It’s time to go … Teddy

On the morning of her first day of pre-school this year, our four-year-old Curly-locks picked up her beloved comforter and walked into the kitchen.

In a stranglehold, she held Teddy at arm’s length over the bin and declared, ‘Time to throw Teddy out’.

She dropped him into the bin on a pile of food scraps, dusted off her hands theatrically and walked off with her head held high.

Dave and I stood in the kitchen like dumb and dumber wondering what had just happened. We had no idea Teddy’s time was up.

Curly-locks and Teddy have been BFFs since birth. Everywhere Curly-locks went, Teddy was right there under her arm, over her shoulder, worn as a cape, a hat, or dangling by one ear from her mouth.

He was desperately loved. The stuffing had come out of his arms and mum chopped his ears off when she couldn’t stand looking at how scraggly and stained they had become. Four years of snuggly love had been put into this Teddy and it showed.

We had long accepted that Teddy was what our shy and sensitive little girl needed to help her feel safe and at ease.

Mid last year, Curly-locks took massive steps in letting go, but it seemed as soon as we made progress she would take a couple of steps back.

There have been a number of times in the past six months when people have asked her why she is still carrying around that, ‘dirty old thing’.

She may only be four, but she’s not silly. She takes in everything everyone says to her.

Now in her second year of pre-school she knows she is a big girl now. Throwing out Teddy was her way of saying that she is ready to start being brave. It was a massive sign of her growing confidence.

When Curly-locks threw Teddy out, I told her it was okay if she changed her mind. She could still have him to snuggle at night only. She assured us that she was ready to let him go.

Dave and I felt completely out of our element. Sure, we were extremely excited to not have her carry around her ‘dirty old thing’ everywhere we went, but it was Teddy and Teddy and Curly-locks were inseparable.

When she wasn’t looking, Dave took Teddy out of the bin and hid him in case she regretted her decision.

The first few days were tough, but not as bad as we had expected. There were plenty of tears on the first night and the next two pre-school drop offs were hard.

All of the other kids still had their snuggle buddies, plus it didn’t help that her little sister kept repeating, ‘I not frow my Teddy out. I just a little girl. I not big’.

We stayed strong and suggested she take another toy to pre-school in case she needed a cuddle.

It turns out she has hardly needed that toy.

On the way home the other day we followed a garbage truck. We could see it lifting up the rubbish and squashing it down.

‘Is Teddy in there, mummy?’ she asked.

‘No darling. He’s at the dump,’ I said.

‘What’s he doing at the dump?’

‘He’s making friends with other teddies other kids have thrown out. Do you miss Teddy?’

‘No,’ she said.

We drove the rest of the way home in silence as I battled the guilts big time and did everything in my power to not race into the laundry and bring Teddy out of hiding.

Poor Teddy, just like the velveteen rabbit. Once so loved and now left abandoned holed up in a cupboard until her 21st.

I hope we made the right decision not bringing him out of hiding.

It is comforting to know that it was her decision, it happened very naturally for her, and she is coping well without him most of the time.

This parenting gig is hard sometimes.

What would you have done? Does/did your child have a comforter? What age did he/she give it up?

Linking up today with EssentiallyJess for IBOT.

 

71 comments on It’s time to go … Teddy

  1. Lydia C. Lee
    February 10, 2015 at 5:54 am (3 years ago)

    My daughter still sleeps with ‘dirty dolly’ thus named because I brought a replacement, that is still pristine (I did wash it a few times and dirty it up so it would be more appealing, but no!). Only in bed tho…so as far as I’m concerned, Dirty Dolly can stay until she gets left in a hotel somewhere or actually disintegrates, whichever comes first.

    Reply
    • mummywifeme
      mummywifeme
      February 10, 2015 at 10:21 pm (3 years ago)

      Lol. Yep, I know what you mean. I don’t think Teddy was too far off disintegrating.

      Reply
    • mummywifeme
      mummywifeme
      February 10, 2015 at 10:21 pm (3 years ago)

      It sure was, Leanne.

