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Tuesday, March 4, 2008

I'm baaaack

Well, after a few (well, ok maybe more than a few) days completely off line because my NB was acting up, I scooted my butt back and started reading blogs again.

One of the blogs on my bloglist had a topic about struggling to get their youngest (a boy) to give up his beloved paci. This brought back many memories, since I was the one ultimately responsible for getting my little brother (the youngest of 2 girls and a boy - sound similar?) to give up his beloved Titi Asada (pronounced tee-tee assada).

Now, let me just back up a bit, since you're probably already wondering what the heck I'm talking about.

Let me take you back around 20 years.

I was about 10 at the time, my brother then being 4. Ever since he was a baby, he had had these little pillows he called Titi Asada. Now, if you think about it, a rough translation of that into english would be Grilled Breast, but thankfully that's not what it actually meant. My brother had this weird baby speak, kind of like twin speak, that only I could understand. Not even my sister (closer in age to him) could translate for him. I was the priviledged one. However, when my mother (or anyone else) had finally become curious enough to ask what it actually meant and figured my brother was finally old enough to be able to explain it, he had dropped out of baby speak and didn't know how to do it except repeat the name over and over again. Alas, I had never asked him myself (not being curious about it).

Anyway, so this pillow was quite the thing for him. He was a thumb-sucker (as all 3 of us were until a certain age... I sucked my thumb until shortly before the removal actually happened, and this only because I switched schools in the 6th grade), but he could live without the thumb. Not so for the Titi. If my mother ever needed to wash the thing, and this only happened on a strict NEED-TO basis (i.e. The thing could stand up on its own due to accumulated dirt and gross stuff), she had to either wait until he was deeply asleep (and this kid NEVER took naps), which meant a washing machine cycle at around midnight, or to have my brother fret over the fate of his beloved while standing right next to the washing machine waiting nervously until it was safely back in his arms.

There was a ritual to go with the thing as well. He would twist one of the corners of it until it was a skinny tentacle-looking thing, and he would hold that end in his right fist, with the tip protruding out the top of his fist where his thumb was. Then, he would simultaneously stick the tip of the Titi inside his right nostril and his thumb into his mouth. The kid was in heaven then.

We never did understand the need to have something stuck up his nose, but considering the fact that everyone who knew him called him Hydra (many headed mythological monster) because of how BAD he was, we were just thankful that it was the tip of a pillow and not something else like, say, a screwdriver, icepick or something to the effect.

Anyway, to the aforementioned event.

My brother did everything with his Titi, from resting his food on top of it to pushing away unwanted things to sleep with it to sit on it, you name it, he did it, so I wasn't surprised when one day he took up using it as a fly-swatter. That is when I had my brilliant idea. You see, my mother had been trying unsuccessfully for almost a year then to get him to drop the damn thing, since it was gross to the eye as well as the stomach :S , but my brother resisted all attempts. And, since it was the only thing that made him marginally manageable, my mother had ceased and desisted.

However, I knew my brother looked up to me and he trusted pretty much anything I threw his way, so one day, after he had knocked dead one of those particularly gruesome huge flies of the green variety that carry larvae inside them, and he was about to stick the Titi back in his nostril and his thumb back in his mouth, I stopped him with a yell.

He was startled of course. Then pissed. He wanted to know what all the ruckus was about.

I told him in my most professional manner (for a 10 year old) that since he had swatted the fly with his Titi, and the fly had had tiny maggots inside it, that the maggots were now lodged inside his Titi. He asked me to wash it to get rid of them, but I told him that that wouldn't do it since it was now "infected" (or term to designate anything no longer usable for its purpose under any means). He then sadly accepted to surrender the Titi, and we both walked it to the trash can, I with my best grossed-out face, and he with the most sad face you could image. After we dropped the Titi in the garbage, he was about to stick his thumb back in his mouth, and I decided to get two birds with one stone. I told him that since he had held his Titi in his hand, that he couldn't suck his thumb anymore, either. When he asked why, I told him it was probably "contaminated" (slightly less than "infected", things were usable after proper decontamination) and that it would take MONTHS to get it clean enough to put back in his mouth. He looked sort of panicked then, but then I reminded him of how much the kids at school teased me about my thumb sucking and how he wouldn't have to go through that, and he was ok again.

He never did miss the Titi after that, and he felt like such a big boy then. Sure, he would still suck his thumb while he was asleep sometimes, but never while awake, and slowly he stopped doing it while asleep too.

And all was good with the world.

I felt so proud. Remind me to tell you about the time I taught my little sister to say estupido when she was around 3. She had a speech impediment and had lots of problems with strong words, so it felt like a total accomplishment to me until my mother very nearly washed my mouth with soap since it was a "bad" word (it means "stupid" in english). Weird. LOL.

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