Saturday, October 8, 2011

Cuddly as a Hedgehog

"Excuse me. I'm trying to stay in character." -Mr. Pricklepants from Toy Story 3

One night, the Peanut came into our bedroom as I was changing into my pajamas. She was holding her plush Mr. Pricklepants doll. A doll she had asked for while shopping with my wife because "daddy loves him."

She held Mr. Pricklepants and offered him to me. "Daddy, do you want to sleep with Mr. Pricklepants?" (Hearing her say Pwicklepants is pure magic.)

Did I want to sleep with him? I had just met him.

"Do you want to daddy?" She asked again as she handed me the stuffed doll. "Because you love him?"

You see, Mr. Pricklepants has become a mainstay in our house... part of the narrative... because of me.

If you are not aware, he is the plush hedgehog character in Toy Story 3. He speaks with a British accent yet is dressed in German lederhosen. I find him to be hilarious on many levels. His voice, his clothes, his name, his demeanor. I want another sequel just so I can see more Pricklepants.

We are introduced to him in a scene where Woody the Cowboy joins a new set of toys in a strange new room and is trying to figure out where he is. Mr. Pricklepants keeps interrupting him, telling him to "Shhhh" because he is a thesbian who, as I reference in the quote above, "is trying to stay in character:"

Mr Pricklepants is a complex, passionate, loveable animal. Just like my daughter. Just like her dad.

But the Peanut now says "Shhh" a lot. At times, it's so naughty it makes my blood boil. And when I call her on it, she blames Mr. Pricklepants. That's because I mimick him. A lot. 

Sometimes we teach our children bad habits. Sometimes it's too funny to resist. Sometimes it comes back to bite us in the a$$.

It's my fault. In our non-stop viewing of Toy Story 3 for the months after we bought her the DVD, I would repeatedly quote him. And quote him to her, when she was legitimately trying to ask me something.

Yes, I am at times a horrible influence. But her comedic timing will be so precise she'll be ready for the stage at Second City by the time she's twenty.

And what does she say to me when I correct her constant shhh-ing at inappropriate times? "I was only kidding, daddy. I was being Mr. Pricklepants."

That's maddening. Because now I want to hug her for being funny. Even though she was not being funny. She was being bad. Then I want to hug her for being resourceful and thinking of that excuse. For blaming me. Like the old anti-drugs campaign, "I learned it from watching you, dad."

But sometimes she uses her powers for good...

So I shared my pillow with Mr. Pricklepants that one night. It was nice. Maybe I didn't teach her such a bad habit after all.


  1. I can see how that would be frustrating. But you understand that you have yourself to blame/credit.

    Oh, and Pwicklepants? You gotta get that sh*t on tape!

  2. When I was young (yeah, I'm gonna date myself here), the Muppet Show was a thing around our house, because my dad had an affinity for Floyd (the sax player in the band). I remember having a certain stuffed toy that was not Floyd but had the same facial hair as him and insisting that it belong to Daddy, I guess because that was our "connection". It's how he found a way to connect with me on my own level and it was so very important to me to have that.

    Yeah, I know this was a lighthearted post, and I enjoyed every second of it but, what it's all about ;) My dad shared his pillow with that little stuffie many nights, just for my benefit, and it meant the world to me - simply because it was OUR thing...just ours. And it was a beautiful thing =)

    And also? Pwicklepants?! Freaking adorable!


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