As an infant, my daughter never formed attachments. It was incredibly easy to wean her off the boob and bottle even though she seemed really fond of them, and I was never concerned about the pacifier or a particular blanket - she didn’t favor those either. And while most parents were fretting over their kids forming deep attachments to inanimate objects, I was worried that I don’t have to worry about this. Yes, shoot me now; I am just that crazy. I honestly thought something might be wrong with her. But then one day, it all changed.
To help her sleep through the night when she was almost a year old, we decided to introduce a friend, a stuffed Curious George monkey. And it worked. She slept better, and she began to expect her little friend in bed, tucked under the blanket with her. But there was no real attachment outside of bedtime. He was replaced a couple of months into their relationship with not one, but FIVE others. Yes, my little over-achiever takes on five loveys at a time. (No, my daughter does not get that from me.)
Five seems perfect - one to guard each corner of her crib while she cuddles with the lucky fifth as she sleeps. And if you’re just dying to know who the Famous Five are, you’re in luck, because they are finally ready for the limelight:
Mac the Cat (her favorite because it resembles our cat, Macavity a.k.a. Mac - Little Miss’ favorite animal in the house. After me of course. Rrrr...)
When she’s upset and yelling for Mac, we’re never quite sure which she means so we scramble around and pick up the one closest to us. It never is the right one of course. When we get the cat, she means the toy. And vice versa. Sometimes I think she just likes to mess with us. Because it is her job. And hobby. And ambition.
Baby Doll (goes by Baby or Doll, depending on my daughter’s mood)
Baby brings out the nurturing side of Little Miss who loves sharing her snacks and drinks with Baby. She also brings Baby in a mini stroller with us on our evening walks. Since Baby’s vinyl head is the hardest of the Famous Five, Little Miss gives head-banging a literal definition with Baby when she is frustrated and wants out of the crib. So much for her nurturing side.
Elmo (very recently rose to this rank due to my daughter’s exposure to Sesame Street)
Little Miss watched Sesame Street for the first time last week - I know, what rock have we been under? It’s a big one, folks, a meteorite, OK? - and went berserk over the live action Elmo. She couldn’t sit still. In fact, she stood right in front of the TV and called at the top of her voice, “EL-MO!” each time he was on screen (and he was on A LOT), as if to say, “You can talk?! All this time? And you haven’t said a word to me? What the Big Bird!”
Ah-Ah the Monkey (short for oo-oo-ah-ah, as in the sound monkeys make)
It used to be her favorite until the other three came along and replaced it. Pink monkey, red hearts. A gift. We’re not fans of the overtly girlie, so we’re secretly glad it’s on its way out. Perhaps by the time you read this, it’ll be voted out of her crib. Fingers crossed.
Pig the Pig (Nothing wrong with practical names. The French call some of their men Guy...)
Right now, Pig is the only one of the Five who gets the foot of the crib every night while they others get a turn at being her snuggle buddy. The poor thing has been working hard to get promoted to the top of the bed but its unwieldy size is a disadvantage. Perhaps when Little Miss is older, Pig will find its way into her longer arms. Or as an extra in Toy Story 4. Not a bad alternative.
So there you have it, the Famous Five that keeps her safe and slumbering at night. God forbid should one of them be missing because there will be no sleep for her - or for us. But it’s endearing when we’re away from the house without her buddies, she would name each one of them to me out of the blue, as if to inquire about them - “Mac? Baby? Elmo? Ah-ah? Pig?” I would assure her that they’re at home, in bed. And that they’re all fine.
In finally seeing my daughter’s attachment to her strange bedfellows, I realize, so is she. Now I can go on to worrying about other important things. Like her penmanship and what it says about her personality.
As it turns out, they’re also wonderful playmates
If you want them, you’ll to have to go through me!
This is a Wordful Wednesday post.