Friday, November 07, 2008

Lovies...

Do your kids have a lovie? An object that soothes them when they're tired, upset, or irritable? Over the years my kids have always had a lovie but it's changed over time for each of them.

Skyler has always preferred a blankie. Something ultra-soft to the touch that she could rub on her face and wrap around her. There have been three that have won that superior position of favorite and they've each had a name. First there was Purple which she got as a baby and was a favorite until one night when it went missing and I ran to Target to replace it but they no longer sold the purple one, the offering was now pink. I was convinced she would reject it but Pink was accepted happily. Purple turned up eventually and for a long time she would be happy with either of them. As she got bigger she moved to carrying around Big Purple which was a minkie blanket made by Grammy and was a larger size to cover her more completely. Now, she still likes something soft near her face, but she's not real picky, any soft animal or blankie will do. Purple, Pink, and Big Purple are still kicking around but there isn't a panic if one of them can't be found. She's easy.

Zack on the other hand has always clung to a stuffed animal. The animal has changed a couple of times over the years, but his was a more urgent need than Skyler's. There were tears if it was missing. There were frantic searches and never a night slept without it. Honestly his attachment started with the bottle and when that was finally ripped from his nighttime clutches at age two he became attached to Bear. Bear was a stuffed animal of mine that was dressed as a Christmas Elf. Zack was happy with him for about two years until he became attached to Starfish, and shortly after that Nala, the little female lion from The Lion King. THEN there was Zebra.
Zebra has been a part of the family. He has held an honored position in Zack's room, and comfort zone for years now. He's gone through surgery with Zack and his own surgery to replace stuffing. He's looking worn and ragged, but oh so well loved which is why I was more than a little shocked and quite a bit sad last night when Zack announced that he didn't want Zebra anymore. I'm not sure why my reaction was so strong but he really shocked me. I honestly think that Zack is disappointed that Zeeb (as he is affectionately called) is looking pretty ragged and isn't so soft any longer. I'd say he's growing up but can tell that he still needs a comfort item, he's still an emotional kid. I encouraged him to spend one more night with Zebra and decide in the morning, convinced he would forget all about it. Not so much. This morning, Zack handed Zeeb to me and said I could have him.

Why do we as parents get so upset when they give up something that is such a symbol of their emotional childhood? Are we afraid that soon they won't need us any longer either? I'm sure that's part of it. I know that I will keep Zebra and cherish him and all the memories of he and Zack sitting in my lap and snuggling or crying or laughing. Zack still needs his Mommy but someday I have a feeling it will be just Zebra, Purple, me and our memories...

5 comments:

  1. This makes me sad. Neither of mine have a lovie but if they did and they relinqueshed it one day to me in such a way I think I would cry, it's a loss of innocence, don't you think? Good for Zack, though. He's growing up... damnit.

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  2. My son has one. It's not a typical lovie, though. It's this fleece blanket that my co-worker gave me when I was pregnant, for me. But when Dawson was about 13 months old, he loved it so much he sort of made it his. He takes it with him everywhere.

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  3. Not to worry, he still has the one true Lovie he always had and ever wanted- YOU!!!!Oedipus anyone?

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  4. Garrett his doggy "baby" and I'll keep it forever too!

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  5. I think Nate's lovie is my nose. He rubs it with his finger when he's drifting off...sometimes it's even IN my nose. I love it though.

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