“Oh! What a cute little doggy!” I said as I grabbed a brown and blue stuffed dog off the rack at Carter’s. “He’s so soft!” I cuddled the sweet little thing for a moment and then handed him down to C who was quietly minding her own business in her stroller. I never intended to buy the thing, at $25 it well exceeded the usual price limit I place on toys, but C took an instant shine to him, and by that I mean that when I was done with my browsing and went to take the toy from her she had covered him in so much baby slobber that I was forced to purchase him.
She was only 6 months old at the time, but from that night on she has never slept without her doggy. A week later, upon seeing that the passion wasn’t waning, I went back to the store and bought a second doggy and his cousin the cow. One doggy took up residence in C’s crib and the other one went to live in the daycare bag that stayed in the car. One was labeled the bed doggy and the other was dubbed the car doggy.
I worried that she wouldn’t love them equally, that one would be the preferred sidekick, but I can still remember how frustrated my mother used to get when, every night, I would freak out because I couldn’t find my bunny, the lovey I couldn’t sleep without. I was determined to never face that daily nightmare.
My system worked beautifully until I realized that both the car doggy and the bed doggy were starting to get a bit smelly and icky. That’s when I realized that the manufacturer hadn’t taken the dirt factor into account and hadn’t designed a way to remove the music box embedded in the doggy’s head. I had two very loved, very stinky loveys that I couldn’t just throw into the wash whenever I felt the need for a little sanitizing. No, I had two loveys that I had to surface wash, which, even for a non germophobe, was a bit of a stretch.
We made do. In extreme cases, the doggies get a serious bath in the sink and a tumble in the drier. The rest of the time I ignore the situation.
When Little L was born I was determined to pick a smarter lovey. I selected some easily washable blankies and placed them strategically around her crib and her car seat; she couldn’t have cared less. For the longest time she resisted the very notion of loveys, and then one day, in the car, she looked over at her sister and started howling. She didn’t want any stinking old lovey, she wanted a doggy, just like her big sister.
I scrambled. Oh how I scrambled. I tried to ply her with doggy’s cousin, the cow, but it only worked for a while. Really, only the doggy would do. I did a quick eBay search and miraculously found a brand new doggy being sold by an unsuspecting seller who hadn’t done her research. I’ve seen the doggy sell for as high as $50, she was selling it for $7 + shipping. I bid way higher, determined to win, and I crossed my fingers hard.
Today my girls sit side by side in their matching car seats cuddling their matching doggies. And I’m still scour eBay listings for more doggies, just in case we might need another one or two in the future.