Looking for Self in the Hundred Acres Woods

One day, when Robert was two years old, I found him sitting on our dining table. The table was new and  smelled of pine wood  it was made of.  Robert’s  little legs surrounded a sugar bowl while his hand, with all fingers glued together, traveled back and forth between the bowl and his mouth. Robert’s face radiated with a calm contentment.  I had an instant impression of Winnie the Pooh using his paw to eat a Little Smackeroo of Honey.  Although the association  was insanely strong and vivid (I wouldn’t remember it 18 years later if it weren’t) I didn’t dare to assume that Robert was enacting the scene from Disney’s Winnie the Pooh.

A few months later I was baffled by Robert’s habit of purposefully breaking balloons taken from his favorite restaurant, Applebee’s, by falling on them.  I usually threw away little  pieces of rubber left from the balloons, but one day as I was rushing to the dinning room after hearing yet another “POP” sound, I saw Robert placing the remnants of the balloon in a drawer under  a china cabinet.  This time, the connection between Piglet, Eeyore and Robert seemed obvious.  Robert was breaking balloons like Piglet and placing them in a a container (a drawer instead of an empty honey jar) just like Eeyore  did. Not much  later,  Robert found a piece of thin string with a bow tied at its end.   I don’t remember where it came from and what had happen to it later.  I do remember how contemplatively Robert was assessing this object and how he attempted to attach it to himself as,of course, a tail.  First, he tried this with his pants on.  Since it didn’t work, he started to take the pants off.  I didn’t let him.  First of all, we had a guest for dinner.  Secondly, he had already made his point.

He convinced me that  those episodes were not accidental. He was searching for his identity among the Hundred Acres Woods crowd,

In the end, Robert settled for  Tigger.  How could he not? Although not socially savvy Tigger, the bouncy ball of energy, is the most alive character among  the inhabitants of Milne’s masterpiece.  So Robert chose Tigger .  And from that time on, bouncing like a ball and flapping his bent arms Robert reminds me, over and over,  whom he decided to be.  “A Tigger’s a wonderful thing.”

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