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Elisabeth Röhm’s Blog: The Day the Duck Died

07/14/2011 at 09:00 AM ET
Courtesy Elisabeth Röhm

Elisabeth Röhm, best known for her role as Serena Southerlyn on Law & Order, has a busy year ahead of her.

The actress, 38, can be seen on the big screen in the upcoming films Chlorine, Transit, Abduction and Officer Down, and is found online on Facebook and @ElisabethRohm on Twitter.

In her latest blog, Röhm and fiancé Ron Anthony help 3-year-old daughter Easton August deal with the loss of her favorite stuffed animal — and the impending departure of her life-long nanny.

What are you kids attached to? Have they ever lost whatever it is? What were you attached to as a child? Elisabeth wants to know.

You know those kids that have material attachments? Of course, you know them. You might have been the very same way when you were a wee one. There’s either a blankie or stuffed animal that’s so treasured that its hair has literally worn down to bald patches. (Show me some of yours, PEOPLE.com readers!)

We know many children that have these creature comforts. Even adults have them. I certainly do. My sister had a bear named Pink Bear, that was very much beloved way past its prime. And I remember the stuffed Siamese cat named Ivory that went everywhere with me during a big chunk of my childhood. Of course that wonderful book The Velveteen Rabbit comes to mind when we think about the power of these attachments — and the power of what something can represent.

Just the other day, a friend of Easton’s had left her binkie at our house, and it dawned on me that Easton does not have one of these attachments. At least I wasn’t fully aware of a singular special friend — until the crisis occurred yesterday.

I saw Easton as more of a hoarder type. Her bed is covered with 40 stuffed animals that she loves equally and can’t sleep without. I tell you — if one of them is out of place, we have to go on a mad search for them to steady the scales of peace and justice.

She’s seemed to be quite the opposite of me in the sense that she loved all her stuffed things and would clutch them lovingly as she carried them to and fro all the places that she goes to in any given day. It’s actually quite funny to watch her struggle to carry the menagerie of — not one stuffed friend — but three or four or more to the park, to school or simply around the house.

It’s like they are a pack of friends which she seemingly can’t do without. Every day would be made up of different players and there weren’t really any regulars in her group. It seemed that it was the amount of things that she needed for comfort, rather than one special object or toy.

Not to mention we are specifically working on sharing and giving because she never wants to part with any toy, even if she hasn’t played with it in quite some time or at all. We’ve been working on that one!

I welcome any opportunity to give some of her playthings away to her school or a friend or a donation drop-off because we’ve accumulated waaaay too much in these three short years. Her room houses mountains of toys from grandparents, Lolly and friends that I’m always trying to recycle. Laughingly, I refer to her as a hoarder because she loves and needs every item she has ever gotten — EVER — or so it seemed.

A fateful accident took place yesterday. Now, I will admit that I had noticed this very sweet little duck that was beginning to wear thin in spots, to the point where I could see its stitching. He had made it into the bath several times, which is odd because he’s a stuffed duck! He had certainly been clutched tight in her little fingers on her way to places and he always had a home in her heap of bedfellows.

But it all became quite clear yesterday when Easton dropped him out the window of our moving vehicle that he was the one that she loved the very most in her circle of friends. I mean I tell you, I have never heard her cry with such heartbreak as she did when that duck flew from her grasp out into the traffic.

Luckily, we stopped at a red light pretty soon after she first screamed out to us about his departure. Of course, just like any of you would have done, I hopped right out of the car and looked as far as the eye could see — but there was nothing. The duck was long gone.

“I need the duck, I love the duck. We have to go get him,” she cried. Easton was hyperventilating at this point. It was terrible and almost disturbing just how upset she really was.

I said to Ron, “Let’s turn the car around and get the duck.” He looked at me and quietly said, “It’s been run over about 10,000 times by now.” And he was right, because we were in a three-lane street with consistent flow. The truth is that even if we saw the duck, how could I safely exit the car in all of that traffic to rescue it? It truly seemed impossible. But not to Easton, who screamed and cried at us that we “didn’t understand and that we didn’t care.”

She was truly heartsick as if it was an actual death. And I guess I learned that it was a death to her. I had no idea before that day that this duck was the very one that she loved the most. And this accident was more than she could bear at that moment in time. The tears streamed down her sweet little face, turning into red blotches that were almost like hives.

Ron went on to explain to her that the duck had left to go be with its mommy and daddy — to which Easton replied, “I hate its mommy and daddy … I hate you, Mom and Dad.” And then she moaned, wailed and wept for another 30 minutes until we got home.

Courtesy Elisabeth Röhm

There we found two solutions — sort of. One we found is exhibit A — a similar little duck that she could love, although she made it perfectly clear that it would not replace her duck. “I know,” I said. “It’s so painful to say goodbye.”

It made me realize that the death of the duck was a complicated situation. Not only did she love the duck in a special way, but it must have also triggered another painful goodbye we’ve been dealing with lately. One that has not elicited tears of this kind, which I found rather confusing.

You see, we’ve had a nanny named Lupe since Easton was born, whom we all love. And a few weeks ago, she told us she was moving to Maryland. But we have not had any outbursts or behaviors that have suggested how difficult this departure must be on Easton, especially.

Anyway, the subject of loss and goodbye has been a prominent one in our home lately. Although she hadn’t cried about Lupe yet, I couldn’t help but think that some of her tears towards the death of the duck were also for the loss of our dear friend whom we have grown so accustomed to.

And so the question of attachment, PEOPLE.com readers. As we get older, we find that we are trying to detach from our worldly possessions and trying to fit in more spring cleaning along the way to lighten our load. At least I am. But there are things, possessions, trinkets and keepsakes that mean the world to us.

We really couldn’t live without what they represent. Maybe we are not that different from these little ones after all in our need for attachment. Maybe sometimes saying goodbye is the hardest thing of all.

The death of the duck was a serious matter that made me recognize how big the hearts of our little ones really are. I was moved by the depth of her reaction.

