Meet Mr Pickle.
Mr Pickle was born one night while I was babysitting. With 20 minutes to go before the parents got home, and three overly tired boys who were excited from getting to stay up late, and wanted only to throw couch cushions and drawn on the floor with markers – I was desperate to keep them somewhat calm so it didn’t sound like a nut house when their parents came home.
“This is Mr Pickle.” I started. I drew an oddly shaped head. Silence fell over the 6 year old. “He has little eyes and a BIG beard. He is going under disguise” I continued. A giggle erupted from the 4 year old, and the car he was about to launch stopped mid air. “Mr Pickle has a big smile, with only a few teeth. Because he ate too many pickles!” more laughter, then the attempts to help.
Mr Pickle sported two beards – one in his mouth, “Perhaps he has a hairy tongue?” I offered. The two year old scribbled something on his face. “HAIR! He has hair!” “NO HES BALD!” A happy compromise was met with two ‘tuffs on each side. Two ears. Some glasses, and a forgotten nose.
As the boys set off to make their own version of Mr Pickle, I turned my paper over.
“Whos THAT gonna be!” the 6 year old drilled me, while drawing “Mr Blueberry and Mrs Pickle.”
“This is going to be….” and I drew a giant circle. “Mr…Pumpkin.” Laughter erupted again, and more suggestions and offers to help.
In the end Mr Pumpkin, it turns out, was a very embarrassed pumpkin (as a side note – try explaining the word embarrassed to a 4 year old) who turned a deep shade of red and considered going undercover as a tomato. Mr Pumpkin sported a toothy smile, a giant nose, and a small crown of hair on the tip of his head. He also has a monocle. He has a very thin mustache, bushy eyebrows and tennis ball eyes.
There were other characters. Mr Blueberry, Mrs Football (who started out as Mr Football, but then wanted long hair, ear rings, and make up, and it just worked better to call it…Mrs Football.) We had multiple versions of Mr Pickle, who seemed to be the most popular of the group.
And just when I had run out of steam and stories (about how the pickle family met, and how mr pumpkin was related, and what the word embarrassed meant) the car pulled into the driveway and I quickly gathered up the drawings – not because I was embarrassed to leave them behind (or was worried I didn’t spell Pickle right) but because I thought they were so funny, and too good to throw away.
…and we all have that one “Pickle” in our family.