Tuesday, May 24, 2011

His Favorite Things

I always thought children formed an attachment to a "lovey" such as a blanket or teddy bear when they are babies. All my friends' kids did. I wanted Oliver to have one, for all those warm fuzzy reasons, like helping with separation anxiety and making him a better sleeper. I had all sorts of things that I hoped Oliver would choose as his lovey. For a while I thought it would be the cloth diapers we used as burp cloths, but by the time he was done burping, he didn't care about them anymore (hey, don't knock it...endless supply!). And matter how many times I put my favorite choice, the sock monkey, near him, he ignored it. When he became old enough to care, he hated having anything in his bed with him at all, and would toss out any stuffed animal I put in there. I had pretty much given up the idea that he'd choose any lovey, but apparently I just gave up too soon. Around here, 3 seems to be the age of choice.

As you can see, he no longer hates having anything in his bed. I took this photo after naps one day recently. And by naps, I mean the time where you pull out every book from your bookcase and bring them in the bed with you, and then alternate reading books with jumping from chair to ottoman to bed to chair, and so on. Anyway, it shows a lot of his favorite things. The blue blanket is over the rail on the right. He did form sort of an attachment to his blue blanket earlier, though never enough that he throws a fit if it isn't with him, and he doesn't carry it around the house. But he fingers the hem to go to sleep, which I think is so sweet, and something I used to do as well. And lately, he won't let me cover him up with it, but wants to cover the menagerie of stuffed animals and Buzz-buzz (his pillow pet), as shown here.

As for stuffed animals, now that he's over the fear, he chooses several each nap and night to take to bed. His mainstays are a little Elmo, Ernie, and especially the Grinch, which is almost always there. He even had a freak out the other night when he and Daddy couldn't find the Grinch at bedtime. In the picture, you see that the Grinch is close by, that day accompanied by "The Foot Guy," from Seuss's The Foot Book (I don't know if he has a real name, but that's what Oliver calls him). On the left edge of the photo is a pile of books, with How the Grinch Stole Christmas right on top. His love for the stuffed Grinch has grown as much lately as his love for the book has. He carries the book around everywhere, upstairs, downstairs, car, potty, and since he now has it completely memorized, recites it for us all the time.

But the most interesting item he has attached to lately is the one I find most hilarious, charming, and a little freaky: a kleenex, known to Oliver alternately as a tissue or a "snot." Without fail, if he gets upset about anything, he whines in this very dramatic and sad way, "I need a tissue!" or "I need a snot!" Even if he's standing closer to the kleenex box, one of us still has to get it for him, and he'll grab it dramatically and dry his eyes (not his actual snot most of the time), and immediately calm down. Then he'll carry it around with him. Sometimes for hours. So we are constantly finding these little worn out balls of tissue around the house.

 On the computer desk.

 On the couch, and floor (it was a bad morning).

Always nearby.

I swear, it's like living with my grandmother, and I mean that seriously. Both sides of my family are known for their nasal issues, but the women on my mom's side are especially known for their kleenex carrying habits. My maternal grandmother always kept one in her sleeve, ready to catch any drip. My mom will carry the same one around the house all day long. I have no idea how she can blow her nose in the same one over and over again. It is a true talent. And yes, I have been known to annoy several family members, roommates, and a husband over the kleenexes that tend to grow in my wake. I swear I'm much better about it now that I'm older though. Really, I am. So apparently, this is an inherited trait, and one Oliver is proudly carrying on. So to his future wife: I apologize. It's in his genes.

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