What are some of your kiddo’s attachments? Or even some of yours? What were they when you were children? Share some of those first goodbyes here, ladies, I’d love to hear them.

– Elisabeth Röhm

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Showing 65 comments

Abi on

Oh this reminds me of my son’s lovie “Jack” who he had since birth and took a rather deep attachment too. When he was 3 and 3/4 years old we took a plane ride. I told him to leave Jack in my bag as not to lose him, well at one point he must have taken him out and put him down. I also had an almost 1 year old to deal with too. When we got to our destination, I went to get Jack out of my bag to give him to my son only to realize he was gone.

It was the worst possible moment for him ever. We called the airport at least 50 times and the airlines lost and found we basically spent hours and hours trying to find his beloved Jack. Alas he was not to be found. That was 2 years ago and my son still gets upset about it and thinks one day we will find him when we go on a plane again.

Laura on

My daughter Lily is 8, and she still has two treasured lovies.

She has “Puppy”, her stuffed pajama bag dog. Now puppy over the years has become rather flat, rather ratty, we had to sew it’s mouth closed because it was so threadbare, and I have to wash in my lingerie bag on delicate.

She also has my birthday present (from her!!) that she has named “blue blankie”. She loved it so much, I got her an identical one, but in pink, but no, she had to have “blue blankie”. To this day she sleeps with both, and we are preparing her for when Puppy has his final spin in the washer, but till then, she loves both. Puppy is there when she’s upset, or scared, or feeling sick,and blankie has to be just right. There is a rougher side and a smoother side, and she has to have the rougher side covering her, as the smooth side is the “cold” side. She will wake in the middle of the night and make me turn it over for her when she twists it around.

I know all about the heartbreaking separation of child and lovie, and we even went so far to try and hunt down an identical “Puppy”, but no luck. I feel for the poor child, and hopefully they can find something that she can find and equal attachment to.

SE on

I don’t have kids of my own but this reminds me of when i lost my little stuffed Mickey Mouse doll when I was around 3 or 4. I had had Mickey since I was born and he went EVERYWHERE I went. Eventually my mom had to make him some tiny overalls because the clothes he had come with had become so worn haha. When my family went to Mall of America, which is a HUGE place, I lost him. My poor parents scoured the whole place and luckily he was found. To this day he is sitting in my closet at my parents house :)

kendrajoi on

I can’t think of any particular thing my 7 year old son has been particularly attached to. He’s been like Easton- a hoarder. We literally cannot get rid of anything (like Easton he has a ridiculous amount of stuff) without him getting upset. We get rid of things behind his back, literally, like when he’s at school to avoid the apparent trauma.

Love the blog entries, Elisabeth! Keep up the good work!!!!

Barb on

Oh, my heart just broke for Easton (and you!) reading this, because my 3-year-old son has a frayed, worn stuffed cat that is his absolute favorite thing in the world – it goes EVERYWHERE with him, and it’s no exaggeration that it’s become one of my fears that he’ll somehow lose his beloved friend. I know he would react much as Easton did and it’s heartbreaking to see your kids in that kind of pain.

Great blog, Elisabeth, this is one of my favorites to read!

lac's mom on

I love her description of her “hoarding”. My daughter is the same way. She has 8 beanie babies that she must have all the time. They are all bears and one monkey. We joke that the monkey has been “adopted” by the bear family. She had a blankie that she was attached too as a baby. We lost it but fortunately she wasn’t as attached to it anymore. If we had lost it six months earlier, it would have been bad.

mommytoane on

My daughter is 8, and still sleeps with her lovey….a “My First Belle” doll that she recieved for her first birthday. Belle IMMEDIATELY became a hit with DD….so we had the foresight to pick up a few dolls. Shes got one for traveling, and one for her room…plus one extra. All three she’s slept with,a nd loved…so they all smell and look about the same. Bonus…we have a brand new one still put away, that one day we can pass on to her children.

I remember my brother being SUPER attached to a blanket. When he got to be too *old* (read…13) to sleep with blankie…my mom stitched it into a pillow….that still graces his bed (and his wife thinks is cute).

Kids get angry too tho. Best you can do is reassure her that no matter how mad she is…you still love her. And reassure her that when shes ready to talk about it…you can. Until then, perhaps a picture framed next to her bed will help her remember the treasure she loved so dearly.

As for people comming and going….theres always a way to keep in contact. Post cards, letters, emails, phone calls, videos, pictures…numerous ways. So goodbye does not have to mean forever. Instead it just means till next time.

Rebecca Jayne on

My daughter is/has been attached to a lamb lovey (a soft small blanket with a lambie head). Anyway as soon as I realized the degree of attachment I bought an identical ‘backup’ lambie. The problem is she found this backup lambie and now requires both of them. So now I’m back to searching boutiques to try to find TWO backup lambies for the day these two die or get lost. I cannot imagine her ever going to sleep without them… in fact, I’m going to go search the internet now… :)

Beka on

My Daughter is in love with her white blanket Baby’s first christmas blanket. She has had it since she was 6 months old and she is now 3 years old. I fear the day she loses that blanket.

Erika on

I don’t have kids yet, but when I was little, I had attachments to strange things. Like a cup. I have NO IDEA why, but looking back, I was a very ‘creative’ kid and I did a lot of unusual things. Anyway, it was a plastic cup with Mickey Mouse on it and I brought it EVERYWHERE. One day, I dropped it (which happened quite often) and it cracked.

My parents sprung into action, and one of them distracted me, while the other one ran out to get me another one. Luckily, they still had the same one, and I didn’t like it right away, but eventually used it, though I wasn’t attached. It was pretty heartbreaking for me, but I think it was a relief for my parents lol. But the loss of anything special, especially a stuffed toy, is really hard on a child.

