The Secret Life of Stuffies (Humour)
Having my first child has brought a flood of memories, some that I never knew I had. I remember laying in the sunshine, snoozing and feeling a great contentment. I remember being cuddled against my mother and how my father used to wash my face ...
All kinds of memories from farther back than I thought possible. It’s been one gift after another since the moment Baby entered my world.
When she was 3 months old, something happened to spark a specific memory that resurrected a deep and important part of my childhood. It’s a memory of my closest childhood friend; a stuffed bear named, Honey.
Baby has a little stuffed Bunny we call simply, Bunny. Bunny stays in the bassinet with her and we often hear her laughing and playing with him. It’s an amazing sound. We listen with glee to what sounds like an actual conversation with Bunny. Sometimes, we hear our daughter squawking in disapproval and obviously giving Bunny heck. They are having a tiff. Her father and I look at each other with amusement. Our child has developed her first relationship and it has its up and downs.
The other day, I heard our child’s happy burbling turn sharp. Baby was scolding Bunny (again). Overwhelmed with curiosity, I peeked around the bassinet canopy to see what Bunny could possibly be doing to warrant such a stern tone. I discovered Bunny with his back feet against my daughter’s face. He looked as if he was leaping away from her toward the top of the bassinet. Between his front paws - far out of her reach - Bunny had Baby’s suckie.
The sight surprised me and I had to lean against the nearest piece of furniture to hold myself upright as I laughed and laughed. I looked again. There was no doubt about what was going on. Sneaky Bunny had stolen the suckie and was making a break for it!
That’s when it hit me; that memory of Honey Bear.
Honey and I were having a tea party in the living room. Mom had brought us tea and cookies before retreating to the kitchen to tackle dinner. Yummy, yummy cookies. On a plate. Lots of them. I was happy. Honey and I sipped our tea in a lady-like manner as we chatted and nibbled cookies. It was a wonderful party.
Soon, the tea was gone, but there were still two cookies on the plate. Well, I was full. No room for the last cookies. "I'll finish those cookies after a quick nap," I thought.
I stretched out on the floor, content and stuffed. I remember having my arm over my head, fingers just out of reach and unable to touch Honey Bear who sat on the other side of the cookie plate. Her smiling face and shiny eyes were the last things I saw as I closed my eyes and drifted off ...
... When I woke up, Honey was laying on her side. Napping? Perhaps. I sat up and eagerly looked to the cookie plate .... EMPTY!?! But, how? I eyed Honey, suspiciously. She looked guilty, but I couldn't go around accusing the bear if there was another possibility.
"MOM!" I shouted. "Did you eat the last cookies?"
My mother poked her head out of the kitchen and I showed her the empty plate. "No."
Ah-ha! I knew it! "Honey ate my cookies while I was sleeping!"
My mother gave an amused smile. "You probably ate them yourself and forgot."
WHAT?!? That was not possible. I protested, explaining how I'd taken a nap with the intention of eating the cookies upon waking. If my mother hadn't come in and taken them while I was asleep, and I sure didn't eat them, then it must have been Honey.
Mom insisted that it wasn't possible for a stuffed animal to eat cookies. That it was just make-believe tea parties and I ate the cookies myself. Maybe I did it in my sleep, she suggested.
I knew I hadn't eaten them. If it wasn't possible for Honey to do it, then the only person left was my mother ...
Gazing down into my daughter's bassinet, I realized that I'd always known the truth. Honey Bear had eaten those cookies. Just like Bunny had stolen the suckie and was trying to run away with it.
I took the suckie and put it back into Baby's mouth. Then, I picked up Bunny and held him at eye-level.
"Behave!" I chided, gently. "You're supposed to keep her safe and comfort her. Stop teasing her with the suckie!" Then, I smooched him on the nose and tucked him into Baby's arms.
Since then, Bunny has been on good behaviour (mostly) and I continue to give him praise, cuddles and smooches frequently.
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For years, I believed my mother had eaten my cookies and made up the story about me doing in my sleep. It bothered me. Why would she lie? Yet, deep down, I never really stopped believing that, like Raggedy Anne and Andy, Honey Bear really was alive.
I always kept a close eye on Honey. And, from time-to-time, I thought I saw her move from the corner of my eye. Sometimes I would come into my room and she'd be in a different place than where I'd left her ...
Honey is gone, eaten by mice a few years back, but I'll never doubt the magic of a well-loved stuffie again.
I have a dark brown bear I call Henry who sits on Baby's dresser. Every now and then, I can hear him singing, "I'm 'Enry the Eighth I am! 'Enry, the Eighth I am, I am!" He's got a good singing voice. That's how I found him across a store, buried under a mountain of other stuffies. Now, he sits on Baby's dresser, content to sing ... but, only when Baby is already awake. Naughty stuffies that disturb nap time get a Time Out.