      Reply
  2. Josefa @always Josefa
    February 10, 2015 at 6:10 am (3 years ago)

    Oh this is HUGE! What a very mature and brace decision. My boys still have their teddies and I secretly hope they keep them for some time to come. Well done to support her and stand by her, even though he is hiding in the cupboard – I would have totally done that too. Goes to show, you think you have this parenting gig all sorted, and then kids compeltely take you by surprise!

    Reply
    • mummywifeme
      mummywifeme
      February 10, 2015 at 10:21 pm (3 years ago)

      I know! They are cunning little creatures šŸ™‚

      Reply
  3. Martine@themodernparent
    February 10, 2015 at 6:15 am (3 years ago)

    I always say ‘whatever works for the child’ (within reason) is usually ok and that parents shouldn’t get too caught up in worrying about getting rid of whatever it is that comforts a child. But as this was her decision it does show enormous growth and she is probably very proud of herself. It is hard seeing our kids let go of things they once loved but also shows what a great job you are doing in helping her on her journey towards independence.

    Reply
    • mummywifeme
      mummywifeme
      February 10, 2015 at 10:23 pm (3 years ago)

      Thanks for your kind words, Martine. Yes, I think she is very proud of herself, but there have been those low times where she has second guessed her decision. We just comfort her in whatever way we can. It’s such a strange situation her wanting to get rid of him. They always keep us guessing, don’t they?

      Reply
  4. Vicki @ Knocked Up and Abroad
    February 10, 2015 at 7:07 am (3 years ago)

    Oh I feel sad for the little darling heart but how ace that she showed that initiative herself to give up teddy. Amazing that you didn’t have to as parents. That would have been the WORST! I think you have done the right thing by keeping teddy away. If she was too distraught he would have re-appeared and that would have been the right thing too but sounds like she is trying so hard to be a big girl and winning. High fiving you guys right now! x

    Reply
    • mummywifeme
      mummywifeme
      February 10, 2015 at 10:24 pm (3 years ago)

      Thanks Vicki. Yes, I feel sad for the little darling heart too, but she’s okay. Growing braver and more confident by the day. x

      Reply
  5. Raychael aka Mystery Case
    February 10, 2015 at 7:34 am (3 years ago)

    My middle child had a little lamb ‘lambie’ that my mother gifted here when she was 1 and I was in intensive care following the birth of her younger sister who was ten weeks early. While it didn’t hang off her, it did move with us each relocation with hubby’s work and was always not far from her bed each night. It’s only been the last couple of years, since starting high school that I’ve noticed he moved into her glory box and appears to be out of mind and out of sight.

    Reply
    • mummywifeme
      mummywifeme
      February 10, 2015 at 10:25 pm (3 years ago)

      Ahh little lambie. It’s lovely she still keeps her in her glory box and hasn’t thrown her out.

      Reply
  6. Dannielle @ zamamabakes
    February 10, 2015 at 8:00 am (3 years ago)

    What a little sweetheart. It’s so nice when they do it on their own. We had a dummy boy and a thumb sucking/wrappy girl. Dummy boy binned the dummies at two and a half but thumb sucking wrappy girl was five and a 1/2 before she stopped doing both herself. Funny how they eventually just find the time that’s right for them.
    Precious memories that’s for sure xx

    Reply
    • mummywifeme
      mummywifeme
      February 10, 2015 at 10:26 pm (3 years ago)

      Yes, they sure do. We have a thumb sucker too and I’ve wondered when she will eventually give it away. She’s only two though, so plenty of time yet šŸ™‚ x

      Reply
  7. Jayne
    February 10, 2015 at 8:16 am (3 years ago)

    Well done Curly locks, what a big girl you are now xx

    Reply
    • mummywifeme
      mummywifeme
      February 10, 2015 at 10:26 pm (3 years ago)

      Thanks Aunty Jayne xx

      Reply
  8. Caitlin
    February 10, 2015 at 8:22 am (3 years ago)

    Oh wow, what a big moment for you all. I would have done the exact same thing as you. Good on you for staying strong, you would have known if she didn’t have the resilience to cope without teddy. It’s hard to watch your precious ones grow up, but it’s all part of the beautiful tapestry of life that will make you look at a grown daughter one day with such pride.