Robin on

Both of our daughters, now 28 and 30, had favorite things. Our oldest daughter had a little yellow bear given to her by my mother when she was born. His eyes have been rubbed off, his terrycloth fur is worn away and his head is still attached only by a few threads. i have sewn it back on numerous times. He now resides in a box, wrapped in tissue, on our closet shelf until Missy has a baby of her own. I will, again, sew his head on tight and sew him new eyes.

Our youngest daughter had a lightweight blanket made by her other grandmother. Becca was a summer baby and this was the perfect blanket for the hot Kansas weather. This blanket became her constant companion. She wrapped it around her head and had instant long hair, we tied it around her neck for her magic cape and even wrapped her up in it for a sarong. This blanket was kept on her bed or hidden under her pillows when she was older.

The summer after her high school graduation she was in a terrible car accident. After the midnight phone call telling us she was being care flighted to a trauma center in West Texas, my husband and I threw things in the car to make the trip. I ran upstairs trying to think what to take to her and the only thing I could think of was that blanket.

I hung on to that blanket the entire six hour car ride. When we got to the hospital I folded it and gently placed it beside her. I whisperd in her ear that we were there and her blanket was beside her. It became something to hang on to all thru the painful rehabilitation the following year.

When she moved into her own apartment a few months ago, the blanket went with her. Some things are just too precious to leave behind.

The Baking Fairy on

My daughter Pemberley is coming up on her 2nd birthday and has been attached to “Blue Puppy” since I decided it was finally safe for her to cuddle something in the crib. Blue Puppy is a star-shaped dog that is very soft and she loves to “snuggle” (her word) it at nap and bedtimes. Once I made the mistake of putting her laundry (and Blue Puppy) in the wash too close to bedtime and having to give her another animal to snuggle with in her crib. Before I even got downstairs, I heard the sound of Purple Hippo being rejected from the crib and hitting the floor before she broke out in tears, screaming, “I want Blue Puppy!”

A few weeks ago we drove down to Siesta Key from MA, a 22 hr. trip. I had Blue Puppy in the van so that she might sleep better. Bad move. Since that trip, Pemberley does not want to go ANYWHERE without Blue Puppy. She clutches him as she plays, as she drinks her milk, and as she watches a video while I prepare a meal. I am terrified of the day Blue Puppy doesn’t make it through the wash. I have scoured the internet for replacement Blue Puppies but they do not seem to be in production anymore.

Angela on

My oldest is now 7, but her best stuffed friend is still “Cow”, a stuffed little TY Beanie buddy. I bought it for her nursery on her due date, while walking the mall trying to start labor. Two days later, she was born. Fast forward to one day shortly before she turned two, she discovered the Cow sitting on a shelf watching over her, and from that day it’s history.

Cow still lives with us, he hasn’t been lost, though we have had a few close calls. He’s a member of the family, that little stuffed cow, though now at 7, my daughter just has him living on her bed, rather than going everywhere like he used to when she was young.

I myself had a puppy I was attached to and still have, though quite worn after 27 years, and now my little boy has adopted her as his own. I had my puppy living on a shelf, but my son saw it one day and decided he wanted it off the shelf. His lovey is a yellow Spot dog and so it works out, he tells me that Spot and mommy’s puppy are best friends and are in love.

Angela on

I also have a small baby sized pillow that my father made for me as an infant. It’s been sewn and resewn so many times over my childhood. One time my grandmother attempted to redo the fabric all together. I only wanted that soft worn fleece fabric and my mom told me about my reaction to the “makeover” on my beloved pillow. I apparently was a fiesty 4 year old that took the pillow back and ripped the new casing off so that I could have the fuzzy casing on the outside.

It’s definitely worn and aged, but it has such sentimental value, a cherished item, and one that my father made for me that I will keep forever, despite how old it is.

It’s so nice hearing everyone’s stories.

Justme;) on

When I was younger, I had a blanket that was green and I named it my “Snuggle blankie” When I was around 5, I rediscovered Snuggle Blankie and it became my best friend, I decided to sleep with it one night, and the next morning it was gone, I asked where it was, apparently, my dad had come in, in the middle of the night, and I had it around my neck, and I was choking… I never sleeped with it again. But I still have it somewhere, It is worn and has many mysterious stains…

denise on

my son has his favorite stuffed animal, too. and we made sure so get a replacement as soon as we realized which was his favorite ;-) he doesn’t realize yet that there are two of them because we swap them every week so they both look and feel “used”. he doesn’t mind yet if we wash it.

I still own my doll from my childhood it and my stuffed animal “sleep” near our bed, too :-)

I really hope that you get the exact same duck somewhere (on the internet there are pages that are dedicated to searching for exact stuffed animals, blankies and similar stuff) for Easton

christa on

So nice to read all the stories about toys we and our children have loved forever, it brings back wonderful memories.

Jill on

My almost two year old daughter, Addison, LOVES a pink blanket that I received as a gift at my baby shower before she was born. She will not leave the house without it and has to sleep with it each night. It is so cute to see her walking down the hall dragging it behind her. My husband went online to look for a replacement one “just in case” but they are not made anymore.

The funny thing is that my favorite thing as a child was a pink blanket as well. I still remember my mom telling me that it didn’t survive the washing machine and how sad I was.

Toya L. on

Awww poor Easton. I think Elisabeth is an amazing writer. I don’t have a story but reading everyone’s amazing stories has really been an honor.

Nancy on

Such a sad story… :o( And adding a picture to the story doesn’t render it any better! I felt so bad for Easton just reading it! Don’t know how I would have handled the situation had I been there.

I am 34 years old and I still have my teddy bear! It’s an old bear and it definitely has a few spots on its body that are bare… poor thing. For nothing in the world could I imagine my life without it! Wish I could add a picture to show you…

Kara on

I do not have children but I am 26 and still have a teddy bear I am attached to. He has been everywhere with me including college and Italy. I cant sleep with out him and would die if I ever lost him.

fuzibuni on

Oh poor Easton!!! I know what she is going through. I lost my teddy when I was 3 in a big mall and it felt like the end of my life. My little black and white panda had been a gift at my birth from an aunt, and I carried him with me everywhere until that day.

