i think we might have a problem here

josephine may be a hoarder. or maybe just a pack-rat.  or perhaps just a typical two-year-old?  she always has to have something with her.  usually it’s kitty-cat (whose name is flossie but is only formally introduced as such; around the house she’s just kitty-cat) and often it’s kitty-cat and somebody else and somebody else.  she calls her stuffed animals her “friends” and there’s a lot of negotiation around which friends she can take where and how many can come into the grocery cart with her.  am i wrong to think it’s not particularly convenient to have a toddler and 10 of her closest friends along at the store?

while kitty-cat remains a constant, she rotates who else is the apple of her eye on a near-daily basis.  yesterday, no joke, her favorite companion was a packing peanut she picked out a box at the hardware store.  we were shopping for a few things and she most definitely did not want me to carry her, but she also was insisting on touching everything in the store.  do you have any idea how non-child-proof hardware stores are?  it’s ridiculous.  after grabbing her hand away from the tenth sharp cutting implement or lightbulb, i told her, knowing it wouldn’t help but saying it anyway, “you have to ask me before you touch anything.” she looked up and me and said, “can i touch everything?”  in the course of her explorations she came across a half-unpacked box of new merchandise and her fingers were just itching to touch a pink packing peanut.  i picked one out for her and told her that i was pretty sure it was ok if she kept it and she just treasured that thing for the rest of the day.  it was a peanut for kitty-cat to eat and then it was a sponge to wipe her table with and then it was something else and something else.  honestly, i lost track.

this over-friendedness becomes a problem at naptime and bedtime.  (she wanted to nap with the packing peanut and i just had to say no.)  specifically, it’s a problem in the middle of the night.  that kid can bring a dozen stuffed animals into bed with her, wake up in the middle of the night, remember who she brought to bed with her hours earlier, do a careful inventory of the friends she can find and then, when she’s unable to locate, say, elephant, she will cry out piteously, “mama! where is elephant? i can’t find him anywhere!!” until i come in, find the damn elephant and stumble back to bed.

just this afternoon, i began implementation of a four-friends-in-your-bed limit.  want to see what inspired the new rule? here’s who she suggested take a nap with her:

and then this happens:

oh, josephine.

6 Responses to “i think we might have a problem here”

  • grandma susan Says:

    well…i do want josephine to be like grandma, but that trait? grandpa was sitting here doing his famous silent total body laugh. xxoxx.

  • Erika Says:

    LOL–literally!! This is totally the same in our house! And we have to climb up the stairs to get to our bed, so it’s negotiating what he can carry and then what Mama & Papa have to carry as we trail behind him. Last night, he wanted 2 books, a Mr. Potato Head (“pa-ta-toh!”), his usual duck, his usual cup of water and oh yeah, a stuffed moose half his size. We end up sort of discarding things as we go and sometimes he forgets about them and sometimes not. But that photo of Jo is hysterical. I like the 4-item rule! 🙂 Glad to know we’re all in it together.

  • Polly Says:

    oh that’s too funny! I just tell my kids they can’t bring any friends with them out of the house because what would happen if we lost one? (Make a horrified face here).

  • Meg Says:

    Just wait until she’s out of her crib. Emilee had at least 10 books, 2 bears, 5 blankets, and the usual lovies in bed with her during nap. No wonder it takes so long for her to fall asleep!

  • Meg Says:

    Ha! This is what happens — or used to happen — at our house. With Callie. And then, in the middle of the night (because I’m no longer accustomed to getting up with people in the middle of the night) she would whine and cry because she couldn’t find one of the fourteen “friends” in her bed. Now she gets two. And I’m the mean mom. But I’m also sleeping at 2 a.m. instead of looking for stuffed animals by the light of my cell phone!

  • Oma and Ned Says:

    wow–i love that she’s not the only hoarding child (misery loves company?). cell phone light is genius, meg–i usually just blindly flail my arms around.

    josephine told a friend who was over today, “mama says, ‘pick just one friend, josephine.'”