|Eli, with his latest acquisition|
Our house is overrun with my son’s stuffed animals. There are HUNDREDS of creatures, from armadillos to zebras. Aliens. Robots. Dinosaurs. Not to mention the entire cast of Yo Gabba Gabba, all the Wonderpets, and a whole flock of Angry Birds.
I feel like Noah when I sit on the couch, or E.T. in the closet, surrounded (and in some cases, upon) my son’s menagerie. Admittedly, some DO make good pillows, but most have pointy pokey parts that violate my more sensitive areas. And many tend to squeak, shriek, or sing when you apply pressure on them, which never fails to freak me out.
So, after we recently managed to remove a carload of “hard” toys that he had outgrown by donating them to a local preschool, I thought we could do the same with the stuffed ones. Knowing how much he likes them (and recalling how he reacted when he caught me putting his Weeble Treehouse in the donation pile), my wife and I offered him a reasonable deal: For every ten stuffed animals he got rid of, we would buy him one new one. It seemed like a true win-win, and I saw NO problems with this plan
Until he showed us the ten he designated for deportation.
“You can’t give away DJ Lance Rock!” my wife said.
“I LOVE those Ugly Dolls,” I whined.
“Grandma gave that to you!”
“He was you FAVORITE when you were a baby…”
“You won that at the carnival!”
It seemed like everything had sentimental value, and the ones HE wasn’t attached to, WE were.
“Try again,” we told him.
|The Ten Castaways|
The next time, he came back with the ones pictured above. And while we (my wife and I) felt a little better about this selection, there were still some choices that left us with misgivings (indicated by sad faces L)
Little Blue Bird: part of a cute shape sorting set that I got him for his first Christmas L
Little Bunny: something my wife had since SHE was a baby L
Bug Eyed Raccoon Looking Thing: Christmas gift from his cousin Jamie. I think it’s cool, but not overly attached
Green Alien in Underpants: Came with a book. I think he’s funny, but won’t miss it
Blue Moose: Eli’s favorite toy as an infant. It was strapped to his car seat and provided hours of entertainment. So much so, that when it got left behind in a restaurant, I drove back the next day to retrieve it L L L
Red Bear(?): Good riddance. That thing yelped and yodeled whenever you squeezed its belly, and could seriously bite your finger! NOTE: My wife just informed me she felt a tinge of sadness, as the Blue Bear(?) is still here, and apparently they hold hands and yelp and yodel in unison. I say trash them both!
Oogie Boogie: Bought last year on a whim. Eli shares my love for Tim Burton’s The Nightmare Before Christmas, but apparently not for the bad guy in it L
Mangled Sock Monkey: Even though it only has one barely attached arm, no eyes, and stuffing coming out of it, his sister, Julianna, made it with her own two hands L L
Dollar Store Baby Doll: bought as a prop for a movie making camp I run. I have dozens of them, and we usually destroy several a summer. Eli found it in the back of my truck. Zero sentimental value (or real value, for that matter!)
Creepy Monkey: When its batteries are on, this armpit hair covered chimp emits oddly lifelike baby noises, and moves it eyes and mouth in a very unsettling way. Given to ME as a gag gift by my niece many years ago, this thing has made the rounds. I have regifted it several times, but it somehow always manages to find its way back to me. Jury is still out as to how I feel about it.
5 out of 10? In all honesty, this is shocking to me. I truly believed I’d be happy if ALL the animals disappeared, yet here I am, fretting over 50% of them? What the hell happened to me? Did I suddenly turn softer than the creatures I was looking to evict? I’ve never been particularly sentimental. Sure, every once in a while, I’m surprised by what I find myself attached to, but this is ridiculous!
Personally, I think it was the selection process. Had a genie showed up and took them all away with a wave of his wand (or whatever the hell genies use) I think I would have been okay. But seeing the poor little guys getting selected and rejected by the boy who once loved them made be sad.
Not sad enough to save the furry freaks, mind you, but sad just the same.