When we realized he had been lost while we were shopping, my mother took me around to the different store employees to ask about it. I still remember how my mother would try to explain what happened and they looked at me with that “There there, It’s just a stuffed animal” look. It upset me even more that no one took it as seriously as I did. To me, my best friend was missing! I wanted a red alert! That day is still one of the most vivid memories from my early childhood.

My mother was shocked to see how inconsolable I was about it afterward. She tried to give me a replacement bear, but it wasn’t the same. I remember sobbing about it for weeks, even months and years afterward. I can honestly say it felt like a real death to me because I had loved that little bear so much. I would lay awake wondering where he was, and if he was suffering in a garbage dump somewhere.

A few months before I lost my panda in the mall, I remember taking a neighborhood walk with my parents, and a big dog came trotting out from one of the houses, snatched my bear out of my arms and ran away with him! The horror! It was like watching my life flash before my eyes! But my dad didn’t hesitate to chase the dog behind the house and rescue my little bear from his jaws. I still remember the hero worship I had for my poppa when he emerged victorious, grinning, with my beloved teddy in his hands.

Now that I’m an adult, I’ve been curious about the deep attachment children have to stuffed animals and dolls, and I’ve looked into the developmental stages that lead up to it. There is a good book by D.W. Winnicott called Playing and Reality that delves into this phenomenon.

To simplify Winnicot’s theory, he believes that transitional objects such as teddys or blankets are part of the child’s individuation process and allow them to separate from their mothers by transferring the attachment to an inanimate object that gives them security and comfort. Some kids need them more than others depending on how secure they feel when separated from their caregivers.

Thanks for your interesting post… hope Easton feels better soon. She seems like a very resilient girl and I’m sure she will move on very soon :)

Tee on

What fun comments to read! I am 30 and still sleep with my “lovey,” a teddy bear named Big Bear. I got him for Christmas when I was four and he is a rather big stuffed animal, hence the name.

My sister, who is four years older than me, has a little stuffed dog named Klem. One night when she was around four years old, she spent the night over at the neighbor’s house. The following night, she couldn’t find Klem and had a massive meltdown that required our Mom to call the neighbor and ask if we had left him behind. Turns out the neighbor had tucked Klem inside my sister’s pillowcase! Sister remembers that trauma very well and as a result, she doesn’t allow her five daughters to take their loveys out of their bedrooms unless they are going to spend the night somewhere!

My oldest niece is now 10. Her lovey is a quilt that my Mom’s best friend made for her when she was born. That quilt has literally fallen apart and has been pieced back together many times. We finally had to convince A to retire “Blanky” and use a quilt that her Grandma made her instead.

AR, who will be 9 next week, has a teddy bear named “Teddy.” Her Pappy (Grandpa) gave it to her for her first Christmas and she’s been attached to it from the get go!

C, age 7, has a pink blanket named “Pinkie Pie.” This blanket is small. It’s silky smooth on one side and fuzzy on the other. It was actually a hand me down of sorts from some friends of theirs and C loves it!

C-G, 5 years old, has a blue Eeyore head that has a blanket coming out of it. It’s name is “Blueberry.” She is the one that is least attached to her lovey and doesn’t seem to mind if she doesn’t have it.

And finally, there’s Vivi, age 22 months. She actually has two loveys. One is a stuffed dog I gave her for her first birthday. The other is a blanket her Momma knitted her while pregnant. Like C-G, Vivi doesn’t get too stressed out if she doesn’t have her loveys.

Danielle on

I’m sitting here at work with tears in my eyes for poor Easton! You handled the situation beautifully, explaining how it hurts to lose things.

But honestly, all I could think about is how devastated I would be if I lost my childhood stuffed kitty, Tiger. I’m 30 years old, married and 4 months pregnant and this stuffed kitty is still in my bedroom. I sleep with him when my husband is out of town and he is always comforts me when I am upset. I’ve had this kitty since I was 7, so its technically an adult now too!

Angela on

@ Fuzibuni

That’s a very interesting theory that does make sense. As a child grows and becomes independent, they tend to want to branch off from the parents, yet those comfort items, blanket, stuffed animal, etc, still gives the security without having to need mom/dad always there. My 4 year old is getting more independent and constantly tells me “I can do it, I don’t need mommy.” BUT, his trusty puppy is always there to lend a paw.

J on

I have tears in my eyes while reading this. I have a stuffed Snoopy that I have had as long as I can remember! I took him to college, I will 31 in August and I still have to sleep with him at night! I CAN sleep without him but I prefer NOT to.

Tainah on

I feel sorry for Easton.. =(

I’m 24 years old and I have a small pillow, like the ones that we use in airplanes, that my late grandmother gave me, that I use with a pillow case that I have since i was a baby. I sleep with this pillow everyday!

My husband is already used to my “travesserinho” (that’s small pillow in Portuguese).
=)

DLH on

I love reading these! I have a doll my Nana made me when I was about 5 or 6. She is a funny looking doll based on a kit my Nana found. I still have her in my bedroom and I am 31 years old, married with a 3 (almost 4 year old daughter). I got this doll right before my Papa died, and I think I equated it with love and being close with my grandparents.

My daughter was never really attached to anything, then at age 2.5 she got a huge muslin blanket. She sleeps with “Giraffe blanket” every night. She has similar ones with monkeys and fairies on them, but she only wants to be covered with her Giraffe one. She refuses to use quilts and comforters. I have to sneak it out to wash it, and it has a rip, but she loves it!

I love your blog, and I feel for Easton. My daughter is the same with “hoarding”.

Megan on

Elisabeth this is a great article! My 3 year old daughter is also a hoader with her many stuffed animals. She rotates them constantly in terms of playing with them and giving them her attention. One week she will drag minnie and mickey mouse every where with her then the next week it is all about snoopy and woodstock.

