31 July 2012

Ike and Tobias

You know how sometimes a kid gets so attached to a comfort object that he/she cannot sleep without it? Ike's comfort object is his sock monkey, Tobias.* Ike is, in fact, so attached to his sock monkey that when we took family pictures in late February I brought the sock monkey along so that we could get a few pictures of Ike with his best buddy. Tobias even got mentioned in a couple of my monthly updates about Ike - at eight months, and again at one year.

Ike is very attached to his monkey. One time Ike threw Tobias in the toilet, necessitating a good wash. Ike didn't mind when I chucked Tobias in the washer, but when he saw me throw him in the dryer, he had a melt-down. He was seriously distraught. He does not sleep without Tobias. This little sock monkey has gotten a lot of wear. When I took Ike to get his arm cast after he broke it in January (which ended up only being a removable splint), I brought Tobias along to comfort Ike. The doctor described the monkey as "well-loved." At that time he had a definite gash in his belly, but he was holding together pretty well. As time went on, we knew he wouldn't stay together forever.

We realized that due to the wound in Tobias's belly and my inability/unwillingness to bother fixing it that we'd have to buy/find/procure this kid a new sock monkey. We saw one at Target that Ike instantly loved, but it was $15, and neither one of us could bear to spend that much on a stuffed toy. I considered going back several times, and I did look for it on other occasions to see if the price had gone down, but it never did. Eric picked up a home-made sock monkey at a yard sale, but Ike never totally took to it.

When Ike and I were traveling home from Sacramento after my cousin's wedding, we were riding the shuttle to the parking lot. Several passengers commented how much my little boy loved his monkey. One lady noticed in particular that Ike was rubbing Tobias's tags together, and she said, "He doesn't love that monkey; he loves that monkey's tags." It's true. He loves rubbing those tags together.

As time went on I thought about this more and more. When Ike was in his infant car seat, he had two little dangling toys that went over the handle. He usually would play with the tags more than the toys themselves. We often joked that if we cut the tags off he'd think, "Hey, who took the toys off my tags?" I also started to remember that when Ike was very small, he'd hold onto the fabric of my shirt and rub it together while he nursed. The motion is very much the same as he does with Tobias's tags when he is trying to comfort himself. I began to believe that this was why Ike never took to the new Tobias; he was homemade, and thus had no tags.

So, we'd need to get a sock monkey with tags. And one that didn't cost $15. And we'd need to do it relatively fast. Tobias was quickly falling apart. Note in the picture that he has a giant hole in his side, and the extra string has been wrapped around his belly and tied up. the white parts of him are also not-so-very-white. No stuffing was coming out - yet.

When Eric was making a quick run to a rarely-visited grocery store last week, he saw a potential solution. There were several sock monkeys wearing hoodies with various college logos on them. They were about the size of the Original Tobias. They had tags. They were only $4. Ike just might be duped into loving this new Tobias. So Eric bought two.

The new Tobias has received a warm welcome. Ike went to sleep on Thursday night with the new Tobias, but we weren't sure that necessarily meant much since we were out incredibly late that night with friends. The kid was zonked. He'd accept anything if we just let him in his bed. Eric put the new Tobias in his bag to go to the sitter's on Friday. When I asked her how it went she said that he gave the new Tobias a funny look, but then he just accepted it and took his nap.

Friday night involved a little more coaxing. Eric showed Ike how the new Tobias has a hoody that can come on and off. Ike insisted that Eric take it off and put it back on like three times. Then Ike cuddled his new monkey and went to sleep. Old Tobias is hidden away. At this point I'm far too nostalgic to get rid of him altogether, but I don't want Ike to find him and have his budding relationship with the new one destroyed.

*While many people think that the sock monkey's name originates from our love of "Arrested Development," it actually does not. My mom gave the sock monkey to us on the condition that we name it Tobias.We liked the name well enough, and so it stuck. Several months after being gifted the sock monkey, I asked my mom why Tobias was the designated name. As it turned out, she had a sock monkey at her grandma's house, and his name was Tobias.

1 comment:

Jenny said...

You're smart to have back-ups for such a necessary and dear item! I did the same with a little fabric dolly that my oldest daughter was attached to, and I hung onto the original one even though it was falling apart. Now she keeps it on her bed with the replacement (she's 16) and loves them both.