(As I slept in the bed of our hotel room my Daddy emailed me the link to this image it was perfect to wake up to and so true)
As a little girl, I always had a favourite stuffie/doll of some kind who went everywhere that toys could go (I knew they didn’t belong in church or at the dinner table). There were Cabbage Patch Kids, Rainbow Brite, a Pound Puppy, Winnie-the-Pooh and the last and longest running friend has been Eeyore. The one place those toys went most often was with me to sleep. I would cuddle and cradle them and I would feel safe and loved even if my day had been anything but.
As I got older I slept with them less but there were always a cluster of stuffies lined up on my bed though only the favourite got to spend the night. And yes, there are always favourites when it comes to stuffies. I never outgrew my need to cuddle with someone to get to sleep. Yes, the need is far more pronounced when I am hurting or depressed but even sometimes when I just wish I had a warm body lying next to me instead of an empty bed, I will reach for my Eeyore.
As Daddy and I began to develop our dynamic, or rather fell into it because it feels so easy to us, the topic of stuffies came up. I mentioned that I haven’t had a new stuffie in a really long time Eeyore is relic from my days with the Gay BF. We’d gone into the Disney store to browse and I fell in love with him and batted my pretty little eyelashes until he caved and bought him for me. But with Daddy he said almost immediately that little girls need stuffies and that at some point we should get me one. From there it was only a matter of time before my desire of wanting a Build-a-Bear came out. As much as the little girl in me was squealing inside it took some convincing to agree to let him spoil me in this way. The independent woman in me was having a rough time reconciling this in my head. I agreed to let myself be spoiled. It pleases Daddy to spoil me and well it goes without saying it’s wonderful to be treated like that. As soon as our plan to get away came together, finding me a new stuffie became one of the priorities of our experience. We were emailing each other links to bears, outfits, store locations and the wheels were set in motion.
I’d done enough scouting to have an idea of what I wanted to build and it was not a bear! I thought a puppy at first.
We walked through the mall hand in hand until we got to the store then I was on the bears, like a fat kid on a cake! I was touching the different animal bodies…trying to decide. I can’t make a decision to save my life but Daddy just stood back watching, not giving any input – this was going to be my stuffie, what I wanted and needed it to be. I settled on the monkey and I took him to be stuffed.
Now I figured that when an adult goes into Build-A-Bear to make a stuffie, they would skip over the ritual…nope! I got him stuffed, picked out his heart, rubbed it on my head, ears, heart, clapped to start it beating and made a wish, oh and jumped up and down three times and spun around twice! I felt slightly self-conscious at first but as it progressed I got smaller and smaller and it felt good to indulge my little girl like this. I only looked over at Daddy a few times and he was standing there was a giant grin just watching the show quietly. I bathed my monkey and then wandered to decide on his clothes.
As we were looking for outfits for my monkey, I slipped into being silly and little. Just like an actual little girl I was playing dress up with him and loving every minute. Daddy played along offering suggestions or possibilities some I dismissed for any number of reasons. Finally it was decided a Canadiens hoodie and jeans. It seemed like we were there forever but really it was relatively quick (so says Daddy). When the nice sales woman took him from my hands, I’d been clutching him pretty hard until then, squeezing and loving him up, I almost protested but the grown up in me was a little too embarrassed to walk through the mall with him.
Something happened to me there…I went somewhere else, became someone else through that experience. Something that continued throughout the rest of our time together and something that I still feel in my now.
I am little.
I practically skipped out of the store holding Daddy’s hand and swinging the monkey’s box in the other.
After dinner and a little adult fun I saw the monkey again. Daddy and I looked for and talked about names, he became part of my aftercare and the three of us snuggled in our king-sized bed together. Daddy did pry him out of my hands to use me but otherwise I got to play and love him as much as I needed.
It’s nice to have a stuffie that can be there with me when I can’t be with Daddy. It makes me feel safe and secure and little and loved.
So now Marcel the Monkey and I are besties. Marcel was one of the first names I uttered but I wasn’t sure. When I looked it up it comes from Marcellus, which means little warrior. It all fits just perfectly. The monkey, the image above, the name, my Daddy and me.