If I had to log a guess right now about what Pumpkin's favorite animal will be, the smart money would be on ducks. She's into all things ducky right now. As the sidebar notes, her favorite book is 10 Little Rubber Ducks, by Eric Carle. I originally thought that she was picking it every night because it is the tallest book on her shelf. This may in fact be true. However, when we get to the page with the picture of the 10 little rubber ducks floating on the sea, she always pauses and touches several of the ducks before turning the page.
She also enjoys her actual rubber duckies quite a lot. So much so, in fact, that we now leave one in her crib with her at night, hoping that it might help calm her when she wakes up in the middle of the night. It is hard to say if this ever works, because if it does, we don't know about it. It certainly doesn't work all the time. We started doing this because letting her keep her rubber ducky is one way to minimize her protests when we take her out of her bath. She's never particularly happy to be plucked from her little tub and put down on a towel to dry off, but sometimes, when she has a duck, she just grumbles and whimpers a bit instead of screaming.
Rubber duckies are also the trick I use to get a chance to use the toilet when no one else is around to look after her. We have a shelf of rubber duckies in our bathroom. I take her in to the bathroom, and she points at the shelf. I pick up a duck. She pushes it away contemptuously. I put the first duck back on the shelf, pick up another duck, and we repeat the process until I pick up her current favorite duck. Then I set her down on the rug and she plays happily with the duck while I use the toilet. She doesn't even try to go empty out the trash can or chew on the water shut off valve. It's brilliant.
Her rubber ducky fascination is a bit spooky to me, though, because Hubby and I have a minor tradition around rubber ducks. We got a rubber duck at the first hotel we stayed at as a couple, so now we will look for a rubber duck to buy when we visit a new city. We don't always find one we want, but we like to look. We also had rubber duckies for cake toppers at our wedding.
The day after the wedding, we took them out into the lagoon* for a swim.
So maybe the duck fascination is some sort of fate. The groom ducky is Pumpkin's current favorite.
*We got married on Muri Lagoon, on the island of Rarotonga, in the Cook Islands.