Inspired by Families Create Blog Carnival's theme for January: Cuddle Up, I have decided to post about snuggies.
Me age 3 or 4 with one of my (many) snuggies.
Oh how important, and completely brilliant snuggies are! Snuggies (or specials) are those special teddies, dolls, blankets that a child becomes attached to at an early age and will carry with them everywhere.
Penelope Leach writes how a special is the first step to independence from your mother. A child will transfer a little of their love for their mother/ primary care giver onto this object, allowing them to emerge a few steps from the Madonna's cloak of security and love that is attachment to your mama.
I had a snuggy, in fact I still have it (although it's no longer in use). If you are of a nervous disposition look away now.
This used to be a cotton scarf, pale peach and about a meter squared. I took it everywhere and when I was away from it I often had cravings to have it with me. I recall talking to my little brother (who also had a special - Dog) on a car journey once about missing our specials, and feeling 'hungry' for it. I felt the need for my special almost physically.
All three of my children have specials. I would like to introduce them to you:
(from left to right) Joa's Snuggle Buddy, Benny's Lambie and Rebe's Mio.
The children ultimately chose their specials, yet I did have a helping hand in the matter. I felt I wanted them to have specials as a way for them to gently move away from their need to be close to me all the time, so I introduced them. Call me the 'specials matchmaker' :-)
Rebe had dummies for the first 2 years of her life. As she started to walk and talk I wanted to get away from her having them in her mouth all the time. So we chose Mio to carry them for her. I put a dummy on the end of each of his paws.
Rebe with Mio aged about 20 months.
This meant that she could have the dummies whenever she felt she needed them, yet she couldn't just wander around with them in her mouth all day as she had a relatively large cat hanging from the end of them. It also meant that when the time came to give the dummies to the 'snuggy fairy' she still had Mio and the comfort he provided.
With Benny I introduced Lambie through breastfeeding. When I fed Benny I would have Lambie cuddled up between us, this way the warmth, smell and comfort of our feeds were transferred to Lambie and he became a source of comfort to Benny.
I am in the process of introducing Joa's snuggle buddy to him this way. Joa's snuggle buddy is a little bit extra special, partly because he is stuffed with sheeps wool which absorbs our body smells and heat much better than any synthetic material, but mainly because I made him myself :-)
The specials have real characters and are definite members of our family and are very celebrated. This is reflected in so many ways: We have a Mio screen saver and coffee cup. We make Mio and Lambie biscuits. Benny has a Lambie top. We have written and drawn stories of them. They are in many of our drawings, in our dreams, in many of our adventures and games and always, but always, in the children's arms at bedtimes (even if we have to turn the house upside down to find them).
Rebe's 2nd Birthday cake was a Mio cake
Like me I am sure the children will carry their specials with them, throughout childhood and into adult hood. If not in their arms certainly in their hearts.