It starts with a lovey or blanket that is safe for babies. Maybe you got your baby a taggie doll as we did. Then perhaps a first stuffed animal when your child is old enough not to chew off the nose or eyes, or otherwise use it for teething. Your little one loves it and hugs it, carries it around, and sleeps with it. It is adorable and sweet.
Then your child has a birthday or Christmas rolls around and more stuffed animals join the party. You pick up a few at the store she sees and you think are cute. One day you look up and you are overtaken with stuffed animals!
My 4 year old and I were recently reading one of her Library books called The Rabbit Problem by Emily Gravett. It is a fun book about how a field with one, then 2 rabbits becomes quickly overpopulated and problems abound. Suddenly I looked around us at my daughter’s stuffed rabbits and other animals she carries around the house and almost dropped the book. I realized; we have a rabbit problem.
My child has received her “animals” slowly over a period of 3 years and they have become plentiful here. Currently she has a group of stuffed animal rabbits and bears which she has named Rabbit Family and Bear Family. On our bed that day were the Rabbit Family, all of whom she’d carried downstairs in her arms sort of precariously, trying not to drop one or fall down.
What do you do with all of these stuffed animals? Is there a place of retirement for these things? There are about a hundred now. At one point she had 25 in her little twin bed. I feel they are beginning to take over. Over the years I have done what I call Culling the Herd by moving a few a day from her bed to a storage tub in the closet, and filling her castle tent with them to overflowing. If I remove one, she KNOWS.
So, for now we are in a holding pattern with a closet and tent full of stuffed animals. In the future I see us donating them to the Thrift Store nearby, but with her understanding that she has too many and perhaps another child would like to use them now. I only hope it is before she is ready to leave for college!