Mr. Bear

Mr. Bear
Originally uploaded by landismom.

Mr. Bear is an important member of our household. He’s the Sweet Potato’s comfort object.

I’m not really sure when we realized the importance of Mr. Bear. It was pretty early in the SP’s life. Since that time, Mr. Bear has gone nearly everywhere the SP goes. He travels to daycare every day. He visits grandma with us. He gets carried around our house. He doesn’t get to go to the grocery store, or places like that, because we fear losing him.

He’s been left in the yard once. He got thrown in the trash at daycare by an overzealous toddler helping to clean up one time, and was (fortunately) saved by Miss Evelyn. He gets a bath once a week, and he can be truly grimy by the end of the week.

Once, I tried washing him more frequently. I thought, if I wash him at midnight while the boy is sleeping, he won’t notice. Unfortunately, the SP woke up just after I had put Mr. Bear into the wash, and then we were doomed. He wouldn’t go back to sleep until after Mr. Bear was dried and in his crib again.

Since the SP is a kid who has been largely sleep-problem-free, we’re happy about the presence of Mr. Bear.

The Bee never had a comfort object, per se. Instead, she had my thumb (or thumby, as she called it). We lived in an apartment when she was a baby, and to keep her from screaming all night (and keeping the upstairs neighbors awake), one of us had to sit with our hand in the crib, so that she could sleep with her hand gripping onto the thumb. It was the only thing that comforted her.

When she broke her leg (at age two) and we were in the ER, she held onto my thumb and stopped crying. The attending nurse said she had never seen anything like it. While very endearing, it became a real problem, especially once it came time for her to sleep on her own.

I’m happy about Mr. Bear, because he gave the SP something to hang onto at night that isn’t attached to me. There’s something about this bear that just really does it for him. Know what it is? The tag on its butt. The SP sticks the tag into his ear, and then all is well with the universe. I can’t explain it–I once stuck the tag into my own ear, to see if I could understand the attraction, but it eludes me.


April 18, 2005. the cutest kids ever!.


  1. Chip replied:

    the mysteries of comfort objects are endless. Love the tag story. for my son it was a set of pillowcases, very ugly brownish pattern that he “adopted” when he was 6 months old when we were living abroad in an apartment. We “borrowed” the pillowcases because he was so attached to the “bedahs”. He loved to put them over his head. He still has them and still keeps them in his bed. So while you’d expect that thumby will be around forever, Mr. Bear may in fact be a permanent member of your household much longer than you’d expect!

  2. landismom replied:

    I in fact still have my own comfort object from childhood, so yeah, I expect that Mr. Bear will be going to college with the SP.

  3. Chip replied:

    Yeah, I still have mine, but only inadvertantly. My grandmother saved my blankie, and when she died last year I “inherited” it back (my mom recognized it). I don’t know what to do with it. Unfortunately the bond’s been broken…

  4. landismom replied:

    chip, that’s a little sad:(

  5. to sleep, perchance to dream « Bumblebee Sweet Potato replied:

    […] When the Bee was born, we lived in an apartment in a duplex house. We moved there while I was pregnant, so we didn’t know our upstairs neighbors tremendously well. It was an old, kind of shitty house and you could hear all kinds of stuff between the two apartments, and we really tried very hard to not subject them to a crying baby at all hours of the day and night. That meant that landisdad and I spent a lot of time holding the Bee while she slept, or sitting on the floor while she held on to our thumbs. (Yes, the Bee never had a comfort object–just “thumby.”) When we finally did move into our own house, we had created a monster–a child who wanted to spend every waking–and sleeping–moment with her parents. By the time the Potato came along, we had been through the sleep wars, and I vowed, “never again.” But we didn’t have to have big battles with him about sleep, the way we did with the Bee. […]

  6. not your touchy-feely mother « Bumblebee Sweet Potato replied:

    […] As the Bee got bigger, she became addicted to what she grew to call “thumby,” which was her name for either my or landisdad’s thumbs. She would hold our thumb as she fell asleep, slowly stroking the thumbnail. And if you tried to take it away from her, she’d wake up and cry. (We didn’t make this mistake with the Potato, fwiw.) We broke her of the thumby addiction, but it was painful for all of us. […]

  7. R.I.P. Panda Claws « Bumblebee Sweet Potato replied:

    […] Sadly, we had to have Panda put to sleep today. We were all able to visit him and say goodbye, then my FIL took the kids into the waiting room (where they wrapped up Mr. Bear in gauze bandages), and landisdad and I stayed with him till the end. It was really the best thing at this point–he was so weak he couldn’t even hold his head up. We’re all still a little shell-shocked, since the onset was so quick. […]

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