However, now I pay the price.
The stuffed animals and the kids plush Koala brand blankets are night time comfort surrogates. As all parents know, the love and degree of affection for these creatures extends beyond bedtime.
I can be heard saying repeatedly through out the day, "Bun-Bun can NOT go out side!" or roaring, "PUT YOUR BLANKET'S AWAY!!!" You see, the kids sneak their "special things" when I am not paying attention.
There are code words for the blankets too. My children refer to them as my "B" when speaking in the singular, or my "B-B's" when whining in the plural form. For Wyatt, my needy son, has two blankets while his sister has just one.
When used in a sentence Wyatt says, "I want my B-B's," which I heard at least one million times a day when he was younger. Currently, Ella resorts to chanting like she's in a cult induced trance, "Bee-Bee, Bunny, Bee-Bee, Bunny, Bee-Bee, Bunny..." until I relent and give her the blanket and her bunny, or alternately, I go running out of the house screaming like a crazed circus freak.
Here is Ella and her "Bun-Bun." She clutches her bunny like a woman in a subway with a bag of diamonds in her purse and a machine gun under her trench coat. She means business. If any attempt to remove Bun-Bun occurs before an adequate "wake up" state is achieved, the screeching that ensues is enough to make my ears hemorrhage for a week. After Ella overcomes sleep inertia, I can negotiate the release of the hostage and put Bun-Bun back into her crib.
The children's addiction to snuggling their animals or blankets is kept under control only through my strict enforcement of the no "B" zone during certain times of the day. After overcoming their sleep inertia and drinking their milk, I round up the critters and blankets and put them in the kids beds. If the cuddly things come out again, then "they" go into the tall, tall cabinet in the hallway. This generally results in much shrieking, hysteria, or tears by the child perpetrator, but it is a necessary regulatory action to maintain some degree of control in my household. On such occasions that her beloved Bun-Bun is taken away, Ella will stomp around yelling, "MAD, MAD, MAD," then mumble incoherently to herself about the injustice of it all. Poor baby. NOT!
Sometimes dramatic break out schemes are devised by Wyatt who will be found scaffolding the shelves in the cabinet to rescue his B's. Actually, there have been occasions that he has become stuck like a cat in a tree and can't manage to back down. As he clutches his blanket and screams for help I ignore him until the tear begin. Since I am a Mommy sadist, I like to let him dangle since all is fair in the war of the blankets.
Cousin Trevor, who lives next door, also has his favorite "Doggie" who has many stitches showing the signs of wear on his deteriorating body. He has been loved so much, his fabric skin is dangerously thin and one of these days I think Doggie will just disintegrate. Complete pandemonium breaks out when Doggie goes missing and everything short of calling the National Guard occurs until he is recovered. I bet this has happened in everyones house at one time or another.
Wyatt's best loved stuffed animals are a platypus and California condor. There is a small pig that gets into the rotation, but "Clarence" is really only used when the other two go missing. The condor was a gift from a family friend and the platypus was abducted from his cousin. I am guessing his strange penchant to an American endangered species and a rare Australian marsupial is to be expected with me as his mom. His prenatal exposure to environmental consulting and native rare plant and animal surveys influenced him toward those specific animals.
I often imagine that the "aminals," as Wyatt still says, commiserate with each other when they are off duty. They heartily enjoy a little time in front of the fire, and get a chance to chat unmolested. I can tell by looking at their shiny beady eyes that the following conversation is on a repeating loop between "Perry" the platypus and the condor.
Here is my son Wyatt in action with his condor. As Wyatt was stuffing the condor's ass in his face he told me, "Mom, condors have stinky butts." Such an astute observation and basic logic from a four year old is not often found.
"Ya think?" was my typical sarcastic response to him, which actually left him smiling.
Then I imagine that Wyatt's pig and Trevor's doggie have a few Zen like words between each other such as:
Doggie is down to a canvas like material. He's resembling a Chinese Crested more and more, although slightly smellier and uglier. And in this photo with Trevor lovin' on Doggie (below) note the "bad" end of the stuffed animal is in the kid's nose. Trevor likes to rub the tag back and forth across his mouth and lower nostrils. I can only shake my head in bewilderment. Since both cousins have a hankering for the back end of their stuffed animals and I must blame it on genetics since they are related after all...
Finally, here is my blanket that my Grandmother made me when I was a toddler. Apparently I used to eat my blanket when I was a baby and my Mom had trouble in my diaper. There are those things I don't need to know, thanks MOM, but that I am willing to share anyway...
Finally, I want to give a shout out to all the blanket babies, dolly loving kids and binkey toting toddlers since without them and their favorite things what would we do??