December 6, 2010

Stuffed animals are people too...

Joe, Laura, Scott, Zach, Daniel, and Audra are residents of this house, but so are Bitsy, Bee, Killy, Dolphin, Alison, Fuzzy, Buzzy, Cuzzy, and Guzzy, and somewhere near one hundred other special friends.  Our younger three children are stuffed animal fans, and our daughter is easily the president of the fan club.  We adults and our older son play along and have been known to have conversations with these almost-imaginary friends (it would be considered rude not to.)  The three animal owners have their own ways of bringing their animals into our reality, and we happily participate.
There’s Zach, who likes to make up stories to entertain us about his dog Fuzzy, who is a bit of an evil genius, or takes video of his whale Killy delivering the news.  And Daniel, whose little dog Buzzy is always by his side.  Audra usually has an elephant of some sort or another within reach, but a bunny, bear, or dog will do in a pinch.  She has been known to call their names when they’re missing, hoping and perhaps fully expecting them to answer.
All of these animals have unique personalities, voices, preferences, and feelings.  Zach is truly offended if you insult the intelligence of one his stuffed little friends, except for Dolphin, who everyone knows is just a buffoon.  Daniel doesn’t like to hear that Buzzy’s voice is annoying, and reminds us that Buzzy can’t help it because he’s so little. But Audra, as is befitting a president, isn’t easily offended by those sorts of things, satisfied that she loves her ever-expanding zoo, and too bad for you if you don’t.  She doesn’t tell stories about her favorites like Zach does; she writes them.  She has an old PDA of mine that she has taught herself how to use, and just finished writing a story on it about her elephant making a house out of peanut plants, among other exciting events.  Audra also figured out how to attach audio recordings to it to enhance the reader’s experience.  The dialogue portions can be heard in the voice of each animal, the only characters in the stories.  No people ever appear in these adventures, but I’m pretty sure our little girl is right there among her stuffed friends as she writes about them.
Sometime in the not-too-distant future many of these extra residents of our house will likely join the Salvation Army, but the extra special ones will have permanent residence here.  When our kids have outgrown these friendships with their animals, we’ll place the keepers in a plastic bin and set them aside for our grandchildren to bring life to them again.  But for now, we’re thankful for their animated presence in our daily lives (most of the time.)  These household residents may not pay rent or pull their weight in helping with chores, but they certainly bring joy to our home and have become a special part of the family.

1 comment:

  1. Hi Laura! I'm catching up on your blog after being overly-busy for a month or so. I totally relate to this post! I care for 3 boys...and about 15 stuffed friends. Just like yours, each has a name and a personality. They don't have set voices, but that's due to their "owner" being only 3 and having me voice several of them. It made me laugh to read your listing of names! Let's see mine are: Elliot, Birdo, Dolphy, Truckie, Superbunny, Superpuppy, Teddy, Scooby, Mickey, Spot, Brother Bear, and new ones being added! Enjoy the time with all your people! Merry Christmas!