I felt Easton’s pain as I read your article…you handled the situation so well:-) I hope she is feeling better and has adopted her “other” stuffed ducky as her new friend:-)

Celian on

I have a stuffed dog, Biscuit, that I was given by my uncle when I was born (30+ years ago). When I got married, my husband wanted me to get rid of it. Instead, we compromised and I kept it to give to our first child. Now my daughter loves Biscuit like I did.

My daughter also has a stuffed giraffe, named Geoffrey, that I received from my Godmother when I was pregnant with my daughter. My daughter loves the giraffe. We left it at Nana and Papou’s house once and it was a disaster. We immediately ordered a 2nd Geoffrey online and kept it set aside in case that ever happened again. She has outgrown it and now lets her brothers play with both Geoffreys.

My older son has been attached to his blanket “chewy” since he was born. We have gone through 3 separate “chewies” because my son would suck on the corners. We took him shopping for his new blanket and he was the one to throw the others in the garbage. He understood that his new blanket was for a big boy and he was happy that we thought he was a big boy.

Stacey on

My nephew was attached to his binkies! It was so hard to get him to let go of them. So my sister-in-law took my advice of the binky fairy! They put them in a box, my brother wrote on the front of the box “to the binky fairy”. Then my nephew scribbled on it, took them out to the mail box and when they got back into their apartment, there was some toys waiting for him! He loved it, and I’m happy that neither of my nieces used pacifiers!

Stacey on

Also all the comments on this blog makes me feel better because I still sleep with a stuff monkey and I’m almost 27 years old!

Teri on

I have a little square pillow, slightly bigger than my head, that I’ve had for as long as I can remember. When I was a child, I called it Pink Pretty Pillow. It has been through several “dresses” (worn covers and new ones made) but I always insisted that it have a pink one. Apparently, this little pillow has been in my family for quite some time. My mom used this pillow for her back in the car on the way to the hospital when she was about to have me, and from what my father tells me, it belong to some other relative before it was even HIS. Now, my 3 year old has taken a liking too it, though I don’t let her have it often as right now it doesn’t have a “dress”.

She, like Easton, has a rotating plethora of stuffed friends that she totes around. Thus far, only one has been lost, but she seemed to get over it reasonably quickly. I believe my husband and I are almost more heartbroken about it than she was, because it was a little white bear decoration in a display window that the kind lady at the Pharmacy gave us when we asked, because it had a little kerchief on it’s neck with the pharmacy name on it which is only one letter off from our kids name! To this day, we have no idea when or where the sweet bear was misplaced, and more than likely we’ll never be able to obtain a replacement.

Jules on

When I was little, I had Kitty Kat, a stuffed cat that my aunt made me :). She even made me a matching pajama set. She’s never been lost, but at one point she got so worn, my aunt had t make me another one, which I named Kitty Kat two. :)

Kristine on

I never had a lovey. Guess it just wasn’t my style!

Our son (age 4) has a quilt his Grandma made him – he uses it at home ALL the time. He also has a stuffed kitty he got as a gift. It’s pretty nasty and gross – no amount of washing will make it look nice anymore. My husband and I call it pee-pee kitty. Pee-pee kitty has been thrown up on, sweated on, peed on, and who knows what else. Our son isn’t as attached to it as he used to be, but he still has to sleep with pee-pee kitty almost every single night.

Ashley on

When I was a child, I had three favorite stuffed animals. The most special of them was a simple grey seal that belonged to a little boy that lived down the road from us when we lived in Germany. He was playing with matches in his bedroom and started the shelf that was holding his stuffed animals on fire. His parents put all of his stuffed animals in the garbage. I saw the seal and other then singed whiskers and a rough patch of fur, he was fine. I saved him from the trash collectors and brought him home with me. I loved him so much that he lost an eye.

My other favorites included a stuffed unicorn that my dad won for me at a carnival (also in Germany) and a Toucan with a long, colorful and furry tail. When we moved back to the states, only seal and unicorn made it…toucan somehow was lost in the shipping process. Broke my heart. Seal would still be with me today if I hadn’t left all my belongings with a boyfriend while I went away to school. He was a casualty of my failed relationship. I miss him to this day.

Now my six year old son was extremely attached to a lamb blankey we got at my baby shower. The first time he lost him, he was so young that I was able to replace him with another animal blankey made by the same company. It felt the same, and that was what mattered.

By the time we were able to get him to give the blankey’s up (he was five) we had purchased and lost ten of them. They had to be ordered online as they were nearly impossible to locate in stores. I found one in a dillards once and never anywhere else. And believe me, we tried other blankey’s, but they never worked. He could not sleep without the right one. His Grandma could tell you a harrowing tale of when he lost it while staying with her and how she searched every store in her town and bought five different blankey’s before she found the only one he would accept. We stocked up after that happened to her.

Nancy on

When my son Jack was about 8 months old, (he is now 21) he developed an attachment to a stuffed cat named Lucy. He was rather specific about the name, seriously. Lucy went everywhere. He slept with Lucy every night, I tried at various points to add to his collection should Lucy decide to take a powder as cats often do (or a cousin decides to play a joke) but he never loved anything quite as much as Lucy.

