In my family, I wear a lot of hats, but today I added another talent to my growing list of impressive skills as Chief Officer of Nurturing Eternal Souls. I am now Head Stuffed Animal Surgeon.
Yesterday, I came across a strange little plastic ball that resembled a bead. I didn't recognize what it was for quite awhile, but then it dawned on me that one of the stuffed animals had sprung a leak and was pooping beads all over the floor. There were several possible culprits since we could probably set up our own stuffed animal exhibit and charge the public to go on the tour.
Throughout the day, our brood of stuff animals had gone from the bedroom to the sunroom windows. Yesterday was the first 80 degree weather here in over 200 hundred days and all the windows were open. The girls loved being able to line up their little furry friends inside the window sills. From other parts of the house, I could look out the window and see the little backsides of a dog, pig, tiger, bear, monkey, etc. They thought it was fun. I thought it was a good chance for those little furballs to air out.
Two of the stuffed animals - Pig & Tiger - in particular have recently risen up the ranks as being an important part of the girl's lives. Jelly Bean has Bear who can never be replaced (Bear probably deserves his own post.) Peanut is quite smitten with her Bear who looks just like Jelly Bean's Bear, but there are differences and the girls know them. There are other friends who are well loved like the two Curious Georges, baby dolls and few odd stuffed animals like a turtle, frog and fish. (Mostly Peanut's favorites. Seriously, nothing else compares to Bear when it comes to Jelly Bean.)
Pig is Peanut's new BFF and Tiger is Jelly Bean's. Tiger may be more of a pet for Bear since Jelly Bean kind of dotes on Bear. Regardless, she has fallen for that striped cat and he is part of the Jelly Bean posse.
With all this said, Pig & Tiger have been playing hard core around here lately and unfortunately neither one could handle it. They are losing their marbles literally. (I understand what they are going through.) So, this morning as the girls woke up and went to play with these toys, I noticed the awful truth that they were injured. I had to take the beloved toys away from my girls. Panic set in.
"My pig! My pig!"
"No, mommy! Jelly Bean's tiger."
This was an all out emergency. I quickly ran upstairs to look for my sewing kit while I reminded myself that it had been a long time since I had put a needle and thread to anything. Could I actually fix the poor creatures? There was only one way to find out.
"Girls, Pig & Tiger need surgery. Mommy needs to make them better. They are sick."
I waited for the protests, but instead I got two very understanding little girls. Huh. Didn't think that would work...
I went into the kitchen away from the girls and started on Pig. He had a rip down his back. I first decided to fish out all of those little beads just in case he was ever re-injured in the same spot. I switched up his back carefully making sure there were no holes left. It wasn't the best job - no sewing or craft blogger would have been impressed, but it solved the problem. I presented Pig to Peanut.
"He came through surgery okay. He's a little groggy, but he's going to make it."
Peanut happily accepted him and ran off to find a window to stick him in.
Next, I inspected Tiger. He was much worse off which is surprising because he has been played with the least. Nevertheless, I stitched up his back after a good bead liposuction. Jelly Bean & Bear were waiting anxiously for their little friend.
"Well, Jelly Bean, Tiger is going to have a scar, but otherwise he is doing fine. Lots of hugs and kisses and he should be back to his old self very soon."
Jelly Bean planted a kiss on Tiger's forehead and off she went.
As I packed up my sewing kit, I thought about when I was a kid and how much I enjoyed my stuffed animals and dolls. I had several much loved furry friends that saw a lot of play time as a young child. These are usually our first friends in life and a gateway into the world of the imagination. We take them everywhere, have them experience the same adventures as us and use them to practice things on. (Jelly Bean yelled at Curious George today for being up on top of the cabinet. "Get down, George!" Interesting, she was just reprimanded for the same thing.)
Since children learn by watching us, it only seems reasonable they would need someone or something to practice on. Since their twin sister is usually not very cooperative because she is trying to do the same thing, naturally their abiding little fur-friends do the trick.
What's the most important thing they could practice on these inanimate objects?
Well, I believe it is loving and caring for something other than themselves. They have so much done for them at this age and as two year olds are naturally selfish little people, it is refreshing to see them trying to put a diaper on Pig or wheel Bear around in the wagon. I want them to learn love and affection and be the best person a friend, sister or husband could ask for. I want them to be the type of people that other's could call on to help them in their time of need. Lovingly. Unconditional.
If only every problem could be fixed with a needle and thread! Maybe it seemed really insignificant, but to those little girls I brought their friends back to them. The problem was solved and they were happy.
Maybe the next major twinfamily dilemma won't be as easy to fix, but in any case I think as long as I remember what's at stake then I will be ready to give it my best shot.
After all, I'm the mom.