|photo credit: Hourglass Photography. (sorry for the crap scan though, from my cellphone)|
But as of late, we've been going through a phase that not only does Maxie need to join us everywhere, but so do all of Grey's other stuffed animals. Besides #1 in our hearts, Maxie...we also have quite a line-up of mismatched and wide ranging stuffed animals to contend with these days:
First up, "Baby dister" She is the baby sister of Maxie who we have introduced to help prepare Grey for his new baby sister on the way. We talk about how Maxie is kind to baby sister and shares too. We also hold baby sister close and say "shh, shh, shh" like we're rocking her to sleep. Sometimes baby sister gets lost because she's so small. We've found her tangled up in sheets at the bottom of his bed, under the bed, and in Bullet's mouth. Poor baby sister.
Then there is "Berr" (as in the sound an elephant makes). He was gifted to Booboo from his Godmomma, Uch for his Baptism. Aunt Uch has an elephant stuffed animal that she still sleeps with at night (she's 22, heh) and wanted to make sure Grey had one of his own. Berr is really soft and makes for an awesome pillow. His downside is that he's so big and makes it difficult to carry him and Grey at the same time.
We also have "Dog." I got him as a read along pal when I purchased a Clifford the Big Red Dog book. For a long time he was neglected (Grey isn't crazy about the book) and then suddenly Booboo started to take notice of him. Bullet seems to pick Dog out of the pile over the other stuffed animals to gnaw on...whether he choose him because of their common genes or the fact that Dog is kind of stiff remains unknown.
Gee is our little striped monkey friend who is a frequent diaper bag traveler. Gee came to us as a baby gift (for Greyson's shower!) from Aunt Kitty before Grey was even out in the world. We actually even have maternity pictures with Gee making an appearance. Gee didn't have a name until Grey announced it a few weeks ago unprompted and now he's been Gee ever since.
"Dunkee" (aka monkey) is a pathetic little creature that is falling apart at the tail and eye, but gets loved just the same. Dunkee was a gift to Brandon from me while we were in college. I bought him at Atlantic Antic (a street fair in Brooklyn) and he was put together by NYC artists with Special Needs through Fresh Art, a non-profit organization. Dunkee made it through all the travels and has ended up with Greyson (although we had to remove his button eyes for safety reasons) he is still around ready for hugs.
and finally we have "Robot" who was a gift from a claw machine from Chum (my dad) to Greyson while we were in Pittsburgh for the Koch-Plowman wedding. Grey was going through a Robot phase (and by phase, I mean out of a limited amount of words and animal sounds he knew, very strangely robot movements & sounds was one of them). Now that Grey knows he can get a laugh from his audience by doing his robot impression, he likes to show off his moves on a regular basis.
So we've been juggling multiple stuffed animals at Grey's request and are very conservative when introducing new stuffed friends to him. I was reading about boy attachment to stuffed toys in It's a Boy!: Your Son's Development from Birth to Age 18 and the following quote made a lot of sense: "...from a boy's point of view, his bear is the absolutely perfect companion exactly the way it is because it absorbs all of his love as well as his anger and neglect. A toddler understands that he has the capacity to hurt his mother both physically and emotionally; he knows he can make his father mad, and that's pretty scary. The greatest fear for a child of this age is that he will anger his parents and they will abandon him. In this arena, a toy bear is far better than a mom, because you can do whatever you want to it and it stays with you all the time."
|Dadda, Booboo, Maxie, and Dog|
|meltdown support by Maxie & Dog|
|watching some Mickey Mouse clubhouse with Dog, Maxie, and Berr|
|snow watchers: Maxie, Booboo, and Dog|
|the whole gang during a nap|
So my little boy loves his stuffed animals. It seems like that would make him a just a baby boy. But in reality and in his mind, as he learns to rely on his "friends" a little more and his mumma/dadda a little less...it actually means that my little boy is growing up. And that makes me both proud and sad at the same time.