Longing for Lovies
Before my first child was born, I loved looking at the soft little toys often adopted as lovies. Animals with tiny blankets attached, super-soft plush, sweet little hand-stitched faces. I would feel the fabric, imagining my sweet girl cuddling up in her crib with her treasured toy, a family heirloom in the making.
I myself had a bear; Mr. Bear, to be exact. A simple brown teddy with no fancy additions, he was a constant. He lived on my bed through the years, even traveling with the 13-year-old me to Alabama for my month-long sleepover camp to help soothe my homesickness. When I was in high school and met my first love, I was inspired to gift my beloved bear as a sign of my affection. A few years later, on my birthday, I opened a bag to find Mr. Bear returned. My mother had called up my old boyfriend, years after our relationship was just a sweet memory, and asked for his return (thanks, Sean, for being such a good sport). Now Mr. Bear lives with my own children. But he isn’t their lovie – he’s still mommy’s.
I desperately longed for them to find something to attach to for comfort – something other than me (and my boobs). Don’t get me wrong, I treasured those nights of cuddling in the rocking chair, and softly singing them to sleep while stroking their downy heads. But, at some point delirium set in and all I really, really wanted was to go back to sleep. I tried animals with pacifiers attached, animals that lit up, animals that played music. Velvet and minky and felt and cotton. Bears and bunnies and monsters and dolls. Nothing.
The closest I came to a true attachment was when my son was two and decided that Shiny Lightning McQueen was it (yes, Shiny). Mind you, he had an entire bin of cars, with several versions of the red race car, but only one would do. You know those stories of parents desperately searching for misplaced lovies? Buying back-up toys in case of emergency? Well, when your toddler decides the key to his heart is a tiny toy car, which must go everywhere with him, the chances of losing it are pretty staggering (both the car and your mind). We bought two extras. He immediately dismissed them as imposters.
Luckily for all of us, his devotion to Shiny Lightning gradually faded. Shiny and his stunt doubles still reside in the toy bin, but Sawyer moved on to other things. Now all three kids have cuddly blankets with their names embroidered along the edge. I don’t technically think that they qualify as lovies, since they easily part with them for nights at Gee’s house or during much-needed washings. And now, I am able to go back to those moments when I treasure the fact that I’m the lovie they want to cuddle in the middle of the night.
Do your children have lovies? Tell us about them in the comments.
Photo via Flickr: chedder