Finally, when he was 8 we got him a real tabby cat that unfortunately he handled with quite the same dexterity as Lucy..flinging the cat over his shoulder and saying, “Come on Dexter, let’s go snuggle” and Dexter would roll his cat eyes and let the boy put him over his shoulder and later spend an hour or two cuddled up with Jack while they watched Power Rangers (yes this was quite some time ago). Dexter is still around, about 30 lbs. and quite the mentor to the other cats.

karen on

this blog arrives at an interesting time. this past thursday we had to put our beloved 17 year old dog to sleep. i was very nervous about how the 3 year old (child) would handle this. she gets hysterical if she cannot find a favorite stuffed animal at bedtime. so the idea of explaining the departure of her live teddy-bear of sorts made me almost more upset than the event itself.

i bought 2 books for kids about the loss of a pet (didn’t love either despite the reviews), steeled myself, and discussed ladybug’s presence in heaven on earth with her. i can’t say that she understood the bigger picture, but she handled it with grace beyond her years. we are going to send up some balloons for ladybug to catch, and she was wild about the idea of her flying around up in the clouds.

kids are pretty fantastic, i have to say.

lekina on

GREAT blog. profound in so many ways.

dana on

My son who is now seven has always slept with a cloth diaper which he lovingly refers to as blank. We have used several different ones – all from when he was a baby – we bought them for burp cloths but never used them for that – and now we are down to our last two – and they are ripped to say the least, but regardless they remain always on his pillows for a soft landing for his head every night.

My 5 year old daughter has developed a love affair with “horsey” which my husband bought for her the day she was born – as we didn’t know what we were having – and we already had a boy, he was anxious to bring pink, purple and white into our lives – and proceeded to place it beside her in the basinet and its been next to her ever since. Luckily, due to some nannying experience I had, I had seen this kind of attachment before and had the forethought at this time to find another identical “horsey” – so we actually have a “spare” that we swap out with the original so they both have the same “wear” – should something happen to one – we will have an immediate replacement!!!

Claire on

Okay, while I sympathize with Easton’s loss, this is the perfect example of why “lovies” shouldn’t be taken out of the house. I had a bear when I was little (Brownie) and my brother had a small pillow with the image of a train on it. We were as attached to these objects as we could be – my parents didn’t want us to find more comfort and security in inanimate objects than in the people who loved us – and these objects were relegated to bedtime and early morning TV watching time. They never left the house and we weren’t allowed to carry them all over creation. We are now 25 and 30 and still own both our objects, in wonderful condition.

I understand that children love their comfort objects and by no means do I think they shouldn’t be allowed to have them. But parents, please, leave them inside the house to preserve them and teach your kids that true love and security should be found in people, not objects.

I would rather still have Brownie at age 30 than to have worn him out and lost him at age four, not matter how much I loved him :-)

Jenna on

My 2year-old has her beloved Seal (a sea lion actually) that a friend gave to me after she cleaned out her kids’ toy box. One day on a trip into the grocery store when Michaela was about 6 months old, I took Seal out of my trunk to keep her occupied while I shopped. He has been her best friend ever since. We have searched for duplicate Seal should we ever lose him or if her becomes too ratty to keep, but this particular animal is no longer in production. Believe me I have searched EVERYWHERE! There have been a few occasions where Seal was misplaced or left at Grandma’s or 1 time he fell out of he car in a HS parking lot, but thankfully he has always been found.

I too had a stuffed a dog that I loved and I still have him at 34. He is old and ratty and no longer plays “How much is that doggy in the window?” but I always know where he is. I hope Michaela can say the same thing about Seal in 32 years too!

Rachel in AZ on

We had an instance almost exactly the same. Only ours, was a beloved Spiderman baseball hat. We had the windows down while driving home from vacation. He just wanted to see how his hat looked flowing in the fast wind!

But like your little one, it zipped out of his hands faster then the speed of light. WE too heard “But Mooooommmm, I lub my hat, it’s my best friend… I need it, I lub it, I NEEEEEEDDDD IT!”.

Luckily, we noticed and turned around immediately and found it, thanks to Dad watching where it fell. I was thankful we found it, because I could not remember where we had gotten it! (Luckily for us, we found another and both have his name and number, JUST in case.

He still wears the hat and is much, much more careful~

MJ on

DOGGIE WITH A HAT!!STARTED WITH ONE AND SEARCHED THE WORLD OVER IN EVERY PLACE WE WENT-AND CONTINUED TO FIND THEM-ALL NEW – IN SECOND HAND STORES!! HE ORGINALLY CAME WITH A BOOK FROM KOHLS CALLED DOG TRAIN. SHE IS 10 AND DOGGIE WITH A HAT HAD MANY SIBLINGS-ALL THE SAME.

WE ARE STILL HUNTING!!!!!!!!!

Emily on

I can only imagine how she feels… I am 23 (almost 24) and still have my teddy bear “Teddy.” I got him at my baby shower and have had him ever since. He barely has any fur left and has had his nose, mouth, and tail restitched numerous times. He also has a dent in his forehead from where I (still) put my chin when I’m upset about something. I also sewed a towel on his stomach in an attempt to give him some fur…

Amanda on

Up until my stepdaughter was 7, she had this blanket that she carried everywhere with her that she called “Kitty”. She would keep it in her bookbag throughout the day as she got older but as soon as school was out, she pulled it out. She’s went to a Before & After Care program at a local daycare center (Rainbow) since she started Kindergarten and attended Preschool there since she was 3.

She left it at Rainbow one day and was beside herself that night. We were eventually able to get her to fall asleep and I told her that she would see it in the morning when she got to Rainbow.

When we got there in the morning I pulled the ladies who were in charge of the school age children aside to ask about “Kitty”. I was told that it found the night before but because it looked so old, they thought it was garbage and it had been taken out the night before.

I was furious! I didn’t understand how my stepdaughter could’ve been coming there with this blanket day in and day out for the last 4 years and no one recognized that it was hers. I was very diplomatic, but I made it quite clear how disappointed I was that they were so hasty to throw away something as trash rather than put it in the lost in found in case it was someone’s treasure… My little girl’s treasure!

Needless to say, my stepdaughter and I spent the day together that day. There was no way that I was making her go to school as upset as she was when she heard what happened. We went to lunch and I took her to several different stores to find a new blanket. It will never be “Kitty” but I haven’t seen it leave her bed in 3 years.

