Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Now I Could Use a Stuffed Puppy to Hug

My son is away at sixth grade camp. It’s a shock after having the kids at home for two weeks – now my littlest chick isn’t here.

When we were getting his things ready he informed me the boys get a reward if one of them brings a pink stuffed animal with him.

“Do you want to do that?” I asked him.

“No way.” He held his hands up, palms out, to emphasize the point.

“But what if it’s something cool, like a dinosaur or something?”

“Yeah, Mom, like Barney. That’d be really cool.”

“Not like Barney,” I argued. “Not even as a joke…?”

His eyes registered danger on the dorky mom meter. I decided not to press the issue.

I remember the days when he thought pink was just fine, and couldn’t go anywhere without his stuffed puppy. He’d had it since he was two months old. He was so attached to it I tried to find a duplicate. I’d probably have been willing to pay a lot for it. I was afraid he’d lose it; then we’d all be paying dearly for it.

But the toy was discontinued. I sewed a decoy, copying it as best I could. I didn’t notice 'til I snapped a picture of them side by side that Puppy Two looked like the original puppy on steroids. When one puppy got filthy, I brought out the double and the other went into the wash.

At first sight the freshly laundered puppy passed with flying colors, but as soon as my son got hold of it he’d howl in protest. His objection – the ears (his favorite part to chew) weren’t stiff enough with drool. He wasted no time fixing the problem.

It’s been years since any stuffed animals have come out to play, although we do have a tradition of sneaking stowaways into suitcases of traveling family members. In this case, I’d been warned - it had better not be stuffed. And under no circumstances would it be pink.


ICQB said...

Wow, you should start a stuffed animal line : )

The things devoted moms will do...

We went backpacking for five days once up in the High Uinta Wilderness. 11,000 feet. What did my daughter have to bring? Her stuffed Pikachu (sp?).

Kim Kasch said...

Oh my daughter and I love stuffed animals, when she moved into her dorm last year - I sent a bunch with her. She put them up on her headboard. And other girls on her floor put a bunch out too.


Stacy Nyikos said...

So in 6th grade they become stuffed animal shy as boys, eh? I'm wondering if it will ever happen for my girls. They are still in love with stuffed animals. All kinds. All the time!

PJ Hoover said...

I always had a sweet spot for stuffed animals. My son - not so much. But I can tell my daughter will be just like me in this respect.

Kelly said...

Your puppy clone is a pretty good match!
My nine year old son still likes stuffed animals if it has something to do with what he is interested in. (Last year it was Pokemon stuffed animals, this year Club Penguin stuffed animals.)
I LOVED stuffed animals as a child!

Bish Denham said...

You did a fine job on the replica! I still have a stuffed red elephant that I got when I was 6 months old. She's been everywhere with me and loved so hard it shows. If my house caught on fire, she'd be one of the things I'd grab first.

Green Girl in Wisconsin said...

That's so funny--what us moms will do for our kids, eh?

Anne Spollen said...

His eyes registered danger on the dorky mom meter...

Yes, great line!

Great job, too. Nice that he's got such a creative mom.

Rebecca Ramsey said...

Great post!
When my son went to church camp last summer I figured he might want to take a stuffed animal with him. (He was a soon to be 4th grader.) Right before we got in the car I noticed his bag was really heavy. I asked him what he had in there and he told me he was taking his poker set.
Poker at church camp.
How I missed the days of stuffed animals.

Rena said...

LMAO @ your son saying how cool Barney would be. I can almost hear him! LOLOL!

adrienne said...

ICQB - That Pikachu is adventurous! It was a Pokemon figurine I hid in the suitcase. If he gets razzed about it, I'm in trouble.

Kim - Those things seem to multiply :D

Stacy - I wonder which comes first for boys - losing interest in them, or having to act tough around their buddies.

PJ - My daughter always liked them but never clung to just one. Funny how different they all are.

Kelly - I haven't seen Club Penguin. Love the name!

Bish - I still have a few of my best-loved buddies, too. A red elephant - how cute! :)

Green Girl - It's true - I'm a pushover.

Anne - Thanks. Yes, his mastery of the bad-eye is inspiring.

Becky - That's hilarious! A boy's gotta have a hobby :D

Rena - You can imagine the eye-rolling that went with it :)

C.R. Evers said...

stuffed animals were always a big deal to me. W/ 3 girls I suspect at least one of them will be like me too. They all have stuffed animals that they are attached to. The oldest has an animal that I would pay good money to find a 2nd. I'm already trying to plan how to keep him fortified. I've already preformed arm replacement surgeries.

adrienne said...

Christy - I still have a couple from my childhood that underwent many surgeries! My mom made a total replacement for one I lost. It looked very little like the first, but I still cherished it.

Mary Witzl said...

There is nothing more poignant than the day your kid tells you he doesn't need his stuffed toy. You see him looking at it like it's just a thing and your heart breaks a little. Your little kid is gone and a new one has emerged. Sniff.

Or maybe I'm just feeling especially soppy this morning. Wow: I think I've just registered a million on the dorky mom meter...

LW said...

What a wonderful little dog and what a great job you did
On the look a like…..

When my son went off to collage, I put one of his beanie babies in his bag.
I know, I know but it was meant to be funny…..
When we got there and started to unpack, he handed the beanie baby back to me and said
“Mom, I think you need this more than me” he was right…


LW said...

That is college not collage …
See what happens when I don’t proof read….


adrienne said...

Mary - Not dorky at all!
Sending my little one out into the world (well, camp anyway) was even tougher for me.

Louise - What a great story! How nice of your son to look after you.
I did need to give puppy a squeeze or two this week.

I am awful about proofing...It's funny though, I was just writing something about my mom's collages and I didn't even notice :)

Brenda said...

My son was really into pink growing up also...then out of the blue he couldn't stand the color anymore...when he was born, we had one of those pillows where you put the baby's stats (DOB, weight, length, etc.)...he slept with that under his big pillows for years...grin...

adrienne said...

Brenda - I love that! I'm guessing you still have the pillow.

Lily Cate said...

Aww. My brother had a pink doll named Lucy that he carried around for years. I think she was gone by kindergarten, and he was on to John the Bunny, named after his favorite uncle.

My son is almost done with stuffed animals, and he's only 4! He has a few he likes, but it's never a big deal if they go missing. Anyone else will do.
Still likes pink, too. He picked out some pink gardening tools for himself :)

adrienne said...

Lily - I'll bet he's a great garden helper! I love those little tools.