The day we brought Axel home from the hospital, we also brought home Lovey. Axel’s grandma picked out the “soother” (stuffed animal with small blanket attached) at the hospital gift shop, and it has been with us every day since. During the first couple of months, it was always near but not in constant use. As I prepared for my return to work, I began holding the stuffed animal next to my skin as Axel nursed. I believe this truly did help with my son’s transition to taking bottles all day while I was gone. As Axel grew, Lovey followed. It went to daycare every day with him. When Axel was old enough to have toys/blankets in the crib, Lovey was first in line. When Axel began to talk and use pronouns, we found out that Lovey was, in fact, a “she.” She went to Grandma’s house for sleepovers, on vacation with the family (even Disney World, where she was secured tightly to the stroller!), and on every car ride. Lovey was part of the family.
Axel is now four, and we had been talking about how she will eventually not need to go to school with him anymore. But, it was all talk because not only did Axel just move to a new preschool but has a new baby sister. Lots of transitions, so we didn’t want to add another to the mix. That is, until one Monday when we forgot her at home after a doctor’s appointment and Axel had to go the day at school without her. He was upset, so I calmed him by letting him know that I would take good care of Lovey at home all day. She would have a spa day (i.e. I would give her a much-needed bath), and she’d come with me to pick him up from school later that afternoon. Luckily, that worked. He was still sad, but he accepted this and went into his classroom.
Being the mother that I am, I was worried that Axel would have a hard time during the day (especially at nap time), so I rushed home to take a picture of Lovey during her “spa day” to send to the teachers to show Axel if he was upset. I don’t even know if they ever showed him, but that photo started something.
When Lovey and I picked Axel up from school, she was still dressed in her robe and towel on her head – he loved it! He laughed and hugged her, looked at the photo I took on my phone and told me that Lovey wanted to stay home again tomorrow and do something else. Okay… here we go!
I felt relieved that he wasn’t sad anymore! I was excited that this seemed like it was actually going to work, and we were going to be able to transition away from bringing Lovey to school. Plus, I think I had as much fun posing her for the photos as Axel had looking at them.
On Tuesday, Lovey worked out:
On Wednesday, she went swimming:
On Thursday, she played with toys (Lovey-sized, of course):
On Friday, she held a meeting:
One week down, and we successfully didn’t bring Lovey to school anymore. We did it! It has now been a month, and she still hasn’t gone to school since. Axel still sleeps with her at night, but I can tell that his attachment to her is lessening. The transition was much easier than I had been mentally prepared for (Yet another lesson in “things are better when I don’t force them or try to control them,” but that’s for another day/another post). Honestly, though, while I’m happy that my son easily got through this transition, I’m also sad. I’m sad because my baby is growing up. I knew this day would come, and I remind myself that this is the goal, but it still tugs at my heart. When I see Lovey lying on the floor of Axel’s bedroom or the living room in the morning, I always pick her up and set her nicely on a chair or the bed. Ol’ girl has been through a lot with us, and for that, I will always be thankful ♡.