Back in February I told you about Gabriella the Giraffe. It’s Coraline’s favorite stuffed animal. A couple weeks ago she spent the day at her cousin’s house and forgot to bring Giraffe, so nap time was difficult. She mostly only sleeps with Giraffe. She did eventually take a nap, but when she woke up, all she wanted to talk about was Giraffe. So in case there was any doubt about how attached she is to Gabriella, there you have it.
But we already knew she was attached to it. That’s why we bought a back up. Two backups, actually. Sunny’s brother thinks kids should just experience the loss of a stuffed animal if something happens to it, and I agree…to an extent. I do think that Coraline has acquired more toys than she needs, and we need to figure out how to get rid of some of them. Even her bed now has, in addition to the giraffe, a lion, three blankets, two receiving blankets, a pillow, a doll, and that original, painted giraffe. Yeah, she has two giraffes. She had three, but one has been chewed up by a dog. We decided that since she is so attached to the giraffe (and especially since we’re about to take the binky away) we should probably get another back up giraffe. Just in case.
Alas, we’re too late. Jellycat has stopped making Gabriella the Giraffe. I thought I found a website that was still selling them, but three days after placing the order they emailed to tell me they couldn’t fulfill it. So we may just have to accept that Coraline will be feeling that loss next time something happens to Giraffe.
When I was a kid, I had a stuffed animal named Scruffy. I don’t think I was nearly as attached to Scruffy as Coraline is to Giraffe, but it was definitely my favorite stuffed animal. So when I realized, as the whole family was driving away from the park, that Scruffy wasn’t with us, I wanted to go back. My dad wouldn’t turn the car around. I cried and cried. I held a grudge for a very long time. I mean years. I don’t think my dad realized how much Scruffy really meant to me.
I’m not really afraid that Coraline will hold a grudge if we can’t replace Giraffe. But still, when we were driving away from Angel’s Rest today, and she started asking about Giraffe, my heart sank a little worrying that we’d lost her. We hadn’t. It’s fine. But I want her to experience loss, at some point, so that when she experiences a bigger loss she’ll have some basis for how to deal with it. I mean, no I don’t. I don’t want her to experience loss, either small or big. I want her to have her Giraffe and be happy, because it’s one small thing I can do as a parent, when there will be so many things I can’t control. But right now, the only way I can find to replace Giraffe is to spend $50 on Amazon. And that seems a little silly too. Especially for a family that claims to be minimalist.
I guess I really want Coraline to adopt the mentality that things are just things and we shouldn’t get too attached to them. And she has that mentality sometimes. When she refuses to put a toy away and we ask her if she wants us to just take the toy away so she never gets to play with it again. She usually says yes. So that tactic isn’t working.
But with her Giraffe, and unfortunately her binky, if we tell her to put them in her bed so she doesn’t lose them, she takes it pretty seriously. And I guess the minimalist in me wants just that. I want her to only have things that are important to her. I think we could probably get rid of a lot of her things while she wasn’t watching and she’d be just fine with it. As long as we kept Giraffe. Because that’s for real.
EDIT: I took the advice of a reader and checked on Ebay for a new Giraffe. I regret this decision. I found one selling from the UK for about twelve pounds. I did the math and figured it was worth a bid. And I won! However, I didn’t realize that shipping was an additional thirteen pounds. All said, it cost $40, and that’s almost half of our budget for kid things for the month. Now I’m not allowed to buy things without first discussing them with Sunny.