pug awakenings and arrival of the sock monster

February 10, 2013

family life




It has always been difficult getting the boys up for school. They like to squeeze so much life into the day that they are reluctant to go to bed, and thus the bookends of our day are tricky.

I have been guilty of letting them continue their play way past bedtime on many occasions because they are doing such amazing stuff. I remember, about four years ago, my eldest son wrote a play based on an event in Roman history, and all three of them were acting out the play, and negotiating on parts of the script, it was magnificent in every sense of the word, and it had momentum – how could I interrupt such magic? It would not have had the same energy ‘tomorrow’.

When they are finally in bed, they are talking amongst each other, discussing something technical or planning their next adventure. Or reading.

Well, no longer do  I struggle with getting them out of bed! The pug puppy wakes them up by jumping all over them, licking their face, and biting their ears, and not a single complaint. We should have got one of these boy-waker-upperers years ago. The puppy looks forward to her new task every morning. She waits outside the boys’ bedroom door looking at me to let her in.


The wonderful and creative phrog mom, sent me one of her sock monsters, and it arrived this week. I’m going to use this little fella in the therapy work I do with kids. I felt s/he needed a name, and phrog mom thought s/he needed a name. But I have resisted. I’m thinking that each child I work with can name it. This toy could have ten different names, and each one will have meaning for the child who is relating to it. Lots of the kids I work with feel awkward about themselves and how they relate to the world. This little fella looks so vulnerable but he has a resilient quality too.

When I worked in foster care, my office was filled with teddies. Children new to foster care could come into my office and choose a teddy that he or she related to. Children who had been in care for years didn’t have their own teddy, often their belongings don’t go with them when they move to a new foster placement, so they chose a teddy too.

Now, the room I use for supported playgroup has a select few teddies. The kids coming to playgroup don’t play with them, but the older children attending the school have been known to come in and give a teddy a hug. When I was doing African drumming group with the school children, the older kids loved those teddies. The toughest kids chose the biggest teddies, and held them all session.

Welcome sock monster. Thank You phrog mom.

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About hakea

groupworker, parent educator, therapist, mother of three boys.

View all posts by hakea


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8 Comments on “pug awakenings and arrival of the sock monster”

  1. Hazel M. Wheeler Says:

    Phog Mom’s sock monster is beautiful– it is just waiting for a hug. It has an almost imploring look: “Please pick me up and hug me!”

    Nice to know I am not the only mother who sometimes feels that bedtime should be momentarily put off in deference to moments of kid-brilliance. Your pug alarm clock sounds grand.Isn’t it amazing how animals have such a sense of routine. Our cat begins to mew rather loudly and with concern when my husband has to work late. This reminds me how we all really love and crave routine,using that as the skeleton upon which to hang the ‘muscles’ of our day… all the detail and activity hinges on the normalcy and foundation. (I do believe that this is why younger children can be excited for the extraordinary day in the morning, during the day, and then in tears by the end– their sense of predictability has been offended too much!)

    Thanks for another fun post. For what it’s worth, now that I’m too old for dollies and bears, I still bestow names on household lovelies, like the blender and the toaster. What about our compulsion to name things? 🙂


  2. hakea Says:

    Hi Hazel

    You have a way with words.

    The compulsion to name things? Does it come from a want to be personable? to acknowledge the life of the thing being named? to establish a relationship? Or maybe it’s just quirky and fun?

    Oh, is one ever too old for dollies and bears? It was those older kids in my drumming class that surprised me and provided yet another reminder of the importance of connection. These Year 6 boys, the toughest kids in the school, staking their claim to the teddies and in doing so allowing themselves to be childish and thus vulnerable, it was powerful and intriguing. These were kids who had grown up too quickly.

    I like that – “pug alarm”. She’s such a smart dog, finding ways to be indispensable in the life of our family!


  3. phrogmom Says:

    a pug alarm sounds so much more festive than my current alarm clock. we have two older, spoiled dogs who usually just look at me from the comfort of their couches and don’t even bother getting up 🙂

    i am so glad the sock monster made it! i can’t wait to hear how the kids react!!


    • hakea Says:

      Hi phroggie

      Ah, all that puppy energy has to be put to good use. The boys say she has a hummingbird tail because she wags it so fast you can hardly see it.

      A very well travelled sock monster is he. I think he’s going to ride in the passenger seat beside me. I can imagine talking to him as I’m driving, he seems like a very good listener.


  4. michaelwatsonvt Says:

    Yes, boys are energetic! I believe girls are as well, only in a different way.
    My supply of stuffed animals has been slowly shrinking, along with the number of young clients I see. I seem to have entered that part of life as a clinician where the focus is on young adults, as well as folks my age. I wonder how many of the families you work with know how much you think about creating a safe, warm space for them.


  5. eof737 Says:

    I thought there was something familiar about that stuffed toy when I saw it… Ah phrogmom! How wonderful. 😉
    BTW, I like the new look of your blog an the flowers in the background are beautiful…
    I’ve been out of the loop and slowly catching up. TY for your patience. 🙂


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