Our mail carrier is a little like Santa. Fortunately for her, she is not round with a large fluffy white beard, but rather is Santa-like in that she frequently brings presents (small, mailbox sized presents). My favorite presents are generally the Imagination Library books that come once a month. But she brings an assortment of goodies for the family in the form of coupons and product samples or letters from friends.
A couple of months ago, I opened a rather uninteresting large envelope at the table. Tylenol had sent a booklet of coupons for Tylenol PM, a CD of soothing, sleep-inducing songs (I suppose, I haven't listened to it yet), and a sleep mask. Ryder was playing in the kitchen while I opened the mail, and he saw me pull out the sleep mask, and said, "Mama! You have eyes holders! Whose are those!" Eyes holders? So anyway, of course I gave him the eyes holders, and he was very happy. So happy that he wore them for a day and a half....and then a strap broke, so I sewed it back together. I know my quilting skills would be very important someday. And then he wore it for about a week, before he lost it. All the time. He wore it playing, and eating, and going out. He Oddly enough, the only time he didn't wear them was when he slept, because I was paranoid that the straps could choke him. So at night, they hung safely on a knob on his dresser.But other than that, the eyes holders were as essential to being dressed as his shirt or socks. They eyes holders are worn mostly pushed up on his forehead, like a headband (but a very boyish headband, of course). And I decided that wearing the eyes holders everywhere shouldn't include Bible class, but when he took it off, his hair was sticking up so horribly that I decided the eyes holders were less distracting than his hairstyle for the evening. The eyes holders go through cycles of being worn all the time, getting lost, and then found again, so they are still very much in our vocabulary.
A month ago, our little friend Hannah Kate became impatient for her due date to arrive and decided to join her Mommy and Daddy early, despite what the family, her doctors, or anyone else had to say about that choice. Shortly after her arrival, she was placed under a light for treatment. And Hannah Kate, sweet, tiny, little baby, was given her first pair of eyes holders! When I got back home from the hospital, I told Ryder about Hannah Kate's eyes holders, and he said respectfully, "She had little, bitty, tiny eyes holders!" I think he was pretty impressed with her! As are we all, but probably not so much because of the eyes holders :)
So, the Tylenol sleep mask is still a popular toy, and maybe even more so, since Cody cut these weird little triangle eyes holes in them. Ryder doesn't keep it down over his eyes very much, but his favorite times are when he gets to wear his Batman shirt with the cape, his Batman pants, his shiny shoes, and his eyes holders. And the great thing about being a kid is that we are now on the lookout for sleep masks for Camden and Carter...because instead of ridiculing him for wearing a sleep mask with crazy cut out holes that give you bad hair, they instead are ready to join right in. So while we don't exactly sit at the window, waiting for the mail carrier, it's always exciting to see Ryder's excitement at the small packages that come in the mail, whether books or a little lego car, or a sleep mask saved from the trash by becoming eyes holders for a very special little super hero.
Photo: (Ryder with Brody, after getting haircuts. Ryder is wearing his eyes holders, and Brody is very happy while eating his hand. Fun times!)
General Update: (Hannah Kate is one month old, still in the NICU at Vanderbilt, but doing very well. She is precious in lots of pink and flowers, and we get to see her pretty eyes instead of the eyes holders :)