I’ll be honest…I have a lot of memories of disappointments in birthdays and Christmases as a child. I’m not sure if everyone does – and we just never talk about it for fear that we’ll have to face that our kids are probably disappointed too – or if I was just a greedy little shit as a kid.
I remember wanting a Cabbage Patch doll and getting a generic one instead and being SO DEVASTATED. FYI – I finally got a Cabbage Patch doll as an adult. I never got all of the My Little Pony ponies that I wanted. I remember asking for this sweatshirt with Opus the Penquin on it (I was a weird kid), and Dad admitted he waited too long and they were sold out. Then there was the fact that Dad was always very open about his budget for us – $100 for Christmas and birthdays. So, when we asked for expensive things, we knew that meant less of everything else. I was thrilled the year I got my coin ring (COIN RINGS!), but since it cost $75, I didn’t get much else. And that kinda bummed me out.
So…the disappointments are very clear in my memory. Which officially makes me the greediest kid ever. I AM AWARE OF THAT.
Then…on my 10th birthday, my Dad bought me a stuffed Ewok. While I liked Star Wars as a kid (didn’t we all?), it wasn’t something I asked for. However, I was a stuffed animal girl. I had a few that I liked but that Ewok? I loved it. I took it everywhere that a 10-year old could take a stuffed animal and not be persecuted. I was obviously too old to take it to school, but I took it on trips and even took it on a Senior retreat in high school. It came with me to college and to my first rental house. I finally stopped sleeping with it at night when became a Mom, I think my kids became my comfort animal.
My Dad would wake me up in the mornings for school, he would come in and grab the Ewok and animate him for me. He’d make the Ewok punch me or smack me in the face to wake me up. The Ewok would harass me until I got out of bed. For obvious reasons, the Ewok reminded me of my Dad when I was missing him away from home in college and beyond.
When my Dad was sick, I found myself sleeping with the Ewok again every night. I actually slept with it for a year after he died. It just brought me comfort. But then I let myself move on and tossed it back in with the zoo in my kid’s rooms.
The last few weeks have been hard on me for a wide variety of reasons. I’ve had a lot of time with The Sads. Sometimes I’m holding back tears for whatever stupid reason (The Red Dawn trailer made me cry, people. WHAT IS WRONG WITH ME?), or maybe I’m just bawling my eyes out in my car for no reason whatsoever. It’s been weird for me because – while we all have our down moments, our down days – mine have never extended beyond a day or two. This has been a new depth of anxiety and sadness. YAY! FOR NEW THINGS AND EXPERIENCES!
Last night I broke out the Ewok again. I thought that maybe it would help ease my mind, my heart, and help me sleep. And y’all? The second I curled up with that raggedy bear-like thing? I felt my spirit just calm down. Maybe it’s the idea of Dad, but I think it’s just that the Ewok has been my source of comfort for so long, that even when my sadness is not directly related to Dad, it still brings me that comfort.
So – here I am – 37 years old and last night I slept with a 26-year old stuffed Ewok. Am I officially losing my mind or are there other adults out there who find comfort in childish things? Did I go from being a shitty, greedy kid to a certifiably insane adult?
Oh – and in case you didn’t realize this – the proper answer is: “No! Of course you’re not losing your mind! What you’re doing is completely normal! Carry on! And wow! Â you look great today!”
23 thoughts on “Snotty Kid Becomes Insane Adult: Tune In At 11!”
Oh Kim, in no way are you insane. My mom was diagnosed with early onset Alzheimers (at age 52) 6 1/2 years ago and now that she is in the last stages, I find myself sleeping with a teddy bear she made me when I was 4 (btw I’m almost 39).
I think, for both of us, it reminds us of a simpler and easier time plus it reminds us of the happy moments that we shared.
When life gets hard it is great to have something to hold onto.
Big hugs to you, I hope the sads go away soon.
Oh my god Kim, YOU are my spirit animal. I have a black stuffed cat that is so loved it’s barely held together anymore and I will NEVER stop hugging it.
My daddy had a stuffed flower that we put on his bed when he was in the hospital for the final time. I sleep with it on my headboard. It reminds me of him like he’s watching over me. What you’re doing is perfectly normal. Carry on 🙂
I sucked my thumb until I was almost 9. I admit that I have occasionally, just OCCASIONALLY, put it very briefly in my mouth since then.
I have a doll called Emma – my Mum and Dad gave her too me when I think I was actually too small to even know who or what a doll was. I still have her she’s sat on my chest of drawers – she went all over the place with me. I think if I’d moved away for university she would have come too. You’re not insane
I never held on to my favorite stuffed animal, a gangly monkey named Timothy. I wish I had. Can’t say I wouldn’t be tempted to curl up with him now when I’m feeling low.
Oh Kim, you are so not alone. I have a 50 year old stuffed dog whose name is Lester that I still sleep with – I’m 59.
I was raised in foster care and it’s the only gift my father ever gave me.
I am so attached to this thing that when I had open heart surgery last year, the doc cleared the way for him to be allowed in the CICU.
Guess I’m not wrapped too tight – lol – I just know Lester is a part of my life.
Sorry about your “sads” – hang in there, this will pass.
