Baby's Got a Lovey
It never happened with Johnny, now five. He'd hug a big stuffed bunny and then throw it on the floor. Sure, he wanted to sleep with certain things at night. It's just that they were a little unconventional: First it was his Tonka truck. Then his Spiderman boots. Next a giant carnival dog. And finally three Idaho potatos. None of them lasted long enough to achieve lovey status, which I guess is a good thing.
Richie never had one special stuffed animal he slept with either, although now he and Johnny sleep with 100 of them, and that's special, to follow the reasoning of the cable salesperson I spoke to yesterday. Me: Do you have any specials? Him: Road Runner is always special. Me: Silently waiting for the punchline.
Anyway, with my third child, my wish has come true. J.J. has a lovey--a small tan teddybear that he clutches in his crib to forget a bad day: a lost binkie, a nap cut short by yelling brothers, a sub-par dinner, too much "floor time" and not enough cuddle time. He lays his head down on it, and falls asleep instantly.
It's made of this soft new stuffed animal fabric, which is as soft as a duckling, a baby seal, a puppy, and Elvis Presley's blue suede shoes all rolled up in one. If we could uphulster the whole world in this fabric, there would be no more war. I'm certain of it. When people got cranky or selfish, they'd lay on their tummies, their legs tucked underneath them, their bottoms in the air, and just sleep it off, like J.J. does. I was in a cancer boutique--a store for people undergoing chemotherapy or recovering from mastectomies--and they had nightcaps that felt like this fabric. So people are aware of the benefits of this fabric for grownups, too.
On J.J.'s teddybear, the fabric is hardened in places because of sweat and tears. Teddybear makes it all better. J.J. has no interest in the stuffed animal except at bedtime. It should probably stay in the crib, where it won't be lost or forgotton. I remember being attached to a piggy pibbow and crying my eyes out when I forgot to bring it to a slumber party. I hope J.J. doesn't go through that, but it's worth it to have the peace of mind a lovey gives you. A little superstition that everything will be okay.