Monday, March 10, 2008

teddy, meet teddy

I was told that babies find an attachment object at about 8-10 months, so I started substituting the blankets randomly, putting different stuffed animals or dolls with my boys each day, and--placing the teddy/puppy I wanted them to "attach to" right near them. It might sound odd, but I would sometimes rub it on the back of my sweaty neck so it would smell familiar to them. And, with both boys, it worked. Wild, huh?

So, since I could, I got duplicates. Actually, there were three but we think one Teddy got thrown away in a vomiting episode. The loveys are in rotation, or rather, two are in rotation for each boy. Pook has a third puppy but it still has tags on it and may just hang out in my closet until I have a grandchild! Ha! Funny thought.

I'd had a Blue Puppy when I was tiny, a gift from an aunt who was still in college and found it at the school bookstore. I slept with his ear for a time after he'd sort of dissolved, then somehow my parents got me onto Teddy. They don't even know where or how I got Teddy even though I swear I have a memory of a three year old girl giving him to me, used. I still have Teddy, up on the kids' bookshelf. He comes down occasionally, but he's pretty tattered and fragile. I give him a hug and kiss but don't let them rough handle him. So when I got pregnant my mom found me a Blue Puppy for Pook. We searched for the right Teddy for Bug and found the same brand as Pup-- "My First Puppy" and "My First Teddy" by Gund. Except I think now they've changed. Because last summer I had to go searching online for a Teddy after I managed to leave both Ted and Pup at home when we flew out of town. (I realized it before the plane took off too. I felt awful, but didn't really think the pilot would wait for me to drive home and back before take off. Although I never asked.) So when I arrived at our destination I started checking to see if I could get new ones. I couldn't, but the kids coped pretty well actually, and Daddy overnight expressed them to us for about $40.

Someday they'll find out about the duplicates and I don't know what will happen. One of my friends has a child who found out and now he just has to sleep with both. Pook sort of already knows, but since I think he doesn't really want to know it's a bit like Santa or the Tooth Fairy and he's staying mum. We'd come home from a long vacation a bit later in the evening than we'd hoped (of course) and needed to put the boys to bed right away. Pook had played with Puppy in the car but once we got home he was no where to be seen. Finally in desperation I pulled out Puppy Duplicate. I'd never done that when one was MIA, only when one was in the laundry. Sure enough, in the morning Puppy Original was found in the art cabinet, (naturally-- a logical place I should have looked). I was so quick to get that stuffed piece of trouble hidden away that Pook saw it all in a blur. He tried to ask me and I gave him a quick "not gonna talk about it" and moved on.

Another time, I'd tossed a grimy Puppy in the laundry and put the clean Double in his bed. The next morning he says to me, "Isn't it weird? I cut the tags off Puppy one time and now they're back!" (They didn't stay on long- I got in there asap, hoping he'd forget.) So, between those two episodes, he must know. He could probably handle it, but it seemed like a slippery slope because I don't know if Bug could. But maybe they'll feel deceived when they find out. For now it's a matter of practicality. I'll hope they'll be pleasantly surprised to meet the Doubles.

This morning I pulled a clean Teddy from the dryer and took him upstairs to hide in my closet, in his usual hiding place. I passed Bug's bedroom and saw Other Teddy on his bed. I hesitated. The practical side of me said to put the clothes away and get some work done while both boys were at school. The sentimental side of me wanted to hold them both at the same time. Introduce them. "Hey Teddy, this is Teddy."


  1. My son was 21 months old before he would sleep with a lovey. I tried from his infanthood to get him to form an attachment. Didn't happen. Since his sister was born, he has a favorite blanket AND he loves to give his stuffed Snoopy a kiss nigh-nigh. I'm jealous.

  2. Emily has 2 stuffed Oscar the Grouches. She knows full well that there are 2 of them, but swaps between the 2 without any problem. She tried to pull the "I want the OTHER one" thing the last time we did the switch (Oscar got caught in the crossfire of a puke episode), but I told her no and that was that.

    I have a couple of those stuffed animal heads with a blanket body things for Lucy to attach to, and thanks for the reminder that attachment time is now. :)