The ballad of Junior & Punkinhead


Liam’s BFF is a tiny, stuffed penguin Pillow Pet named Junior. He loves Junior more than he loves most everyone he knows, especially me. Yesterday after I had the audacity to make Liam help me unload the dishwasher he announced that he was going to tell his mom that he never wanted to see me again. This is one of my lesser crimes. Among them are the fact that I don’t let him stay home from school and play video games; I “burn” his English muffins; and I always call him LiLi McGee.

Liam’s got it rough. But at least he’s got Junior and now Punkinhead for companionship. Junior goes everywhere with Liam except for school and his Dad’s house. His Dad has some serious issues with gender roles and what boys do and don’t do. Loving a stuffed penguin lands clearly in the don’t category. Thankfully, Liam doesn’t give a fig what his Dad thinks and is smart enough to leave Junior at home lest he get taken away.

Every morning as I herd The Tibbles down the stairs and off to the bus stop, a backpacked Liam grabs Junior and Punkinhead in a hug, whispers into the tops of their heads “have a good day at school guys,” and then puts them on the floor in front of the sink in the downstairs bathroom.

I nearly die of the cute every day.

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