    Reply
    • mummywifeme
      mummywifeme
      February 10, 2015 at 10:27 pm (3 years ago)

      What a lovely comment, Caitlin. Thank you šŸ™‚ You’ve made me smile x

      Reply
  9. Lauren @ Create Bake Make
    February 10, 2015 at 8:30 am (3 years ago)

    Wow, what a huge step! It’s a tough call, but I think you guys have done the right thing. Liam finds security in his ‘blanky’ which thankfully is any one of the multiple muslin wraps we have floating around. We haven’t really given any thought to how we are going to prise them away from him though.

    Reply
    • mummywifeme
      mummywifeme
      February 10, 2015 at 10:28 pm (3 years ago)

      Hopefully he will do it in his own time, just like our little one šŸ™‚

      Reply
  10. Zanni Louise
    February 10, 2015 at 8:49 am (3 years ago)

    There’s definitely a picture book in this dear story, Renee. What a little sweetie and brave girl your Curly-Locks is. Isn’t it amazing when they throw us a ball like that, and we wonder how they grew up so quickly! x

    Reply
    • mummywifeme
      mummywifeme
      February 10, 2015 at 10:28 pm (3 years ago)

      Oh I know! I’m still wondering how it all happened and wishing I could read her mind šŸ™‚ xx

      Reply
  11. Kathy
    February 10, 2015 at 9:54 am (3 years ago)

    This is so sweet – what a brave little girl. I love your line about Teddy making new friends at the dump. I have to say that Miss 11.5 still has her blanket at night. She doesn’t NEED it but it is still there.

    Reply
    • mummywifeme
      mummywifeme
      February 10, 2015 at 10:29 pm (3 years ago)

      I kept my teddy bear Blue Ted right up until the floods in 2010. He got soaked and couldn’t swim, so we had to throw the poor guy out šŸ™

      Reply
  12. Me
    February 10, 2015 at 10:29 am (3 years ago)

    Definitely don’t bring Teddy out. When K was little she threw her dummie away on a Friday afternoon. What we didn’t know was that our maid had taken them out the bin and put them in our pasta pot. So, over the weekend when she said she needed a dummie, we reminded her that she had thrown them away. About 6 or 8 months later we found them in the pasta pot and put them into the bin – she never missed them after that initial weekend.
    Good luck !

    Reply
    • mummywifeme
      mummywifeme
      February 10, 2015 at 10:30 pm (3 years ago)

      Ahh thank God for that! Thank you šŸ™‚

      Reply
  13. Erin
    February 10, 2015 at 11:08 am (3 years ago)

    This reminds me of when my brother was little, he is 16 yrs younger than me. He had a Bottle, the only one of the eight of us to do so. He was way way past the acceptable age, probably about 4, anyhow one day we talked him into throwing it onto the fire. He asked for it that night and the night after, we calmly reminded that he burnt it. No more bottle.

    big move on Curly Locks behalf, though I can easily imagine you standing there in shock:)

    Reply
    • mummywifeme
      mummywifeme
      February 11, 2015 at 5:53 am (3 years ago)

      Wow! I bet he regretted throwing it on the fire lol. I’m glad he was able to get past it quickly enough šŸ™‚

      Reply
  14. Maxabella
    February 10, 2015 at 11:44 am (3 years ago)

    Lottie still has her beloved Pinkie – he’s tattered and a blanket, but she doesn’t seem to notice that. He’s just her friend and always has been. It’s so sad to think that Teddy didn’t quite make it. x

    PS – There is a ‘doll’s hospital’ in Sydney that fixes up teddies. My sister Al sent her boy’s teddy there four years ago (she blogged about it here: http://allisontait.com/2010/06/theres-a-bear-in-there-somewhere/). You’ll be pleased to know that Bronte Bear is still alive and kicking and very much still loved.

    Reply
    • mummywifeme
      mummywifeme
      February 11, 2015 at 5:58 am (3 years ago)

      Thanks so much for linking that story. I just read it. Such a gorgeous story. Thank God Bronte was found after her $200 facelift xx

      Reply
  15. Emily @ Have A Laugh On Me
    February 10, 2015 at 11:53 am (3 years ago)

    Oh bless what a big move. My nearly 7yo still has her nigh nighs and she’s less reliant on it but I can’t see her giving it away anytime soon. So glad you kept for her to reunite with when she’s older.

