Little Guy and lovey obsession
Some kids easily give up their blankies, lovies, whatever. I was that type, heartlessly abandoning blanky around age 3 or 4.
There are others who hold on until the object of the obsession is in so many shreds that continued cuddling is impossible. My older brother falls into that category. I think the last shards of his blanky went on his honeymoon.
Seems that Little Guy has taken after his uncle, and that’s causing problems at school.
So tomorrow, we’ll leave El, the stuffed elephant-blanket who’s usually epoxied to his arm, home. Little Guy will have to float adrift without his anchor in this cold, cruel world.
I dread it already. I’m not sure it’s the right thing to do either.
I take the blame for the attachment. I started both guys on their loveys when they were tiny boogers.
My favorite aunt sent Bear to Big Guy when he was days old. By the time he was a month old, Big Guy had started ripping at his hair as he fell asleep, so I gave him Bear to cuddle instead.
A few years later, same thing with Little Guy.
These days, Big Guy forgets about Bear except at bedtime. Or when he’s drunk before surgery. He was so out of it that day he cuddled the hospital television remote next to his cheek, stroking it and murmuring “Bear.”
He realizes Bear is not real. “How could he be? He doesn’t have a mouth or legs,” Big Guy reasoned the other day.
To Little Guy, though, El still is very real. He stubs his toe, he cries for El. I admonish him, he runs to El for solace. If he loses El in his sleep at night, he freaks out. El eats with us.
El’s a mess as a result: His hands have lost their stuffing, and his satin’s frayed. At least, one of him’s a mess. The other – always buy loveys in twos, advised Favorite Aunt – is a little better off and needs roughed up a bit. No point in having two if the kid can tell them apart. That’s why, when one Bear took a blow to the head with orange fabric paint, I had to wound the twin.
Lately, it’s been as if Little Guy’s twins. There’s the brooding guy who’ll fly into a rage the second he hears “no,” and there’s the same sunny jokester I’ve always known.
It’s the brooding guy’s fault El was expelled.
For most of the fall, Little Guy was happy as long as he knew El was in his cubby waiting for his naptime cuddle. Increasingly, though, that hasn’t been enough. He cries for El during class. He throws himself to the floor if El’s parking in his cubby during play time. He shrieks on the playground for El.
It’s caused serious disruptions, so Friday his teacher asked if we could try leaving El at home for a few days.
I agreed, because I can see her point. It’s hard to deal with an over-the-top Little Guy when you have four others just like him, many of them in various stages of potty-training.
But I bet this is going to be harder than she thinks. When Big Guy was 2, we could get around the occasionally forgotten Bear by saying he had to stay home and take a bath or sleep or whatever. I don’t see Little Guy buying that. He gets hysterical if he sees El even close to the washing machine.
I just can’t figure out who will bear the brunt of Little Guy’s rage: me, his teacher or El. Maybe all three of us deserve it.
Copyright 2007 Debra Legg. All rights reserved.