Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Please Look After Me.


One of my favorite things about my 7-year-old is the way she names her stuffed animals. She's one of those kids who really, really loves her stuffies; a birthday or Christmas doesn't go by (any day, really) when she doesn't have her heart set on some particularly adorable animal she's seen on a shelf somewhere. Of course, what household with children needs more stuffed animals? No one's. And yet I have been known to send my husband on a secret, urgent animal-procuring mission before a birthday or holiday simply because her devotion to it melts my heart and I want to get it for her when she's not looking.

All that doesn't really have much to do with naming them, except that I've always had the feeling that the somewhat crazy, very deliberate name choices Genevieve makes for her animals are related to her intense adoration of each creature and her sense that each has a unique personality and therefore needs an important name.

When she was a toddler she got her baby bear that she christened Teddy O'Peep. (Irish?) She also has a teddy bear named Easter, and another named (quite mysteriously) Puddle Jumper. But my favorite of her bear names is Chivey. Yes, like the green-onion-like herb. Who knows where this name came from, but it seems to suit him.

True, her beloved stuffed pig, once named Rosie, has long been called Piggy. Not very original. But it begs the question: why did Rosie's name get changed? I don't know, and no one else does, either.

Since her last birthday, her favorite stuffed animal has been a velvety, pale-pink mouse (see photo above) that she mistook for a bear when she spied it at a local gift shop. She has since accepted that it is a mouse--seeing as how its tag says "I am Small Bashful Mouse. Please look after me." But his name--this delicate, tiny, rosy-hued baby creature--is Phillip.

Don't ever call him Phil.

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