    Reply
    • mummywifeme
      mummywifeme
      February 11, 2015 at 5:59 am (3 years ago)

      I was saying to Dave last night, do you think we should give it back? Argh. Maybe in a few years time we will when we know she’s not going to get addicted again. I love that name nigh nighs. So cute.

      Reply
  16. Malinda @mybrownpaperpackages
    February 10, 2015 at 12:14 pm (3 years ago)

    What a big step for her to take on her own. I always let my kids lead the way for when they are ready for things – using the toilet, moving to a bed etc. I’d go with it, support her through the tough days and she will be fine.

    Reply
    • mummywifeme
      mummywifeme
      February 11, 2015 at 6:00 am (3 years ago)

      Thanks Malinda. I am learning to let my kids lead the way too. Not always an easy thing for me to do šŸ™‚

      Reply
  17. EssentiallyJess
    February 10, 2015 at 1:31 pm (3 years ago)

    As parent of a child with a dirty looking comforter, I say embrace it! If she’s done it on her own, and not regretted it, that’s awesome. That’s the dream, and it speaks volumes of your parenting that she has the ability to make that decision and self control to stick to it.
    It was a big day for us yesterday because the cuski stayed in the bag at kindy the whole day. I can’t wait till it can be left at home.

    Reply
    • mummywifeme
      mummywifeme
      February 11, 2015 at 6:01 am (3 years ago)

      Hooray!!! Yes, I know exactly what you mean. It is such a big move. She will get there eventually. Mind you I had my Blue Ted until 2010. I didn’t carry him around all the time though lol. Thanks for this comment, Jess x

      Reply
  18. Michelle@myslowlivingadventure.wordpress.com
    February 10, 2015 at 2:45 pm (3 years ago)

    Very sweet, and brave! My eldest is 7 and is still fiercely attached to his Momo monkey. It’s usually us that really doesn’t want them to grow up. Great she did it all herself!

    Reply
    • mummywifeme
      mummywifeme
      February 11, 2015 at 6:02 am (3 years ago)

      Yes, I know. Having her making such a big statement like this is a great reminder that my baby is not a baby anymore. I love that name Momo šŸ™‚

      Reply
  19. Janet aka Middle Aged Mama
    February 10, 2015 at 8:14 pm (3 years ago)

    I think you did the right thing, rescuing Teddy “just in case” but honouring her decision to be a big girl now. Mr 20 has a little pillow from babyhood, would you believe he still takes it to bed with him but it’s so dingy and grotty and threadbare, I can’t wash it because it would disintegrate but he refuses to part with it!

    Reply
    • mummywifeme
      mummywifeme
      February 11, 2015 at 6:02 am (3 years ago)

      Aww that’s cute, Janet!!

      Reply
  20. Emily
    February 10, 2015 at 8:37 pm (3 years ago)

    Huge day! Ashleigh never had a toy that special – she had two that always had to appear in bed, but when I mentioned them the other day she had NO idea what I was talking about. Mitchell on the other hand cannot be separated from his favourite bears. Plural. Fuzzy, Grizz and Pooh. The Three Muskebears. They’re practically sewn to his hands.

    Reply
    • mummywifeme
      mummywifeme
      February 11, 2015 at 6:03 am (3 years ago)

      Awww that is so cute!!! The three Muskebears. I hope you’re taking plenty of photos of him and his bear buddies for his 21st šŸ™‚

      Reply
  21. JodiGibson (@JFGibsonWriter)
    February 10, 2015 at 8:39 pm (3 years ago)

    What a big girl indeed and I’m so glad you saved Teddy from the dump! She will love to see it again one day. Our girls have comforters but they only ever had them in bed or if they were sick/extra tired. They still have them, but aren’t dependent on them, but they do like knowing they are there.

    Reply
    • mummywifeme
      mummywifeme
      February 11, 2015 at 6:04 am (3 years ago)

      We really hoped Curly-locks would get to the stage where she wouldn’t be dependent on them, but she was addicted until the last day when she decided to go cold turkey lol!

