“It’s time for bed sweetie,” I called to my oldest as the day was coming to an end.
“I gotta grab my buddy Mom. Have you seen Giraffey?” she responded.
“Sweetheart, you already have him in your arms.”
The young girl looked down at the growing pile of “buddies” she was taking to bed that night. Many had dispersed themselves throughout the house as the day went on, and this was the typical rounding up the forces for the bedtime march.
She may look identical to her father, but at moments like this, there was no denying she was all mine.
“Giraffey” is my daughter’s most beloved and bedraggled stuffed animal. She got him for her first Christmas from her uncle, and the two have been inseparable ever since. She has a Giraffey 1 and a Giraffey 2; the second bought to spend time with her at Nana’s during her weekly visit, but as she got older, there was no denying who the real “buddy” was.
Nana’s “Giraffey” was far more plump and pristine than the one who went to bed with her on a nightly basis. Softer, more plush, less loved and battle scarred, the true Giraffey soon revealed his colors, and the other became, in her eyes, “new” and not the one she truly wanted. She preferred the one that had been washed a million times, peed on, cried on, and used to wipe her nose when the world seemed unfair. He had been with her through thick and thin- doctors visits for shots, car rides that seemed like they would never end, stroller rides where he occasionally was dropped and run over. Without a doubt, Giraffey is one tough mother stuffer, and she loves him.
My daughter loves him so much, he has even made his debut in our rewrite of Vanilla Ice’s hit, “Ice Ice Baby”.
Alright stop, collaborate and listen.
Nic is here, you don’t wanna be missing.
Giraffey, grabs ahold of me tightly.
He’s the best stuffy,
Daily and Nightly.
See? He’s legendary.
(Yes, I like to rewrite rap songs / any kind of song- for various purposes. That’s part of why I’m so “fly”.)
People often comment about the scruffiness of my daughter’s most treasured friend. I couldn’t care less. I love that she loves him so much, and I fear the day when he isn’t her best buddy. There will come a day when someone else takes that spot, and real friends may not be able to love her back as much as that giraffe does.
And there I will be, trying to do my best not to beat the stuffing out of them.