My confession: When W forgets a stuffed animal downstairs, when he tosses one out of his crib, when a new one arrives in the house and the older ones don’t get picked up as often – I love them for him.
I belong to the generation of parents that were not only read The Velveteen Rabbit but we also see the Toy Story movies on repeat. I have pangs of guilt and remembrance of how I once cast away my toys. I know that there are toys that once belonged to me now in the landfills of California, Florida and Alabama. I try not too think too much about them. Instead I try to remember about the toys that I loved and then passed on to neighborhood kids. And I think about the small box of toys that I still have from my childhood: a silver duck, a doll with all of her original hair (!), and a few other small baubles that bring back a rush of memories upon sight.
W has fallen in love with the plush toys from Ikea. They are literally the only plush toys he owns. (No. Those Grovers are MINE.) He first fell in love with a dark brown rabbit. It was a big moment for all who witnessed. It was love, pure and precious love. I immediately heeded the advice of several friends and ran back to Ikea to get, er, back up rabbit. Just in case. So we have four rabbits. But I was keeping three of them tucked away. Then he found them. And now he has rabbits that live in different areas of the house (and the car rabbit).
And for ages and ages the rabbits slept with him and when he woke they woke with him. They were with him at meal times and car rabbit got to go into the grocery store and run errands with us. It was a love story. (Please no jokes about plushies or polygamy.)
Then Charlie dog died and the following weekend Mother took W to Ikea so I could work on his room. W spotted a giant plush dog in the kid’s section and grabbed it. Claimed it. Then he claimed a small bunny that had fallen out of a bin nearby. So obviously they both came home to be with our family and we all love them dearly.
But I am so mindful that the Alices (the rabbits are all named Alice) get love and attention as well as Nan (little bunny) and Nine (the dog, of course). Which is silly. But W is napping right now with the dog and bunny and there might be three rabbits sitting next to me…