I can pinpoint the exact moment the obsession began: early October 2009 as the four of us sat around my laptop browsing Ebay for Halloween costumes. I announced that what would be extremely fantastic (and only slightly nerdy) was if the Mountain Man dressed as a man werewolf and Javi dressed as a boy werewolf. A) The werewolf costumes are ridiculously poorly thought out and B) I'm Team Jacob.
They dismissed my idea after a good five minutes of looking at werewolf costumes (and the Mountain Man went on to refuse to be a daddy bumblebee and wound up dressing as absolutely nothing), but a certain then-2-year-old was traumatized. She talked about the where-da-woolds for weeks after: that they're "ebil," that one was hiding in her room, that they were responsible for bad things. She'd routinely come to me and say, with big brown saucer eyes, "Dat where-da-woold gone eat me!"
I did what most parents do when a child develops a fear of something -- that is, I ignored it. Over time, that where-da-woold obsession morphed into a plain ol' wolf obsession. We did an ABC sticker book and the W image was a wolf. We read a book of fairy tales and the bad guy was always the wolf. Slowly, wolves became less scary and more accessible.
So now the wolf is her "bess fwiend." She wakes up in the morning with stories of how the wolf slept in her bed and rubbed her back. When she gets in trouble for something, she turns to her side and says in a stern voice, "Wolf! You bad for that!" And then turns back to me, shrugs, and says, "I gonna hafta spank him." And then stomps away.
Everyone she sees on a somewhat daily basis is familiar with the wolf. Her teachers make room on her cot for him at nap time and send him to the corner right along with her when she's naughty. I have to give him his turn to sing in the car. The Mountain Man washes his hair in the tub every night. He's simply part of our lives at this point.
So when my little girl tells me she has a heart full of wolfses, I am not at all surprised. She's as wild and fierce and protective and instinctual as any wolf I've ever heard of. And if you catch her on a bad day, she's just as dangerous. One day she'll forget she carried a wolf in her heart, but it'll be one of my most cherished memories.