Children and their stuffed animals

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I just witnessed my seven-year-old set her armload of stuffed animals down in the hallway before entering the bathroom. She said to them, “Wait right here for me.”

April 2015 010

This isn’t Ribbity, but his big sister Catherine. I guess you could say I’m feeding the frog addiction. I can never let her eat at a fancy French restaurant. It would be too traumatizing.

My ten-year-old wanted to restuff her frog, Ribbity. I told her, “Unless there’s a hole in him already, I’ll have to open him up.” She said, in a pained voice, “If you do, I don’t want to watch.”

I performed the operation in a separate room while she alternately sat and paced, biting her nails, in the “waiting room.”

At last Ribbity’s operation was complete: restuffed, restitched, and looking like he’d consumed a bottle of steroids. My daughter was teary-eyed with relief.

My sister grew up with a stuffed polar bear she creatively named Blizzard. That bear went everywhere with her. Even into her young adult life she would pack him in her carry-on in such a way that she would leave the zipper slightly undone–just enough for Blizzard’s nose and mouth to stick out for air.

If it were me, I would hope others were thinking I just didn’t have enough space to zip the bag completely. But knowing my sister, she was all for others knowing she was letting her favorite stuffed animal breathe.

It’s good to be young at heart.

Happy Memorial Day, everyone!

Memorial daythan and now

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21 responses »

  1. I saw the e-mail announcing this content shortly after I came in from stationing Wolfie in the back yard to protect my landlady’s plants from birds. Wolfie’s pretty good for a Stuffo-American. A few years ago he helped catch 2 mice in the house, when I stationed him so as to scare them coming out of their hole into running around the corner onto the glue trap.

    My friend Bob is very embarrassed by my deadpan convers’ns with Wolfie in company. Wolfie thinks he’s square. Heck, Wolfie thinks I’M square!

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      • What I feared happened: While watering the plants, Tone accidentally got Wolfie wet. Not soaked (except his tail, which wound up wringing wet), but certainly wetter than when I upholstery-shampooed him. I’m afraid he could get moldy inside. So I poured some alcohol on the wet parts & am drying him in front of the fan.

        Wolfie didn’t see much action for many, many years, sitting in the toy chest even when I moved. Then ~20 yrs. ago a friend brought out a role-playing game from Steve Jackson, ‘Toon, at Cedar Tavern, and I decided to illustrate my cartoon character with the “real thing”. He made a hit with company, so I started bringing him to our parties, which is where Nadine observed Wolfie must have a drinking problem when he landed snout down (as he tends to; I think his center of balance has shifted over 50+ years) on New Year’s Day after the night out. So I think he has considerable experience with alcohol, and should come out of this OK.

        Have you ever heard the radio interview of Ducky? It had to be arranged thru her front man, a stuffed frog IIRC. I forgot whose program that was, maybe Ira Glass.

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    • If you knew the indignities I’ve had to suffer at the hands of this guy, you’d be amazed at my patience. At least he gave me a shampooing recently.

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  2. When Ribbity was being stuffed, apparently we missed one of his arms. Our 10 year old pointed this out. So he looks a bit more like Popeye on that side….I told her to squish his stuffing to that side to compensate. She looked at me funny, made a face, and then walked away. Hey, I tried.

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  3. I have to say, even now I still feel like stuffed animals are a little bit real, I mean obviously logically I know they’re not, but I still feel like they’ll be hurt if I throw them away or something! I find it really hard to get rid of them, I prefer to bag them up and store them in the attic, because clearly being stuffed into a plastic bag and thrown into the attic is less hurtful than being thrown out with the trash!

    When I was a young child, every time we went to my grandparents house, which was only a few times a year as they lived a few hours away, I would bring every single one of my stuffed animals, the whole back of the car would be crammed with them and me amongst them, and I would insist on having them all in the bed with me there while I slept, I remember feeling that they protected me (not that I had any particular reason for thinking I needed protecting at my grandparents house!). At home I only slept with one or two.

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    • I totally agree with you! There’s something special about stuffed animals. I remember going through a routine of making formal introductions of a newcomer to all my existing stuffed animals. And I too thought, at a certain point, “This is silly! They’re just toys,” but somehow they’re more than that. I guess this is a somewhat universal feeling; otherwise, why would the Toy Story movies be such a hit? We all get it!

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    • My daughter once took her bear “Roary” to a Little League game, as a spectator. One woman said, “Wow, how old is that bear?!” He was only two! But had received a lot of love in that short time. He is still with us, and is now 10. We sometimes look back at old photos and think, “Roary looked so young….”

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  4. I too recently performed major surgery on one of my son’s “friends.” I had to reattach a leg. Very touch and go for awhile, but my patient survived and was last seen on the time out chair. It seems that three legs gets you hugs, but four get you into trouble.

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  5. Precious post my dear & pic. Ribbity….too cute!! Isn’t funny how we parents have to put on the different hats to keep our kids content. lol Surgeon, Lawyer, teacher, chef, they all seem to fit. My daughters was Dino & Max. Love this post & sharing now. ๐Ÿ˜‰

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  6. Pingback: Ah, the silliness in this home | parentingisfunny

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