Thursday, June 12, 2008

A (long-winded) tale of two loveys

Annie Bear. The very name conjures plenty of memories for those of us who have known Clare all of her life. A pink "pancake" bear, Annie Bear was given to Clare when she was nine months old. She was the first item we first-time parents dared place in her crib, and the way Clare responded you would have thought we had given a drowning girl a life raft. The two were inseparable - so much that when I had the good fortune of coming across more of these bears in a nearby store, I bought three. We successfully rotated through Annie Bears I, II, III, and IV over the years, and Clare has never been the wiser. Nowadays Annie Bear stays in her room, but she is still the first thing Clare reaches for when it's bedtime. However, I am happy to report that in the face of a crisis (I forgot to pack AB for our most recent trip to Buffalo), Clare cried for ten seconds and then quickly decided that one of the many stuffed animals at Grandma's house would be an acceptable substitute. Yet another example of how grown up she is becoming.

It was on this trip to Buffalo that I believe Danny was incited to take a lovey while sleeping/hanging out in the crib. Clare and Danny shared a room for the first time on this visit, so he saw firsthand the process whereby Clare goes to bed and to sleep. Actually, I think it was really during their early morning chats, before anyone came to release them from bed, that Clare suggested Danny take an animal. He eagerly accepted, and from then on he asked for an animal for each nap and each bedtime. Interestingly, the animal rotated from a cheetah to a monkey, etc., so while he had embraced the concept, no particular creature had won his affection.

When we returned home, I remembered that we had a stuffed rocking horse that someone had given Danny when he was born. Danny is rather fond of horses, so this seemed like a sure bet. I gave it to him that first night back, and he liked it. But last week is apparently when he decided to commit. We made a trip to the aquarium, and I let the kids each pick out one small souvenir. I steered Danny toward some rubber whales, sharks, etc., because on a previous day's trip to the pool he had been quite smitten with another child's similar toys. Clare, meanwhile, opted for a stuffed baby beluga whale. You can probably guess what happened next: Danny, tired after an active afternoon, really wanted her whale. And Clare, sweet girl that she is, let him hold it the whole ride home. As soon as we got home she wanted it back, but she promptly moved into problem-solving mode. She remembered that we have a small stuffed whale, which she immediately located and handed over to Danny. It was the perfect solution.

So now, in yet another demonstration of the pronounced differences between our children, they each have a lovey. Clare's is a sweet, pink teddy bear. And Danny's is a killer whale.