If you’ll pick at random some of the posts over the years I’ve been blogging, you’ll undoubtedly notice that Avey has been through several interesting phases, and grows into and out of many quirky behaviors. One of the most recent that she is slowly growing out of is what we’ve come to call her “friends”. It began with Avey starting to sleep with a stuffed animal or two every night. This quickly grew into a routine of having the same few stuffed animals every night.
Somehow, the routine developed into a ritual where Avey had to have her friends “set up” before she would actually lie down at night. It went like this: “Sheepie” (now known as Baby Shaun the Sheep after we all became fans of this show) was to lay on her right side on her pillow, next to “Doggie”. “Cowboy Bear” was to lie on her pillow on her left side. Eeyore, everyone’s favorite dysthymic donkey, would be held between Avey’s knees under the covers. Avey would then finally lie back, wrap her arms around her friends, turn to her side, and (sometimes) nod off to sleep.The ritual had to be strictly followed, else slumber was impossible. About once during the week, in fact, Avey would call out to us from her bed at about 2:00 in the morning and inquire as to the whereabouts of Eeyore. We invariably found him lost in the folds of her blankets, no doubt interpreting his misfortune as a reflection of his personal worth as a stuffed donkey. Safely returned to his place between Avey’s knees, Avey could once again sleep until dawn.
Her companions recently became regular attendees at several other events throughout Avey’s day, such as taking their assigned seats on the dinner table during meals (Avey insisted that they had to watch her eat), and witnessing Avey’s use of the water closet.
I’ve personally begun to worry that Avey needs more social exposure to kids her age, so that she can make some real friends. Luckily, we have a neighbor here with a daughter just a little younger than she. I just hope that once their friendship blossoms Avey will require less from the little girl than she has of the stuffed animals.