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Lovie Friends


This is Mr. Elephante. He was given to Araiya as a newborn, but despite our best efforts to get her attached to this (or any other Lovie for that matter) it just never happened. There was a short period of time Araiya slept with a Pooh Bear and a grey Kitty, but now she doesn’t want anything in her bed and plays mostly with dolls opposed to stuffed animals (with the exception of a recently rediscovered bunny, which she has been insisting wears a foofy dress at all times). I don’t know why this particular purple elephant has been dubbed a ‘Him’ or for that matter why we ever came up with calling him ‘Mr. Elephante’. But it has apparently stuck, as that is what Araiya continues to call him now that he has been handed down to Tallis.


As a child I was a stuffed animal fanatic. I think I had some strange anthropomorphic projection of personhood onto any stuffed animal I had or even saw. The same was not true for dolls, which I never had an affinity or attachment for. I felt so sad for neglected stuffed animals, they were in such dire need of care and love. At one point I recall having so many stuffed animals they lined three long wall shelves and took over more than half the surface area of my twin bed when properly lined up and sat there according to size and preference of which I liked more than others. Who knows how I was even able to sleep well as a child having given up my bed to such a slew of objects. If the house would have caught on fire, I would have desperately worked to save my stuffed animals from the fire. I did have two clear favorites, the ones which were inseparable from my presence and accompanied me everywhere. The first was a Pooh Bear, I still remember rubbing his black velvety nose until the softness was worn away and white base fabric showed through. Pooh Bear got lost on some family road trip. I was devastated and even now if my kids ever get this attached to a Lovie I swear I will buy like 5 of them to rotate use in case one gets lost. Next was a Yellow Care Bear, whom I still have (he’s stashed away in the girl’s closet). This bear has long been a dirty greying-brown, the only hint of yellow retained under the bear’s flappy tail. I used to love rubbing my lip against his smooth plastic nose while going to sleep. Now however it is worn and dented, perhaps from chewing or impacts of too much love. I’ve wondered if any of my kids would become as obsessed as I once was over any Lovies.


And now it seems Tallis has forged a bit of sleepy time attachment to this squishy elephant. He has sat in the corner of her crib for nearly six months now. It has only been recently she has wanted to bring him out, often times standing in her crib clutching his neck when I come to get her out of bed. Other times she spins around, takes a few flopping crawls to where she left him strewn amidst blankets, grabbing him and thrusting him up towards me as she asks for them both to be picked up. I hold her, she holds the elephant tightly in both arms as we emerge into other parts of the house. Usually her cuddles only last long enough for her to fully wake up and become distracted by other more exciting things. Today though after her diaper change she clung to him far longer, bringing him over with her to read some books (she loves books these days too), one arm still around him as she pointed to the pictures and flipped the pages. Pretty cute as she engaged her little friend in her activity, then squashing his head to her chest, propped herself up on her feet with friend in tow to wobble across the room in search of another book.


Soon, though, the lure of breakfast, Daddy getting ready to leave for his downtown office and her sister getting up result in Mr. Elephante left strewn on the rug. Tallis continues to toddle around, huge smile on her face. Until now. as I type, a bout of upset-ness has her in my lap, me hugging both her and this floppy elephant smashed between her and I, using the two of us for comfort as she buries her face in his head, grips his ear and gestures for me to kiss his head. Better now, she shoves away the Lovie and asks to be put down. Silliness. 

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