I sucked my thumb until I was 9 and the only reason I quit was because I was staying with family who didn’t know I still sucked my thumb and I was embarrassed. After a week I broke the habit. I have SUCH fond memories of the soothing effect of sucking my thumb that I actually was HAPPY when E became a thumb-sucker because I wanted him to have the same ability to self-soothe.
So, yeah. When I’ve been desperate for self-soothing I’ve tried it. I’ll admit. I was disappointed that the comfort didn’t come like when I was a child. That’s probably why the Ewok resurface 😉
I still have paddington bear. Not that you can tell it’s paddington bear! My mom made him for my sister when I was a baby, and I took it from her and never gave it back. He’s in terrible shape, but yeah, he’s been through everything, and I pull him out frequently.
I have found myself doing the same thing lately. I sucked my thumb until I was 5 and then I stopped and never really had the urge again until a few months ago. I don’t do it for very long, maybe only a minute or two…but it calms me and I can move on to the next thing.
I don’t have a stuffed animal, but I do have a blanket. This blanket goes with me on camping trips, lounging on the couch, etc.
I’m 30, and while the blanket has changed (I still have my first blankets), the cuddling with it hasn’t.
I have a stuffed bunny named Hoppy. (Very original!) I got him when I was 7 when I got my tonsils out. He slept with me all through college, until I got married. When I was little, I read the Velveteen Rabbit and I was quite sure he was real inside. I think it is wonderful that you have such a special, cuddly memory of your wonderful dad. Hug away, my sweet friend.
I am kind of jealous of your Ewok. I don’t have anything like that.
So…you’re not, ah…you know? right? What with being extra emotional and all, that is just where my mind turns.
I have been having a lot of upheaval for the past year. Lots of change, lots of transition, lots of feeling alone, my dog died. I found myself re-reading my favorite books from my past, and after the third or fourth one, I realized they are my security blanket. And I’m okay with that. Even when said security blanket is a cheezy horror novel from the nineties meant for tweens.
I’ve never been much of a stuffed animal girl, but I do still have the knock off cabbage patch kid my mom MADE while taking a night class when I was little.
Sorry you have the sads Kim! I hope even just talking about it has helped a little. I still have a teddy bear Jeffrey I bought in junior high. He’s survived several washings in the washing machine!
I have a teddy bear (named Teddy – like the others here, I’m very original. His full name, of course, is Theodore Edward Bear, though I’m not sure at which point I decided that!) I don’t sleep with him anymore, largely because he’s falling apart! and I still hug a pillow in substitution, I think, but
I do not have a particular comfort object left over, but I do remember my old Pound Puppy, Freckles. If I knew where the dang thing was, I’m sure I’d sneak a snuggle in now and then.
It’s not the same at all, because I was much older when the books came out, but any time I’m sad for more than just a brief bout, I read Harry Potter. Any of them will do. I’m just starting book 7. Again. Just because it makes me feel happy.
I think everyone has SOMETHING they turn to often.
When my husband and I decided to divorce, I started sleeping with my teddy bear again. It was very comforting to have my old friend in bed with me and helped me feel less alone.
So I vote not insane! Or both of us insane! Sorry you have been dealing with The Sads though.
Swistle! And Zoot! I also sucked my thumb until I was nine, and then we moved to a new town and my mom teamed up with my dentist to shame me into quitting. Now that my front teeth don’t stick straight out, my thumb no longer fits into my mouth like it used to, but I MISS that secure feeling that it gave me. I always thought that Shel Silverstein’s thumb-succking poem was written just for me.
No, of course you are not crazy! It is absolutely normal what you are doing. I actually still sleep with the donkey i got for my first birthday (am 36 now). Most of the times its somewhere under the bed, but when i need comfort i actually get it out and lay it over my face. Hide behind it. An although i have two kids, who i regularly snuggle with, my 4 year old, when he gets into bed with me, gives me my stuffed animal. Here mommy, here’s your “knuffel” (snuggle?). He understands my needs.
When I was born my Grammy made me my “blankie”. It was a yellow quilt that I slept with every night. In college I accidentally left it at a hotel while away for Fall Break and she made me a replacement blankie. I am 33 and I still sleep with it every night. I had to mend some pieces on it recently and I was thrilled to find the actual fabric she had used when making the original in a box in her house that I found after she had passed away. I intend to just patch it up and sleep with it for as long as her fabric lasts. She was very important to me. It warms my heart to know that I am not the only 30 something out there who still uses a comfort item ;).
YES I AM AND I CAN’T TELL ANYONE. You made this comment on Monday and I was already thinking, “I think my period is late…” So, I went home and tested…BAM! Postive PT!
They took my hcg quant and were fine with the number (for the record, I was not. I really wanted them to test me again in two days to see if it doubles) and they don’t want to see me until 9/5.
I used to tell my blog this stuff all the time, but now too many real world people read it and I’m not sure I want them to know yet…AHHH…so I’m telling you b/c you asked and because you asked I took the test 😉
I really need to write on my blog as therapy for the anxiety I’m now feeling about the sustainability of this pregnancy, but since I can’t yet, you got an earful 🙂
Hope you don’t mind!
You’re totally not crazy! Or if you are, well, so are a lot of us. At age 43 I still sleep with my old blanket over my head, and I have a couple of shirts that were my father’s, so I can wear them and imagine he’s hugging me. Whatever gets you through the day, I say.