What would be the point of living if we didn't let life change us?- Mr. Carson (Downton Abbey)
A lot of people have a childhood stuffed animal or blanket that they grew to love. I had a childhood stuffed dragon named "Sneezy" I think I got when I was born. It was sometime very early. Sneezy had a long neck and long tail and as a baby I took to twisting the head and twisting the tail. Slowly this caused the joints to loose all their padding so that his head and tail just limply dropped. I probably would have eventually squeezed the stuffing out of him, but my mother took him away from me with the intent to get him re-stuffed.
For many years after I lost Sneezy to the closet, I went without having a stuffed animal. I did have a pile of blankets of similar make that I slept with. I had a very important functional reason to sleep with them. I am a stomach sleeper and if you sleep on your stomach with a pillow your neck has to be at the most ridiculous ninety degree angle. I haven't discussed this in length with other stomach sleepers, but I assume we all have various techniques to solve it. At that young age I found that by cramming the blanket under me it caused my body to be at about a thirty-degree angle with the bed and then my next only had to rotate about sixty degrees and the problem was solved. The problem was solved for a time.
I kept growing. As I grew the little kid blanket stayed the same size and it kept reducing the angle I was sleeping at.
When I was around twelve years old my mother gave me a stuffed animal named "Chrismutt" which I think was the free gift from Target for spending more than $50. It was a throw away gift, except he was the PERFECT size for propping up my body while I slept. Out went all the childhood blankets and in moved the mutt.
I took him to college with me. How else could I sleep? My sophomore year at college I went to the Goodwill store with some friends to find outfits to wear to a "sixties" dance. There at Goodwill, in perfect condition, was another Chrismutt! He was smaller than mine and instead of having Chistmas mittens around his neck he had a Christmas scarf, but I flipped out. I assume he was the version you would have gotten for spending $25 at Target or some such. My friends didn't share the same enthusiasm and I said, "oh just you wait !" When we got back to school I showed my roommate (high school friend) and he appropriately flipped out. He was deemed Christmutt Junior for the time.
Later in life I got a job and started to travel and I found that Christmutt Jr. was much easier to pack and take with me on the road, and so we put in the formal paperwork to change is name to "Travelmutt". Really he was more like a little brother the Christmutt than a child, so I think we made the right decision as a family.
You might be wondering if I still snuggle up with and adorable twenty year old stuffed bear or his little brother. The short answer is not really. They were both very happily replaced by my wife. Though when I travel out of town, Travelmutt still comes with me, and on the rare occasions when Mrs.Chaos is off I promote Chrismutt from his honorable place next to the bed to once again join me.