"Mama, look what happened to my teddy bear."
And she produces from behind her back this limp little thing, draped over both her arms, apparently lifeless and very nearly headless with the stuffing poofing out from the nape of what's left of its neck.
"What in the world happened to him?" I ask her, unsure of whether to laugh or scowl.
"I don't know, Mom," she immediately says (always a sure sign that she does). And then she quickly glances around for back up.
And as if on cue, in walks the other monster, hands behind his back, too. "Mama," he mutters miserably. "Mama, look at what happened to Teddy."
And he mimics her previous actions, holding out a poor defenseless little thing, only his is upside down, and the stuffing's pretty much popping right out of its butt.
"Ohh-kaaaay," I say, trying to maintain a stern look over my grin, "I don't think Mama really wants to know anymore. Hand them over and get to bed."
A little midnight emergency surgery, a tiny embroidered heart on each paw, and back under the covers they went.
At 6-0-0 on the nose, I hear in unison from their bedroom, "THANK YOU, MAMA!!!"
[I think I like this job.]