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Rubber Chicken?

If someone had told me eight years ago that a rubber chicken would become the symbol of my life with my family, I’d have told them they were whacked out super crazy nuts. But somehow, that has become the reality.

Here’s the story behind the chicken:

My younger son (Thing Two) has always been content with what he has. He does not have a huge “gimme” complex and has entertained himself for hours in ways that make some of us question what on Earth is in his brain.

So, at five years old, when he decided that he wanted a rubber chicken for Christmas, there were definitely some chuckles and puzzled looks, but then I heaved a sigh of relief that at least he didn’t want a REAL chicken.

When he sat on Santa’s lap that year, he told a perplexed Santa that he wanted a rubber chicken.

Not a cute rubber ducky, but a long-necked, goose-pimply, stretched out rubber chicken.

Santa looked at me in disbelief.

I shrugged in the classic don’t-ask-me style. So, Santa told Thing Two that he’d see what he could do. (The best of the department store Santas always leave a loophole for parents!)

The quest began to find a rubber chicken.You would think that it wouldn’t be that difficult to find a rubber chicken. But let me assure you, eight years ago, they were nowhere to be found.

Finally, on Christmas Eve afternoon, a dear friend found our rubber chicken in a magic shop.

rubber chicken madness, rubber chicken Christmas morning, Thing Two found his chicken under the tree and was giddy with excitement.

He sat on the couch, took one long hard look at the chicken and proudly dubbed him “Cuddly.”


Really? That’s what you want to name your rubber chicken?


From that point on, Cuddly was a member of the family.

For the following few lines, please visualize a five year old blondie with the brightest blue eyes you’ve ever seen and an infectious smile holding a rubber chicken firmly by the neck. [You’ll have to visualize it because back then I was a crappy mother who didn’t bother to take pictures of the important things like Cuddly’s adventures.]

Cuddly went on field trips to school, paraded around the mall, lived in a cabinet in the kitchen to keep him safe while we were at work, and was invited for dinner (although that night we were having chicken, and Thing One took that opportunity to teach Thing Two about cannibalism, which resulted in hysterical sobbing from Thing Two that wasn’t alleviated until we removed the chicken from both Cuddly’s plate and Thing Two’s as well– aren’t big brothers great?).

Thing Two is now a clever middle schooler who has definitely outgrown the need to tote Cuddly everywhere we go, but Cuddly will never be reduced to an item in the Goodwill box. He’s a member of the family and will stay in our home and our hearts indefinitely.

He’s become the symbol of the crazy way our lives have twisted and turned in ways we least expected but which have brought tremendous emotional richness and joy. .

Cuddly’s presence in our lives was just one of those moments where I sat back, shook my head, looked at my life and said:

You know…

it’s not

what I planned,


it’s perfect anyway.

To hear the story behind the blog name, click here: