So this post occurred to me this morning at 4:30 a.m. Not because I’m a dedicated writer and lay awake all night thinking of new blog topics. Hardly. I had a visit from my 4 year old son asking me to help him find Desmond (Desmond is the name of his well worn, well loved stuffy).
I knew, even before my first child was born, how important having a stuffy would be. But I didn’t want my kids to grow attached to a sock or old T-shirt. When I was pregnant with my first child I visited Winner’s down the street and bought not one, not two, but five stuffies for my soon to arrive baby (see I had heard those horrible stories of screaming kids when a stuffy was lost and I wanted to avoid that).
Even with all that, my oldest daughter lost her precious Gerome on a walk back from the park. At home I pulled out one of the reserve Geromes, but he looked a little too new to stand in for the lost fellow. I cut off the tip of his tail with scissors and pulled him and stepped on him with my outdoor shoes. When I gave him to my daughter she hesitated to take him. When she did, the first thing she did was smell him ‘He doesn’t smell like Gerome‘. I told her I had washed him and she seemed to buy it.
When my son came along, I bought three of his stuffies. Then on a road trip we misplaced one in the hotel room and had to hear about it all the way home (the back-ups were at home).
My youngest daughter also has a set of stuffies. We haven’t had the need to reach in the reserve pile yet (knock on wood). But it was a horrible experience when she found out I was washing Finnegan (her stuffed rabbit). She cried the whole time watching him spin around and around and around in the washing machine.
I understand and appreciate a child’s need to have a stuffy. Ours have helped the kids through scraps, first days of school, moving to the big bed, fighting the shadows in the night. And although I am looking forward to not having to hunt around the house to find one of them before bed, or worse yet, being woken in the middle of the night because someone has misplaced their stuffy under their blankets, I think secretly I will be a little sad when the day comes that the stuffies sit, alone on the bed.