And now we enter the phase wherein our needs are charmingly specific.

Two Christmases ago one of Jackson's many grandmothers sent me a small down-filled lap robe as a gift. It's about four feet square and it's white with tiny pink flowers and tiny green leaves, and Jackson instantly claimed it as his present. I think that part of the reason Jackson wants to open all the presents on Christmas and his birthday and your birthday and my birthday is some as-yet-unformed "finders, keepers" ethos, i.e., if he opens it, then there might be some sort of preschooler's Napoleonic Code that would allow him to claim it as his, if it's indeed something that looks like it might be fun. There's no telling what might be fun at any given moment -- marbles, toilet paper, fingernail clippers -- and the spectrum of things we could fold into The Universe Of What Amuses Jackson is expanding at an alarming rate.

So, the lap robe. Jackson's still a little weak pronouncing his L's so it's more of a wrap robe. Or a rap robe. And come to think of it, if all those guys are still walking around with chalices, perhaps the next logical step for them is down-filled Rap Robes.

The rap robe has also been recently sexed: it is now a she. "I love my rap robe," he says, his voice muffled as he burys his face in her soft folds. "I love her!"

If you want to make Jackson freak, sit on his lap robe. Jack does this indavertently all the time. The lap robe's been abandoned on the couch and then Jack sits down to watch TV and he isn't particular about what's under his butt, and Jackson comes in and goes, "Where's my rap robe?" and Jack looks around, and then he pulls it out of his ass, basically, and Jackson screams, "DADDY! YOU MADE IT WARM!"

We all know what it's like to occupy a seat that's been recently vacated, that's been pre-warmed by the body heat of another human escaping through his or her buttocks; you know, it's gross for a second. So imagine if the thing you love so much you've given it a personal pronoun has been not just warmed but flattened by your own father's carelessly heat-filled butt cheeks.

The insult of it.

So after the 10,000th time this happened Jack finally lost it and said, "I'M SORRY, DO YOU WANT ME TO PUT YOUR LAP ROBE IN THE FREEZER?" And Jackson wept, "YES!" So Jack folded it neatly and put it in the freezer for a few minutes, and then he pulled it out and put it in Jackson's arms.

Yeah, so, this morning I had to put the goddamned lap robe in the freezer three times, and after each time Jackson hugged it to his little naked body and chortled like a madman and ran off to keep watching Thomas the Tank Engine.