Posted by: Modern Mom | June 19, 2014

My Kids and Their Entourage

My oldest son has always attached very easily to stuffed things. I gave him one of those precious little baby blankets with the teddy bear head in the middle and the silky edges when he was an infant, in hopes that it would help him sleep away from me. I was all good intentions. I was a security blanket baby myself.

The teddy blanket became his “lovey”. Then, the blanket that I used to cover him at night also became one of his loveys. And later, a Tigger that his Nana gave him got added to the mix.

After his little brother was born, I took him on a special date for just the two of us and we went to Build a Bear. He built a bunny. THAT got added to the “buddies”. That’s what he called them. His buddies.

“OK, my son has four things he feels he needs to sleep with. That’s OK, right? Totally fine. A little bulky for going to Nana’s, but totally fine,” I would tell myself. We didn’t have a problem.

Then, my mother gave him a pillow pet for Christmas. She did ask me first, but I thought, “It’s a pillow. I’m sure he won’t need to take that everywhere he goes.” So I cleared the gift. Now we have a large edition to the buddies. That makes five. But he’s not done.

The following Christmas my brother-in-law got both the boys enormous stuffed animals. My oldest got a cheetah. It’s bigger than he is. It also has to sleep with him now. Sigh. That’s six.

At that point it became borderline ridiculous. There is hardly any room for him in his bed. And the bedtime routine takes ten minutes longer so that he can position each one just so before he settles down on the pile.

Another holiday came around. This time Grandma gave him a suitcase with another pillow pet in it. I can’t describe the utter dismay I have when I see another stuffed animal. “Not. Another. Stuffed. Animal.” I have gone so far as to hide stuffed animals. Give them away as quickly as possible before anyone gets attached. I wasn’t quick enough with this one. Number seven. Seriously, this is absurd.

I have pleaded with my family, “Whatever you do, do NOT give him stuffed animals!” But, on a recent trip to Nana’s he came home with another bunny. “I didn’t buy it for him!” she swears. It was one she had, that he asked if he could take home after sleeping with it all weekend. Of course she can’t deny him anything. Apparently I need to amend the plea to include “don’t GIVE him any stuffed thing. EVER.” Eight.

Eight buddies in all at this point for my oldest son. We call them his entourage. They are more than an armload for him, so we have had to come up with a rule – four buddy maximum on any car ride. Then we had to amend the rule to ban large buddies from the car altogether.

That’s hard for him. So before we leave he has to tuck the ones left behind into bed and swear that he’ll be home again. He worries. Poor kid is like me.

Then, there’s my youngest. I’m not sure if he’s just following his brother’s example, or if he really needs all these things. He has a baby blanket with the head in the middle (Tigger), two different Pooh Bears, a fleece blanket, and two different frogs. Six. Lordy. If my family and friends value their lives they’d better not bring anything soft and stuffed into my house.

I think we’ve reached the point of insanity. I will never purchase another stuffed thing again. EVER. I’m afraid my child might decide to be a taxidermist. Please… nobody send him anything stuffed.

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