Cat on

My 3-year-old son has “Ba,” a blanket that was hand-knitted by my friend and which he’s had since birth. It is disgusting most of the time, and smelly, because he puts it in his mouth and chews on it. There are great gapping holes that I do my best to fix every so often before Ba becomes just a piece of yarn. I despair at ever losing Ba, and he goes where we go when we travel (not outside the apartment otherwise). My husband keeps wanting to throw Ba away but I won’t let him because I know that my son will freak. Sweet boy–life is full of disappointment and loss that go along with the happiness and joy…I’m letting him keep his Ba for as long as he needs it.

Tara on

My son has had a baby quilt with on it since birth – “fishy” went everywhere with us until Nick was about 3 and than fishy was kept for bedtime only but if we wanted to get any sleep at all fishy was necessary. When Nick started pre-k the teacher informed us that the children could bring a security item for naptime but that it would have to stay at school Mon-Fri. When we attempted to explain this to Nick and suggested that he pick another security object he simply stated “Either fishy gets to come home everyday or I just don’t go!”

After much back and forth we compromised and I scoured the internet for another fish quilt set (complete with the unneeded bumper and crib skirt). The quilt was immediately named NEW FISHY and off to pre-k he went. New fishy worked just fine for naps at school but once the school year was over he was retired to an unused shelf in the linen closet because only fishy (original that is) is good enough for home use!!

Nick is 7 now and fishy is still there – a little ragged around the edges and a few patches but still there. I sometimes wonder if fishy is going to head off to college with Nick!!

Becky on

Mine was a blanket. I called it my tickle blanket. I had it until the summer before 6th grade. I stayed with my older sister that summer. Mother told her not to bring me home with it. She hid it when it was time for the trip home. I asked her years later what had happened and she told me what mom had said to do. I was heart broken all over again when my sister told me she had thrown it out and not saved it for me.

Jessica on

I am almost 18 years old and i still sleep with my Baby Blanky. A few months ago i accidentally ripped a small hole in it… I cried myself to sleep.

Sherry on

My daughter, Camille, lost her beloved stuffed cat “Patches.” Patches was given to my son back in 1987 by his babysitter. (My two children are 17yrs apart) Camille claimed Patches as her own after finding him at the bottom of my son’s toy box. After giving him a good cleaning, Camille took Patches everywhere with her. It was funny that she’d hold Patches in one hand and play with the free one.

She’d had him about 3 yrs until one day she and her Godmom went to a carnival and we haven’t seen Patches since. I tried explaining the loss to her but her 4yr old mind couldn’t comprehend. She often wondered if someone found him and is taking good care of him. I assured her that Patches has found a new home and that his new owners have washed him up and a new child is enjoying him just like she did. This seemed to work. Now she has Bunny and this seems to work for her, us!

Bea on

When I was about to born, someone gave me a baby pillow so I’ve kept it for almost 34 years, it’s all worn out and sometimes I think it’s not gonna make it another laundry day, eventually I’ve been able to get another baby pillow just in case the old one die.

I can’t sleep without them no matter where I am, although they don’t travel with me so I can’t worry about losing them.. the best part of the story it’s when I throw a party for my 28th or 29th birthday and my best friend from college gave me another baby pillow as a gift.. I still remember the look my mother gave to my friend.. like as saying “shame on you” hahahahahaha. Now I have 3 baby pillows to sleep with.. I do with all of them at the same time.

Saoirse on

I have four children who each have a special toy that they are especially attached to. Bernie has a bear, aptly named Bear who Bernie has been able to keep out of harms way for the his entire 6 year life so far. Redmond, who is 5, had a bear as well, but he left the bear on the see-saw at the park about 6 months ago, which was very sad for little Redmond. Marty is 3 and has his stuffed dog named Timmy that he carries around with him all of the time. Marty accidentally ripped off Timmy’s ear and keeps the ear next to his bed, which I think is adorable. My baby daughter Deirdre has a stuffed doll that we call Dolly, but she’s only 1 and can’t quite talk yet so she doesn’t call her doll anything, but whenever she is sad all we have to do is give her Dolly and she calms right down. I think it’s so adorable how attached to their toys my kids are, and so i really appreciated Elisabeth’s story about Easton and her toys.

dea on

Our almost 2 1/2 year old daughter has both a lovey and is a hoarder. She has more stuffed pals than will fit in her bed and leave room for her yet none of them can be moved elsewhere let alone be gone. But while these are all important to her and she plays with all them and rotates favorites for sleeping with, none hold the place that dolly does. Dolly is a Carter’s One Year My First Doll that we got her when she was about 2-3 months old because it was soft and had reddish hair as does our daughter. It soon became clear that dolly was the one and had to go everywhere as well be slept with.

One day when dolly when flying out of the stroller and we didn’t notice, the person who brought her to us suggested getting another one just in case. Well it turns out that Carters changes these dolls every couple of months and while this was only a few months later, there was not another dolly to be found, except on ebay for more than twice + shipping what we had paid for her originally! But get her we did and since then we have bed dolly and road dolly. Bed dolly stays in her bed and so is always clean for sleeping with at night (she is washed on the regular schedule of her whole bed). Road dolly goes to daycare with her, goes out with us wherever we go, and is washed every other day!

Of course after all this time we really need 2 replacement dollys now but she is not to be found anymore, not even on ebay for any amount of money!

Kate on

When I was young I had a red blanket, that came with me everywhere. When we had to fly across the country to visit my uncle, my mother told me it could not come as it was. The satin border was all that remained with only a handful of fabric strings hanging from each side. (The remnants of the middle disintegrated fabric.)

The compromise was a pajama dog. We stuffed the remains of my “Blankie” into the belly of the dog and zipped it closed. I carried it on my lap on the plane ride. And the blanket never saw the light of day again.

The light blue dog sat on my bed for many years after.. and the attachment to both wained. I still have it though.. 30 years later and I appreciate how preserved the blanket, er, strings are to this day, safe in belly of the dog :)

Anonymous on

When I was maybe 2 or 3 my mother gave me a patched blanket. It was blue and white with young children playing in fields on it. After I outgrew it, I saved it and gave it to my daughter, who, like me, couldn’t bear to part with “blankie” for any occasion. Tattered, faded, and nearly completely see-through, with irremovable paint stains and some holes, blankie has seen the end of life.

