairs to the carport basement in my house. The rhyme reminded me of the reason why I had decided to come downstairs in the first place and I paused on the landing to understand my troubled thoughts. Then turning my focus onto the change of air as I descended, I inhaled. I loved the smell as I went down those steps. The air was warmer than the previously cool conditioned air from upstairs and it carried the smell of saltwater mixed with must and Mississippi bayou mud.

I continued to skip down the steps and hum. Down here, I had a corner all to myself, at the back of the room that was filled with the cluttered items of my parents’ busy adult life. I ran to the back windows where my barbie house and tea party table were set up. There I found my favorite new stuffed animal, a purple bunny that I had named Babbit. I liked that name because it rhymed with rabbit, which was what he was. He had long floppy arms and legs that matched his equally floppy ears. There was one purple bow tied around his neck and his shimmering purple fur ran in short curly patterns all over him. With two plastic eyes and a sewn on pink nose, I liked to pretend he was the Easter bunny. Right now though, I wasn’t going to get Babbit to play a game. I had a problem at hand.

Earlier that day, a friend of mine, who also taught me swim lessons, had given me a rabbit. Not the stuffed animal kind but the real kind. She was going to college and couldn’t keep it anymore. This was something I didn’t really understand, although I accepted the answer as a valid reason for why she couldn’t keep her pet. At the time, I was mostly focused on the soft brown furry animal and my own surprise and excitement that I had been given it. The problem was though, that his name was Babbit too. I had originally named my Babbit from him because I liked the name and I wasn’t sure what else to call my stuffed animal. Mom had told me that I should probably change one of their names so I wouldn’t get confused.

I frowned down at the purple Babbit in my hands. I didn’t really want to change his name. I had given this a lot of thought for the rest of the day, racking my brain and trying to figure out if there was some other way to get around this issue. I had finally accepted that there wasn’t. But still, he was Babbit, what else could he be? But then, the other Babbit is Babbit too, and what else could he be? I thought to myself. This was a very important matter. I simply didn’t have enough room in my life for two Babbits, even though I loved them both. Something had to be done about this. Then authoritatively holding the purple Babbit by one arm, I turned back around and marched towards the stairs. I was going to figure this out.

“Mommyyyy,” I called as I ran up the stairwell as fast as I could. I opened the top door that led back into the rest of the house.

“What?” came her reply from the kitchen that was just around the corner. I sat down on the hardwood floor just inside the doors frame. One of my legs dangled off onto the first step that led back down to the basement. I sat in silence for a second, trying to figure out how to explain this disposition to her and the significance of it.

“I don’t know what to do.” I finally replied, pouting. This was a really hard decision.

“About what?” she replied still in the kitchen. I stared down into the purple Babbit’s hard brown eyes. He faithfully returned my stare.

“About the two Babbits. I like both their names just the way they are.” I sighed.

“Why don’t you switch your stuffed animal’s name?” my mom suggested. I continued my frowned down at the purple Babbit. I didn’t like that idea.

“How could I just switch his name?” I asked. It is his name. That would be like switching my own name. I tried that for a day once, and it didn’t work. Everyone would just call me by my real name and when they didn’t, I forgot that I had switched it. I paused in the middle of my thoughts and shook my head to myself. “That won’t work.”

“Why not?”

“He could forget that I switched his name.” I stated matter of factly and then whispered to my stuffed animal. “You would forget, trust me.”

“No, I don’t think your purple rabbit will forget,” came my mom’s muffled reply as she rummaged in the cupboard for something. I considered this. What if he didn’t forget? What if he was good at remembering things like that?

I looked down at him and whispered “Would you forget?” then I asked in a louder voice “But what should I change it to?” I still didn’t like the idea, but I also didn’t want to argue with her because I didn’t know what else to do.

“Well… hm… how about Lewy?” I continued to stare into my purple bunny’s eyes. Lewy. I thought. I giggled at the name a little. It sounded kind of funny. Could he be a Lewy? Did that name suit him? I smile down at him.

“Ummmm…. Yeah, I guess I can think about it.” I stood up and headed down the stairs again stopping halfway down on the middle landing. “Lewy,” I muttered to myself. “Do you like Lewy?” I asked him and waited for his response. The twinkle in his eyes told me yes. “Yeah, I like Lewy too. You’re a Lewy.” The pounding that seemed to have filled my head was gone now and I felt immensely relieved over solving my issue. “Come on, Lewy,” I told my purple bunny. “You need to meet Babbit now!” And I ran back up the stairs to introduce my two friends to each other.

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