Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Stuffed love

Through different times, Josh and Drew have both gravitated toward stuffed animals to have what we call a "snuggle baby" to sleep with at night.

When Drew went through his "Lumpy" phase (if you've ever seen any of the Pooh series, you'll know that Lumpy is an adorable purple elephant (heffalump) that befriends Roo) we had to purchase more than one -- JUST IN CASE! He had one for home, one for the car and one for school. That way we would never forget his snuggle baby. God forbid that happened, because when it did, boy was it a mess of crocodile tears!

Josh has had his share of snuggle babies, too. When Josh was two, he was attached to this little stuffed alligator we called "little Al." He would hold it, chew on it, snuggle with it and whine to have it with him. I can also remember when he was around four or five, his Mimi gave him a purple teddy bear whom he affectionately referred to as "Grape Jelly." This was the animal of choice for many a night. He has worked his way through several and is now in that age of wanting to grow up but still wanting to be a kid in some aspects. As such, he sometimes will still snuggle with a little fluff at night. More often, however, he's curled up with a book. The trade off definitely has some benefits (for him) but it certainly means that my boy is growing up.

I have mine too from when I was a youth. I have a 3' brown stuffed bear in the top of my closet. His name was Charlie. He was given to me by my grandmother's brother, my great "Uncle Leonard." Why I haven't just taken a photo of mine and put that in the computer and let go of the bear (that will, no doubt, be sent to the landfill) is beyond me. I figure if I have the space and it's not in the way -- who cares if I hang onto it--ya know? That's my snuggle baby story. But back to the kids, about a year ago, Drew had to have two 6 foot plush snakes to sleep with. They were "red snake" and "my-pon." The latter of which is his way of saying "python." (Personally, I love these little Drew-isms.)

As it stands, now, Drew has a little beanie baby-type stuffed friend he calls "Dalmation." I bet you can't guess what it is. Ha. It was one of the first purchases we made for him while putting his room in transition to a big boy fireman room.

Now we have a new member of the family - Benjamin. I wonder what his first snuggle baby would be. If Drew has his way, it will be a green spotted mini Webkinz bullfrog with a yellow belly that he received as a gift from one of my Cub Scout dens. Our family has already started to refer to this little stuffed amphibian as "Ribbit."

Last night, Josh was showering upstairs. Drew was freshly bathed. Benjamin had taken a bath downstairs and I had lay down in the bed next to him (with the false hopes that I'd get to sleep for at least 3 hours before he woke.) Drew came in to say goodnight to me. He left. He returned to say goodnight to little Benji. He left. Then, he returned with Ribbit and lovingly set him on the bed right next to Ben. Why? So that Ben would have his snuggle baby. I've also noticed that if Ben is in the stroller, Drew will fetch Ribbit and put it near Ben so that he has a friend to share time with.

For a mom, it's little moments of exchanged love between brothers like this that you have to cling to. These are the little nuggets that show their true character. Drew is this sweet natured little guy that doesn't want anyone to feel alone. He wants to make sure that the stuffed friend that he KNOWS belongs to Ben is WITH Ben because he recognizes how HE feels when he is looking for his snuggle babies and that's generally through tear stained cheeks and longing sobs.

Makes me smile.


MaryC said...

Ty has a little stuffed dog that he discovered at Target when he was about 16 months old. It was a five dollar toy and love at first sight. Same thing, fit of tears if the dog wasn't with him. It's a little better now. When people see it they ask, what's your doggy's name. He says very sternly, "Doggy." Like, you just said his name. How dumb are you to ask what Doggy's name is? LOL.

Frugal Vicki said...

Someone had once told me that having a snuggle buddy was very good for kids, and then I worried because mine didn't have any. Then I realized it was because I was it....they fell asleep with me. Now they are choosing an animal every night so we can start the transition to falling asleep on their own.
And I love those sibling moments too, they warm my heart!

chksngr said...

Awwwww!!! LOVE this!! I dig big-brother love!