*Photo Credit: Mike Terry
Stinky Monkey (as he is called around our house) arrived when Mayzie was a baby. My mother bought it to sit in her jungle themed nursery and it had a sache inside to somewhat disguise the dirty diaper smell. One night Andy put the monkey in the crib with Mayzie. We left in in there for a few nights. She snuggled with it and it was adorable. Then, when we went to switch it out for another cuddle buddy, she would have none of it. Did you know that smell is the sense most strongly associated with memory? It's true. She smelled that darn sache in there and was hooked. With Annika we had diligently never let her get too attached to one single stuffed animal, with Mayzie there was no changing it up after the initial impression. She was hooked.
Stinky monkey goes everywhere. We've convinced her not to bring him in public anymore after too many trips around stores searching for that darned monkey that she dropped in a random aisle, but he dutifully waits in the car for her snuggles when we get back. Stinky monkey came to Germany with us, and that is where he contracted monkey butt cancer.
It happened when Andy and the girls first arrived in Berlin. We were staying at a temporary apartment and the girls were having a grand time exploring it after we lugged all our suitcases up to the 4th floor walk-up. Andy and the girls had arrived just that morning and we were all already exhausted. Mayzie went in the bathroom. I have no idea what she was doing in there, as we were certainly not watching her, but all of a sudden we heard it---the sound of the monkey plunking in the toilet. EWWWW. Ew Ewwwwww. It had to be washed immediately; let's just say that the toilet wasn't the cleanest in the universe. Stinky monkey went in the washer. It came out clean, but we had no way to dry it other than to let it hang for probably 24-48 hours.
Andy had a brilliant idea. He stuck a hairdryer up the monkey's butt to get it dry faster, knowing full well that Mayzie would throw down if she had to try to sleep without the stinky monkey. It worked. The monkey was dry in no time. But then, I held the monkey to check for dryness and noticed something. There seemed to be a large mass in the butt of stinky monkey that had not been there previously. The mass was the size of a softball, and it took us a while to figure out that the plastic beads in the butt of the monkey had congealed into a sort of monkey butt cancerous mass that could not be broken apart by hands.
Doctor Andy to the rescue. Being the superb surgeon that he is, Andy solved the problem by taking a hammer to stinky monkey's butt. Mayzie watched in horror as her favorite cuddle buddy was mutilated by her father. There was crying (Mayzie). There was laughing (Annika & Me). There was frustration (Andy). But by God, he got the mass to go away, mostly.
We consider the monkey butt cancer to be in full remission now. Despite a golf ball sized tumor that refused to be broken up, stinky monkey has shown no signs of cancer in more than a year now. We're pretty sure the remnants are benign.
Stinky monkey recently got another bath. He was seriously stinky and you almost couldn't tell that he is actually two different colors. He came out of the washer clean and wet, and Andy faced the same conundrum as in Berlin. How do you dry a monkey that MUST be dried as quickly as possible. I arrived home to the sound of something plunking in the dryer. I asked Andy what it was.
He replied, "Stinky monkey."
"NOOOOOOO! You'll give it cancer again!!!" I exclaimed.
"Don't worry, I put it on the delicate cycle." He explained.
Skeptically, I replied, "We'll see won't we."
It turns out, monkey butt cancer only comes from hairdryers. Thank goodness, because our hammer somehow got lost in the move and we haven't replaced it yet.