It all starts when I hold Sophie in front of him. Those deep penetrating black eyes unwaveringly staring back at him as if to say, "C'mon, boy! Just take one little nibble! My ears are very tasty! You'll regret it if you don't." How can he resist? He's only a baby. He hasn't developed willpower yet. And his chubby fingers reach out to grab the smooth rubber. He
I can't help but smile. The euphoria that such a simple toy brings to the sprout is so infectious.
But then it all starts to go downhill. No longer satisfied with her facial features the sprout decides to nibble Sophie's rump. Only his chubby 5 month old hands don't have the dexterity to to maneuver her. Down down down she falls, all 3 and a half inches to the floor. There she lies, motionless, nose to the floor. Forlorn, almost forgotten, except for the big huge pout that has arisen on the sprout's face. "SOPHIE!" He whimpers. "I need my Sophie!" The excitement is gone. The twenty dollar cheap thrill over. His legs heavy, he rests them on the floor, floor supporting his weight. For those few moments before out of sight out of mind kicks in he is so sad, so lonely. It's pathetic, but my heart aches for him.
So I pick Sophie up and hold her out for the sprout to take again. As she squeak squeaks a smile slowly spreads back on to the sprout's face. His eyes light up and he squeals. Sophie, stoic, ever spotted stares back. The black abyss of her eyes taunting him, teasing him, patiently waiting for her next foray into the sprout's mouth.