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.
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.
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."
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.