September 22, 2016

I Still Sleep with a Stuffed Animal

I'm pretty much the poster girl for ENFJs.  I'm a life-planning, over-sharing, soul-searching, feeler.  I read this about the NF child in Please Understand Me II by David Keirsey:  

Idealist children can easily attach human personalities to their treasured toys.  A teddy bear or ceramic figurine can be unbelievably dear.  A lost toy, or, worse, one accidentally thrown away by a parent, is a real tragedy to them.  

Yep, that's totally me.

I'm not the girl that just grabs any old pillow or stuffed animal to tuck under my arm at night.  I choose my faithful friend, and I attach myself.  In fact, the three guys in this picture are the only stuffed animals I've chosen to be my sleepy time companions.

My very first stuffed animal attachment was with this sweet little bear.  I found him in a little shop in Stockbridge, Massachusetts when I was 4 years old.  He had a red ribbon with white polkadots tied in a bow around his neck, that I lost, right away, in the back seat of my parents '85 Buick and never saw it again.  His bottom squishes like a bean bag, and his nose gets really flat and needs to be fluffed and puffed back out on occasion.

His name is Rhubarb, but I called him Ruby.  My mom used to make him talk and dance when she tucked me in at night, which created all the giggles.

In 3rd grade I had a sleep over, and the next morning Ruby got rolled up in my New Kids on the Block sleeping bag and tossed in to the attic.  When we couldn't find him at bedtime, we assumed where he was.  My dad's response was this: "I'll get him in the morning."  My response was full of all the tears and drama I could muster to inspire my dad to get him out of that attic before I went to bed.

By the time I was in high school, Ruby was a little small to fill the space under my arm.  I found Fruppy Dog at the State Fair.  The nicest State Fair stuffed animal you ever did see.  Have you ever had the ones that are tightly packed with tiny squeaky styrofoam balls?  Yeah, those are the worst.  Fruppy Dog was unlike the others.  He was the best, and an instant fit for the crook in my arm.

One high school friend used to call him a rabbit, and I would get so mad.  Offended to the core.  I came in to my bedroom once, and my friend had rolled Fruppy Dog's tail up into a ball with one hair tie, and had used another hair tie to put his ears in a ponytail on top of his head.  There's no way I would admit that he looked just like a rabbit.  I can laugh about it now, but, at the time, I glared at my friend with contempt.

About 7 years ago I was sitting on my bed and part of Fruppy Dog was under me.  I grabbed his leg to pull him out and... his head pulled right off!  I can't even!  I mailed him to my mom to fix (this was before I sewed anything myself), and decided it was probably time to retire Fruppy Dog.

I found that cute hippo at Kohl's.  A steal of a deal at $5.  His big nose and little ears stole my heart -- love at first sight.  I named him Kiboko (Swahili for hippo) and call him Kibo for short.  His skin has gotten a little lose around the belly (whose hasn't?!), but he's otherwise still going strong.

So, who else out there still sleeps with a stuffed animal??  I would love to see your pictures!

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