      Reply
  22. Sonia Life Love Hiccups
    February 10, 2015 at 9:24 pm (3 years ago)

    This made me really teary. My oldest son still has his teddy in his room and he is 13. He will not part with it. It usually sits on his shelf but every now and then I find it in the bed. My 10 year old just sent his to the cupboard and the youngest has never really been attached to any one teddy. What a big moment for your precious little girl and how brave is she! xx

    Reply
    • mummywifeme
      mummywifeme
      February 11, 2015 at 6:05 am (3 years ago)

      Thanks Sonia šŸ™‚ How sweet that you sometimes find your 13 year old’s teddy in bed with him. I just love it when kids get addicted to their cuddlies. It is just so cute xx

      Reply
  23. Lisa@RandomActsOfZen
    February 10, 2015 at 10:24 pm (3 years ago)

    This is so beautiful Renee, such a little trooper! Isn’t it lovely how your baby made the decision in her own time?
    I think you’ve done the right thing, but it’s still nice that he’s not really at the dump.
    Bell has had Teddy since she was born, and still has him at night, and she’s almost 12. Poor old Ted is a bit worse for wear, but still has a special place. I actually don’t think i’m ready to give him up just yet xx

    Reply
    • mummywifeme
      mummywifeme
      February 11, 2015 at 6:06 am (3 years ago)

      No I can imagine you’re not ready to give him up just yet either. It’s good he’s a just at night thing. We were hoping to get to that stage with Curly, but never got there šŸ™‚ xx

      Reply
  24. Druime@SnippetsandSpirits
    February 10, 2015 at 11:16 pm (3 years ago)

    I love your bravery Curly Locks ! It seems like she knows when the time is right and that is the way it should be. I think you did the right thing for her but keep teddy safe and warm for the next 20 years she will love to cuddle him when she is an even bigger girl.

    Reply
    • mummywifeme
      mummywifeme
      February 11, 2015 at 6:07 am (3 years ago)

      Yes, I bet she will! I can’t wait to see the look on her face. Gosh, I feel a little cruel šŸ™

      Reply
  25. Katie
    February 11, 2015 at 5:22 am (3 years ago)

    Wow!! Your daughter sounds absolutely adorable. As a first time reader, I can’t wait to poke around more! I had a Piggy instead of a Teddy. What an amazing moment in your household.

    Reply
    • mummywifeme
      mummywifeme
      February 11, 2015 at 6:08 am (3 years ago)

      Thanks so much, Katie. I’m glad you dropped in. Please stay a while šŸ™‚

      Reply
  26. Natalie @ Our Parallel Connection
    February 11, 2015 at 5:30 am (3 years ago)

    I had to get rid of a small blanket when one of my daughters was 2 yrs old. She used to suck in constantly ( and I washed it constantly) but it made her very sick (cold type sick) and I put it down to the blanket. We spent months of sleepless nights and heartache. This child still clings to things so I think it is just in her nature.

    Reply
    • mummywifeme
      mummywifeme
      February 11, 2015 at 6:09 am (3 years ago)

      Your story really is like the velveteen rabbit, Natalie. Yes, I think it is their nature for some of them.

      Reply
  27. Grace
    February 11, 2015 at 4:09 pm (3 years ago)

    That is a massive sign and giant step for her. I don’t think you could’ve handled the situation any better than you did because well, you know her best.
    When we weaned the boys off their dummies we all went to the wheelie bins and said, “Bye bye”. They were 3 so it was a little different.
    Your girl is just super brave. You must be so proud x

    Reply
    • mummywifeme
      mummywifeme
      February 11, 2015 at 9:36 pm (3 years ago)

      Thanks Grace. Yes, we like to think we know her well and I think this was the best way forward šŸ™‚ x

      Reply
  28. Tegan
    February 11, 2015 at 4:19 pm (3 years ago)

    Wow that’s a big step for a little girl. It’s great that she did it on her own though, hopefully it will be a little more successful. Mr 5 has a family of stuffed animals but they don’t go out with us thankfully. My cousin who is 24 has a stuffed bear that he was given when he was born and he still keeps it around, although he doesn’t sleep with it or anything like that lol.

