Wednesday, November 2, 2011

The Animals in the Armoire

"A true friend never gets in your way unless you happen to be going down." ~Arnold Glasow

Recently they had a koala day at the Peanut's daycare. I was vey excited. You see, koalas are kind of my favorite animal. Why? Because growing up, my favorite stuffed animal was a koala bear. I named her, originally enough, "Koalie."

Koalie and I went everywhere together. To this day, family members will ask me about her. "How's Koalie?" "Do you still have her?"
They rest in my wife's belt basket
Yes, I still have her. She is retired. And spends her days in the armoire in our bedroom with Ellie, the stuffed elephant that was my wife's favorite stuffed animal growing up. They're not in love. Just roommates enjoying old age together.

If you're wondering why Koalie is a girl, it's because she was married to my favorite Smurf, Jokey. They would ride around the house in my Tonka Jeep with their child, Curious George, in the backseat. Often they would steer off course and fly down the stairs, much to my mother's chagrin.

Koalie up close

As for how Koalie is doing? She's seen better days. She no longer has fur. In fact, the area under her nose is so worn it looks like a smile. But it's not. It's just a bare patch. Her eyes are scratched from countless spins in the washer and dryer, making her look like she has cataracts. Her arms and legs are literally hanging by threads.

Koalie is a relic from my childhood that I will treasure forever.
When I saw on the calendar that koala day was coming up, I asked the Peanut if she had to bring a koala into school. She said no. I asked her if she wanted to bring Koalie anyway. "No, daddy," she told me. "I don't want to bring her because she has holes and is ripping."

"I understand," I told her. I then warned her that her Lammie will probably get like that some day. "That's what happens to the toys we love and play with every day like Lammie and Koalie." She didn't want to hear it. "I dont want Lammie to get holes in her and rip," she said, on the verge of tears.
Peanut with Lammie: Summer 2011
I remember one of my sisters painting Koalie's pupils back on with nail polish after they washed off in the laundry the first time. I was devastated. So I totally understood the Peanut's anguish. We don't want to see the people - or things - we love grow old or get worn out.

Lammie is looking a little worse for the wear. Despite weekly washes, she's brown. She's no longer white, soft, and fluffy. She stinks a little too. And her fur is balding in some areas. Lammie and the peanut have been inseparable since she was about 10 months old:
Peanut with Lammie: 2007
I just hope she holds together long enough until the Peanut is ready to retire her to the armoire with the other spinsters. Peanut loves her so much she wanted to dress as Lamie for Halloween this year. So my wife and I joined her in dressing as our favorite childhood stuffed animals:

When you have a friend that special, you never want to let them go.

We nearly lost Lammie on a recent trip to Ikea. Not one of my finer parenting moments.


  1. Yeah, I totally still have my Teddy bear. He's a hairless wonder. Button eyes. I love him. I'd given him to my daughter for "safekeeping." *SHE* put him in the bag for Goodwill. I rescued him. He's in my office, forever safe.

  2. That is awesome. Love the solidarity costumes. I had (should say, have) a home-made doll named --> Dolly. (We're all so original, right?) She is disgusting; no amount of washing can get out the grime. And still, I have passed her on to my daughter. She's mostly ignored, but I like seeing her on my daughter's bed. Comfort.

  3. I never had a favorite stuffed animal. My brother had a little dog named boomer, I was jealous and wanted one for myself but it wasn't the same. He still has his dog somewhere. My oldest used to have stuffed animals in his bed, he would always choose three to sleep with, but then it got so out of control that everytime we went somewhere we bought a stuffed animal. The poor little guys he had were now relegated to a bookshelf. So sad.

  4. I think my mum still has all my stuffed animals from when i was a child, i used to have loads because i loved them so much, really enjoyed reading this. My twin boys have a couple of stuffed animals that they won't part ways with just hoping they manage to keep them until they are my age, things from your childhood should be cherished! :)

  5. Love your Halloween costumes. My son had Doggie, that he slept with every night. He still has him, but doesn't sleep with him anymore. When we realized that Doggie had become his favorite and he wouldn't sleep without it, we bought another Doggie (just in case the original became lost). I came across Doggie2 the other day, still put away in my closet. These days, he doesn't look anything like the real Doggie. Doggie's fur in a different color, faded and stained at the same time. His fur has lost its' luster. So sweet and sad at the same time. I miss my LITTLE boy. He is a big boy now.

  6. They told me my beloved pooh bear got lost in a Holiday Inn in Florida when I was 8. Of course I know that was total and utter bunk. He turned into a real bear and went to live in the sunny woods nearby.

  7. I have a Lambie that was my childhood treasure. He is on the headboard of our bed. Hubs didn't keep much from his childhood but he has a single monkey that he picked out at the zoo. I call him Minkie and Cupcakes plays with him now. I love that your Koalie and the elephant are enjoying old age together. If Hubs has a treasured stuffed animal, I'm sure I would put them together and say they're in love. That's how I roll.

    For Love of Cupcakes

  8. My son still has a couple of bears from his childhood, and he's 16 now. My wife still has the first bear I gave her 30 year ago when we started dating. They are indeed our friends. Great post with many truths.

  9. I still have my teddy bear - who doesn't look much better than Koalie. But get this - his name is Potato. Yes, I am dead serious.

    Love this post - love love love.


  10. I loved this! My favorite was a stuffed elephant I named... Kiki Bear. Yeah. My son has a build-a-bear dog he built when he was about 2, and he dressed it as Iron Man.. he calls him Super Pooch. Super Pooch is awesome and when his sisters are hurt or sick, he brings Super Pooch to them to love on. In fact, one of the toddlers first "words" was "Supapootz!"

  11. I never had a favorite :( Your post makes me wish I did. I did have a creepy doll that I loved. her name was cindy. None of the kids have favorites either. yes, I am a bad mom

  12. Ahhh... the friends of our youth, who went everywear with us. Mine was an old stuffed bear that I apparently snagged off the shelf and wouldn't let go of... to the point my mom was forced to buy it for me. Old Gussie had some war wounds through the years to be sure. Holes all over and a felt tongue that ripped away over time. I'm happy to say however that he is still around and even got a makeover thanks to my Mom when my daughter was born. Fully stitched & stuffed with a new tongue to boot. My daughter however never found him to be as magical as I did, so Gussie now resides on my bedside table overlooking the missus and me safeguarding our dreams.

  13. My Husband has a Teddy bear of his in the closet still, much loved. I on the other hand, had nothing. What does that say? Also, love your costumes and also the picture of Peanut as a babe and then now with lammie. She will read this post fondly some day.

  14. My daughter has a pink puppy named pinkie. My son has a monkey named Oo-Oo. My wife has a special dolly. But I am the cold-hearted outcast who never had a favorite toy. I have toys I loved, but I never got attached, unless you count my special Telecaster.

  15. Great post!

    All about Blankie for my daughter.

  16. What a great dress-up idea! My husband has his favorite teddy bear, "Ted" from childhood. He "loans" it to our daughter for extra support such as when she's sick. I've stitched Ted up plenty. Old stuffed animals may be kind of nasty looking and stinky, but they are wonderful heirlooms and healers.


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