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What’s that? Hearing voices … and talking back

Posted Dec 12 2008 12:00am

I hear voices. They speak to me from the strangest of places … like Craig’s sock. Just this morning it asked me where it was going today.

When I didn’t respond, it became squeaky and insistent. First, who answers a dingy-bottomed cotton foot tube? And second, isn’t it the plight of a sock to not know? Shouldn’t it be like all other socks and stay content to find out once it gets there?

This preschool-sized heel cushion wasn’t going to conform. It demanded my attention with several taps.

OK, fine. “You’re going to school.” It blubbered with what sounded like joy.

“Where else? Where else?”

“And on a field trip to see Santa.” The sock bounced high in the air, circled and zigzagged.

“Craig hold still.” I grabbed his foot and finished pulling up the mouthy offender.

“Now meeee, now meee. Where I going today?” Craig flipped the partner up and down. “I see Dannta too?”

“Only if you cooperate and we get there on time.”

That did the trick. He swiftly pulled it on.

At least this sock complied at a certain point – unlike the trash-talking overstuffed Teletubby. That plushie was bossy and troublesome. The other day, when I caught it plucking ornaments off the Christmas tree, it argued with me.

“Hey, stop that.”

Craig startled. “I didn’t to it. It was Yaya.”

Indeed, he was telling the truth. It was the puffy, yellow fingers of Lala that breached the tree.

“Listen here, we look but don’t touch. The rule goes for everyone.”

“No it doesn’t.” The creature’s voice sounded like Fran Drescher on helium. “You no tell me what to do.”

Oh really.

“You talk mean. I count to three and you go time out or go play. One … two …”

That little booger. On the count of three I reached over swooped up his stuffed butt, walked down the hall and plopped him in the corner. He didn’t have much to say until Craig caught up.

“Noooo, I not in twouble.”

“Yes, I’m going to set the timer. You’re going to sit there for four minutes.”

“No, you in twouble. I spanka you.”

What? I don’t think so. “You listen here, you keep this up and you’re going to get Craig in trouble – he’ll be on time out with you.”

At that Craig piped up. “Ohhh no, Yaya say bad words. Shhh Yaya!”

That’s what I thought.

Who knows what the voices will tell me tomorrow. Maybe I’ll be carrying on a conversation with Mr. Velcro-straps Shoe. If that’s the case, at least he has a tongue.

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