It's wonderful seeing my children's attachment to a stuffed animal. Maybe it's because I had a special friend, too, named Baby Bear. I received her as a present from a friend of my mother's for my first Christmas. Nearly 40 years later, she sits on a rocking chair in Lucie's room. She's been to France, day camp and college with me. She even attended my wedding held by my best-friend-from-childhood, Suzanne.
Mr. Bunny, or just "Bunny," is Nathan's special stuffed animal. He's had him since he was two after losing the original bunny, a 7" Manhattan Toy Company Tip Toes Betty Bunny, during a trip to San Diego. Originally a present from my sister, I was unable to find another one. However, I did locate a bigger 18" version online. I wasn't sure how Nathan would react to the bigger bunny as he was just getting attached to the smaller one. However, he didn't seem too upset when the bunny was lost.
I'll never forget the day the UPS man dropped off the package. I opened it in the living room and when I pulled out Bunny, Nathan came running over with a huge smile on his face. He grabbed Bunny from me and gave him a big hug. They've been inseparable ever since.
After nearly three years of heavy loving, Bunny's fur is just about gone. He's basically a bunny-shaped nylon stocking, and so threadbare his stuffing can be seen through what's left of his hide. Because he's so fragile, I make sure that Bunny wears Nathan and Lucie's old preemie outfits. They keep what's left of him protected while reminding me how small my big kids once were.
Lucie has also become a Bunny fan. She'll grab Bunny, and give him a big squeeze and a kiss. When I tell her that's Nathan's Bunny, she says, "Mine too!"
Lately, it seemed that Nathan was beginning to leave Bunny behind except for sleeping at night. But a couple of weeks ago, Nathan came into my room and announced, "Bunny's sick. He's got a bad tummy and threw up." At first I thought that Nathan was feeling ill and using Bunny as a way to tell me. No, he was fine. Nathan just wanted to have some fun and give Bunny some attention (and get a little in return).
We changed Bunny's outfit, put a matching hat on him, and took him in the car on the way to preschool. After all, Bunny's just another member of the family. Why shouldn't he come along?
Does your child have a favorite stuffed animal?