Friday, November 09, 2007

lovey love

Elizabeth has a stuffed animal bunny that she absolutely adores.

Last year, in a moment of brilliance, I ordered a back-up bunny in case she ever lost the original bunny. For several months, and despite valiant efforts to "break" the back-up bunny in, my daughter shunned the bunny clone completely.


She lost her original bunny.

For a solid three months, we couldn't locate the original bunny. We looked high, we looked low. We looked everywhere. We even posted signs on the neighborhood mailboxes advertising a REWARD for anyone who found the bunny.

When given no other choice, almost instantly, Elizabeth embraced her bunny replica. Within a matter of days, the new bunny had found it's way in to Elizabeth's heart and won her over. Elizabeth and her new bunny were completely inseparable. Very soon, it was just as stinky and matted "loved" as the original.

At bedtime she would insist that she had her "BUNNY!" before retiring for the evening. In the middle of the night, she would wake up howling for a misplaced "BUNNY!" that would jolt Charlie and I from a sound sleep. Everywhere we went, bunny went with us.

And then.

She found the original bunny.

I'm not sure where exactly Elizabeth found it. But it must have been someplace in the garage, because she came running in to the house with her arm waving over her head and screaming in glee, "BUNNY!! BUNNY!!"

It was just like a page out of Mo Willem's best seller.

How would Elizabeth handle having two bunnies? Would she prefer the original bunny over the secondary bunny? Or, had enough time lapsed and her grief been so great that the bond with her secondary bunny would now overshadow the love she had for the original bunny?

With her two beloved bunnies in hand, I have never seen her so excited.

As for me, I was just happy because we now had two "Elizabeth-approved" bunnies, that were completely interchangeable. I could wash one, while she held on to the other. At night, if she misplaced one in her sleep, she had a second. Heaven-forbid we ever lost one, we now had an acceptable backup.

Alas, never once did I expect that she would insist on having two bunnies with her at all times. These days, everywhere we go - she must take along both stuffed animals. If one is in the wash, she will stand by impatiently waiting for it to dry. At night, she'll wake up howling "I need my TWO bunnies!!"

The moral to this story is if your child has a lovey, get a duplicate. And then, whatever you do, don't lose both of them.

Although, if the lovey happens to be a blanket, you can always carve it up in to smaller pieces with little to no emotional scarring on your child.


  1. I am so glad that you found Bunny. I remember the day William found Bunny while we were at the park and the whole park rejoiced. It looked like she was going to share with Henry.

  2. My mom cut my blankie into pieces so I'd never be without it.

    We were lucky with our daughter. She loved her blankie but it could be ANY cotton waffle weave receiving blanket. I remember running into a Baby's R Us when we were out of town, and had forgotten to bring blankie, to purchase one. I ripped open the package and handed it to my crying daughter in her carseat and had instant happiness.

    My son came across his lovey a few weeks ago while cleaning out his closet. He called me end to his room and said "I found Chuckie." Chuckie was his bear we bought at Shoney's when he was 3 and he was an instant best friend.

    I cried; so he sat him lovingly on his closet shelf and promised not to pitch him.

  3. Oohh, I remember the last bunny crisis. Perhaps it's time to get a third LOL.

  4. We have three hippos and three blankets and sometimes they all go with us. Fortunatley we can interchange them most of the time, but Chase knows when one is missing and will demand it be found. I think he'll be a kinder and carrying them to school in his backpack. I'm glad she found the original, maybe in a few days she'll accept just one at a time.... no probably not!

  5. Each of my three have THREE stinkin blankies. They each started out with one and then that one got nasty so I bought a back up. The back up was never quite right so it was a secondary that also had to be with them. I attempted to rotate in a third and now they all have to have all three. 9 stinking blankets. 9.

    However, to my boy who sniffs his blankies only the original, nasty, ripped, stained, tattered blanket is worthy.

  6. I received two Carter's giraffe blankets (lovey type) for my baby shower. My sisters insisted that I keep both...Now my son is 21 months old and has used them interchangably (My sisters told me to wash each of them just as much as the other so that they were the rejections later down the line) as teething blankets and a security blanket...Like Elizabeth, he has woken up in the middle of the night because he could not feel his blankie in his crib.

  7. My son has his favorite Teddy Bear, called Teddy. Much like Bunny and Elizabeth, Teddy and Jack are inseparable. We were worried that Jack might someday lose Teddy and we would never sleep again, so we bought an identical backup for Teddy. Now Jack, Teddy and Other Teddy are inseparable and I have been frantically searching for more backups!!

  8. I have a son who has 2 blankies after we cleverly tried to introduce an extra and it backfired.

  9. What an enthralling take on child psychology and a great lesson on mother love! :)