My husband has stated that at age 4 she is old enough not to be so dependent on “blankie”. I was nearly as heartbroken as my daughter. I knew exactly how she was feeling. My daughter still cries for blankie sometimes, but most times she’s not bothered by her loss. I however could not lose such a treasured part of my past as well as my daughter’s love.

Cassie on

My sister Kelly who is 9 has this stuffed pig and she has been carring it around for about 2yrs this pig has holes every were you look! my mom is soooooo scared to wash it because the thread is coming out and my mom also found a pig just like it but she doent want to replace mr.pig anyways she reminds me when i had a green blanket that i had since i was born and i carried it everywere but by the time i turned 5 green blankie had holes all over so i retired it and it is right under my bed to this day i still pull it out to remember my late grandma who made the blanket who put patches on the blanket and everytime i see it i almost want to cry because since that my grandma is no longer with us that blanket is all i have left of her.

Kuuipo on

I do not have any kids of my own but my niece has a pink polka dot blanket called “Kiki” she has had this since she was born and it has become something that she goes EVERYWHERE with. She has one for her room and one that goes in the car with her…the mini “kiki”.

One day while visiting my family our neighbor noticed it was starting to come apart at the seams, so she offered to sew it right up. Rather than say yes and allow her to take it my niece went with her and my sister and stayed right there watching as it was sewed up good as new. Whenever my sister washes the blanket my niece is extremely sad and heartbroken about it. She cries out for “kiki” and will not be comforted until Kiki is back in her arms. She is old enough now that she will run upstairs to retrieve Kiki whenever she needs that comfort.

Jan on

My son has this little dog since he was 6 months he now is 5yrs old which was a gitft. We notice how much he loved it so we bought another just in case we lose one. To date we have not lost or misplaced he loves his baby that’s what he calls it.

It so sweet to wathc him and we have these pictures of him growing with his special stuffy.

Julie on

I am 48 years old and I have a teddy bear that I was given when I was just 2 or so. Most days thankfully he has an honored spot in a childs rocking chair in my room. But this bear has helped me through the most difficult times in my life, broken relationships, the loss of my parents and many days/nights of tears. I think in this day and age of “quick pain fixes” a beloved “lovie” is a wonderful gift to a child and and adult.

Lorelei on

I don’t have children, but I can relate my own story to you. When I was small, I had a stuffed monkey that I loved to death. He had no name, just “monkey-doll”. He was brown and orange funfur with plastic hands, feet and face, and with a banana in one hand that would fit in his mouth. His other hand was curled and I would let him hang from my finger by his curled hand when I walked around. I loved him so much that my mother had to make him clothes to cover the body that was going threadbare and beginning to rip open. I wore him right out.

My mother still thinks she has him somewhere in the basement and to tell you the truth, I don’t really remember the day he was put away or went missing. But I’ve never forgotten him or the security he brought me. A few years ago, many many years after the first monkey-doll, I was at a thrift store poking around when I noticed a monkey-doll in a display cabinet. He was $8 and he came home with me that night. I put him through the washing machine and dryer, with fabric softener. When he was dry, I wiped his plastic parts clean and brushed the fur out until it was soft and fluffy. Then, I slept with him. It was probably the best night of sleep I’ve had since I was about 7 years old. I still have him, high on a shelf in my bedroom, safe from my dog and my niece and nephew. I would be heartbroken to lose him again.

Katie on

My father-in-law recently passed away and one request my husband had was for Wicket, the stuffed racoon he’d had since he was little. Luckily I was able to find Wicket tucked away in a box in our garage. He has been under my husband’s pillow ever since. :)

My nephew carried a plastic baggie in his backpack all through high school with the shredded remnants of his baby blanket inside. I expect it is now in his wallet.

DP on

When my daughter (who just turned 2) was almost a year old, she happened to walk (still a little wobbly at that point) over to a bookcase that has DVDs and a few miscellaneous items, including a stuffed monkey. For whatever reason, she picked up the monkey and it immediately became her best friend. My brother actually gave me that monkey 7 years ago, when I had gone through a terrible, terrible heartbreak, and he consoled me throughout the summer while he was home on vacation. The morning he left for the airport (he was teaching in Venezuela at the time), he left the monkey on my “bed” (my mother’s couch, due to the aforementioned heartbreak). Although it was extremely thoughtful, I’ve never loved the monkey the way my daughter does. He is now completely different looking; not shiny and new and fluffy, but all matted and dull and just…worn (it should be said that I have washed it a few times over the last year). I dread the day when he finally falls apart, because I don’t know what she will do. I anticipate it will be something similar to your daughter’s reaction. I actually suggested to my fiance that we get a backup monkey, but because it’s so old, that would be ridiculously expensive. I’m sure it will be an important lesson in her life, but you just always want to protect them, and I know it’s going to be so tough for her.

When I was little, I actually had a little nightgown that I carried around with me everywhere, which I left at church one day. For some reason, they never found that nightgown. I was devastated! To this day, I still accuse my mom of lying to me about leaving it at the church! Lol. But she insists that we really did leave it there, and they just never found it.

fuzibuni on

This is such an amazing thread. All these sweet stories brought tears to my eyes. Thanks for sharing, everyone.

Jen on

I had a stuffed dog named “Ralph” who was given to my mother from a co-worker when she was pregnant with me. I dressed “Ralph” slept with him, took him everywhere. One night when I was around 10 our dryer malfunctioned and Ralph died tragically. I cried all night long and i still think about him to this day. I am 25.

I now have a 13 month old son who has his own “Ralph”. He is a stuffed monkey named “Mr. Monkey” he sleeps with him, he wont get out of the crib without him, and sometimes when he is dragging Mr. Monkey by his tail across the floor, I still think about Ralph! :)

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