What’s your favorite plushy? Do you have a teddy bear that has seen you through thick and thin? Do you cuddle with your stuffed animal at night or quietly slip him into your backpack so he’s with you at school?
For a daddy to an adult baby or little boy, a plushy, and especially that ONE plushy from which your little guy is rarely parted isn’t a toy, it’s a very special companion and important part of his life.
Seeing a little guy toddling into the living room with his paci in his mouth, his silkie or blanky in one hand, and his plushy in the other held lightly by an ear or paw, my first instinct is to think that all of those things are like emblems that he feels safe expressing who he is inside.
But I’ve come to realize that a plushy isn’t just a way for him to show that he feels safe and loved in daddy’s care, but that his plushy is his constant companion, his friend, and is something that he’s invested a great deal of his tender heart in caring for and being with.
A Friend in Need
For a little boy, his plushy has always been there for him – or, at least, he can barely remember a time when that wasn’t true.
In fact, his plushy may have been there before daddy came into his life. And so his plushy has been with him in moments of loneliness and anxiety, discovery and joy.
Late at night, he has held his plushy and whispered secrets to him. And his plushy has whispered back.
I mean – have a look yourself, because many daddy’s don’t take the time to do so: to look into the eyes of the teddy bear or doggy, and to see the expressions, the emotions and the personality of your little one’s special friend.
If you do look, you’ll see that your little one’s plushy surely has stories to tell, a life its lived and that more than anything it might know parts of your son’s heart that you’re still slowly discovering.
Circles of Care
Just as you need to care for your little one, give him safety, provide a sense of trust and love – the adult baby in your life has probably given a sort of care to his plushy as well.
Maybe he’s even diapered his teddy bear. Or at the very least, he’s given it the sort of snuggles and warmth that you now give to him.
Those circles of care – of you looking after your little boy and he looking after his plushy, are a wonderful affirmation of the care you all give each other.
I’m sometimes asked: “What does a daddy get from caring for an AB/LB?”
And the answer, in so many ways, is held in a little guy’s plushy. Because a daddy receives gestures of care and love in so many deep ways – just like a little boy will stroke his plushy and know that his teddy bear is feeling safer and more loved, a daddy is rewarded a million fold from those quiet gestures of love and attention.
So I respond: “When you cuddle your plushy do YOU feel safe and warm? Do you feel good because you can cuddle your plushy? And talk with him? And listen to his stories?”
And when they nod quietly yes I say: “Well, that’s how daddy feels caring for you.”
Your Plushy or Special Companion
What’s the special companion in your life? Is it a teddy bear or doggy? Has he or she been with you through thick and thin?
Does it have stories to tell? Do you go on adventures together?
And for those of you who would like to share with daddy, send me a photo of your special plushy or companion and I’ll try to post them so the world can see how special you are for having such a wonderful friend in your life.
(My e-mail is listed on a banner on the right side of this site and I keep all e-mails confidential).