Does your child have a “lovey?” A special stuffed teddy bear, blanket or other toy that they just cannot part with? We never intended for our children to become uber-attached to any one item. We didn’t encourage it, but we didn’t really discourage it either. With Zoey, it started at three months old. It was her first Christmas and Grandma gave her a little plush dog. He wears pink pajamas and a pink stocking cap with a dangly ball on top and has “My First Christmas 2010” written on his chest. Zoey instantly loved him for one simple reason: the hat. That little plush, soft, dangly ball was just the perfect thing to pop in her mouth and chew on while teething. The more she chewed, the squishier and more satisfying it got. It was beyond gross. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve washed Dog (we’re really creative with names around here) but that dangly ball is now a permanent shade of used-to-be-white-but-now-just-brownish-grayish-yuck. However, the real problem came when we lost him.
We had just moved into our current house. My mom was watching Zoey while Zach and I moved everything in. She took Zoey for a walk in the stroller and they took Dog with them. I warned my mom that Zoey liked to throw toys out of the stroller, and she promised to keep an eye out. Nevertheless, they came back Dog-less. My mom felt so bad that she went out searching in the dark with a flashlight, but Dog was nowhere to be found. Eventually, it was determined that Dog was lost forever, and my mom decided she needed to replace him for Zoey. Here’s where the real problem began. It was October of 2011. Go back and re-read that description of what it said on Dog’s chest, I’ll wait…..got it? Do you see what I’m hinting at? Do the words “limited production” come to your mind? My mom spent hours scouring the internet and finally found the last “Dog” in the country, I think. I don’t even want to know what she paid for him. God help us if we ever lose Dog again.
So now it’s Eleanor’s turn to fall in love with something. She has settled on a small knitted afghan. While she won’t suck on a binky or a bottle, she has decided that yarn is an acceptable pacifier. Go figure. A knitted baby bootie, yarn strings on a hat, a blanket…it doesn’t really matter what it is. If it’s made of yarn, she wants it in her mouth now. One blanket, in particular, is her favorite. It’s small and extra soft and she must have it when sleeping. I’m actually thankful it’s a knitted blanket she prefers, because she likes to wrap it around her head and suck on it to fall asleep. (I challenge anyone reading this to find a way to suffocate on an afghan). I can’t even imagine why she likes this though; it seems like her mouth would get all furry inside. Yuck.
So there you have it. Find something that’s guaranteed to be really gross when inserted in a child’s mouth, and they are sure to fall in love with it. Add in an irreplaceable factor and – presto – your child has found his or her lovey.