    Reply
    • mummywifeme
      mummywifeme
      February 11, 2015 at 9:37 pm (3 years ago)

      Lol. I must admit I had my first teddy up until just a few years ago šŸ™‚

      Reply
  29. Pinky Poinker
    February 11, 2015 at 4:40 pm (3 years ago)

    What a beautiful story Renee. And what a brave little girl. I’ve been watching all the preppies walking into school over the last two weeks and many of them are carrying snuggly toys. It’s so cute. I kept my son’s Cabbage Patch Doll and brought it out at his 21st!

    Reply
    • mummywifeme
      mummywifeme
      February 11, 2015 at 9:38 pm (3 years ago)

      I bet he loved that, Pinky!!! That’s so cute you’ve seen preppies taking their snugglies to school šŸ™‚

      Reply
  30. Peachy Keen Mumma - Jess
    February 12, 2015 at 1:14 pm (3 years ago)

    Oh my gosh, they do surprise us constantly. This is a huge step. Made me a little teary the way you told it. Little girl growing up so quickly. How beautiful!

    Reply
    • mummywifeme
      mummywifeme
      February 12, 2015 at 9:19 pm (3 years ago)

      Thank you. I feel a little teary about it too šŸ™‚

      Reply
  31. Tash @ Gift Grapevine
    February 12, 2015 at 3:02 pm (3 years ago)

    Gorgeous story Renee and what a big decision your little girl made all on her own. Her reaction when you reproduce teddy when she is older will be priceless. I’m so happy my parents kept my special “Mim” Minnie Mouse toy from when I was little. My kids love seeing it now. They both have teddies like your daughter’s but they stay at home. It’s hard enough trying to find teddy around the house let alone losing him out and about. Those things each need a GPS tracker.

    Reply
    • mummywifeme
      mummywifeme
      February 12, 2015 at 9:20 pm (3 years ago)

      Oh they sure do. We’ve had some close calls!

      Reply
  32. Bec @ The Plumbette
    February 12, 2015 at 3:42 pm (3 years ago)

    Aww curly locks I just want to give you a hug! A big defining moment to give up her comfort. Esther never took to a teddy but she drew comfort from her dummies and only gave them up around a year ago. It took time for her to get used to life without them. Magdalene on the other hand has two teddies she sleeps with and takes with her and she definitely finds comfort from them. I’m glad you retrieved teddy from the bin. I want to keep a box with all the special toys and blankets from when my girls were/ are little as they form part of their history.

    Reply
    • mummywifeme
      mummywifeme
      February 12, 2015 at 9:20 pm (3 years ago)

      Yes definitely. Some things you just can’t throw out šŸ™‚

      Reply
  33. Bec
    February 12, 2015 at 7:20 pm (3 years ago)

    Oh that’s so tough! My eldest has a yellow teddy exactly like that one that he takes to bed every night. In the past 6 months he’s added a similar beige teddy and an Olaf pillow, so we’re getting MORE teddies instead of fewer! I think you did the right thing – if she wants to give it up, then it seems right to support it. She’ll be glad you kept teddy though, when she’s older:)

    Reply
    • mummywifeme
      mummywifeme
      February 12, 2015 at 9:21 pm (3 years ago)

      Haha yes! I am having that problem with my youngest at the moment. Her bed is very full of a night šŸ™‚

      Reply
  34. Christine @ Adventure, Baby!
    March 6, 2015 at 4:32 pm (3 years ago)

    Oh this broke my heart! My 3.5 year old still sleeps with her baby doll at night and I think she she decides she doesn’t need it any more I’ll be sader than she is. I will def store it away like you did. Good on you for getting it out of the trash – you must be so proud of her šŸ™‚

    Reply
  35. Johanna
    March 7, 2015 at 11:57 am (3 years ago)

    This is so sweet, brave little Curly-locks! Such a good move to get it out of the trash…

    Reply
    • mummywifeme
      mummywifeme
      March 11, 2015 at 7:42 pm (3 years ago)

      Thanks Johanna. We were so proud of her šŸ™‚

      Reply

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