Sunday, February 5, 2012

Hoarders: the Preschool Edition

I have always fostered her love of her stuffed menagerie, because I admit I am (still) obsessed with stuffed animals myself.

In the corner of our bedroom sits my writing chair- a beloved college graduation gift from my parents.
Settled lovingly on top of that sits a replica of my baby blanket- my Grandma made me for my 21st birthday to "replace" my old one she made me in 1980. (I still sleep with that sucker, for the record)
That chair also holds two of my adored and best friends from childhood- a soft-bodied cloth doll my Mama made me when I was tiny- he's named Andy. And, a tan, oatmeal-textured stuffed bear with hard, knobby eyes.

The bear was again a gift from my Mama when I had pneumonia the spring of my 7th grade year. What 7th grader still receives stuffed animals and actually loves them? I was that kid. I remember being pretty sick, but more so being devastated that I was missing the start of track season. My Mama felt bad, and brought the bear home for me along with my arsenal of drugs.

Years ago, post-marriage but pre-baby, I was thrifting with my Mama and friend KAH in my parents' town when I spotted an exact replica of my oatmeal bear in an overpriced antique shop. I snatched him up; I felt the hot threat of tears, silly enough, seeing how he was abandoned along the way in his life. I rescued that stupid bear. He sits in another meaningful chair in my home to this day!

My daughter loves her stuffed animals, each and every one. She sleeps best when she is literally surrounded by her crew. As my Mama says, "I have never met a kid who actually played with the stuffed animals they owned." I bring them home with me on work trip as her souvenir, I love having that stuffed sweetness peeking out of my carry-on. I even bought her the sweetest, raggiest gray dog from Anthropology in Boise. Yeah, that was cheap.

I couldn't help it.

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