My kids play with black plastic roaches! Yay!

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I climbed the stairs with the boys last night at bedtime, turned the dark corner at the top of the stairs, flicked on their bedroom light and ... [cue "Psycho" shower scene music] there were a terrifying amount of stuffed animals freakishly assembled in tidy little rows on Ewan's bed.

Before Liam started growing out of his allergies his allergist instructed that I ban stuffed animals from the house as they were nothing but dust magnets. I packed them all, save for each boy's teddy bear, in plastic bags and stored them in the bowels of our stone basement.  So instead of attaching themselves to stuffed animals, the boys started collecting plastic and rubber insects. Real life-looking insects like roaches, various bugs, and spiders. At any given point there are a dozen fake black spiders and roaches lying around the house in totally conspicuous places like the stairs, in the bathroom (if they take them in there to play while using "the office"). It scares the wits out of my friend Marjorie, who has asked me before what in holy Moses is that thing in the corner? We've gotten used to it and are acclimated to the creepiness factor. It kinds goes with the whole ancient, three-story brownstone aesthetic.


My parents, like any perfectly normal parents, don't always follow our rigid rules - and we know this because the boys always regal us with tales of their overnight stay at Nana and Pa-Pa's and how Nana and Pa-Pa let them have pure sugar from the bag right before their midnight bedtime and how Nana and Pa-Pa let them drink Mountain Dew and ride their bikes without helmets. My parents started buying Ewan stuffed animals and the allergist lifted the ban and he began hoarding them in the boys' playroom. I noticed that the number of animals he took to bed at night was increasing slightly. He went to bed with six on Sunday night, eight on Monday night; last night I counted twelve. I tried to edit them down to just the long-timers but OHMYGAWD NO. He acted like I set fire to his Thomas the Train DVDs, his angst was so great. He crumpled into a pile on his racecar bed and howled. I started adding them in, one by one until there was no room for him in his own bed. He jumped in, nestled in between a stuffed dinosaur and one of his weirdo rubber lizards with demon eyes, and went to sleep.


Digression: I had stuffed animals as a kid; they sat on my bedroom floor and lined the perimeter of the room. This was until one of my brat elementary school classmates told me a story her brother told her about a girl's killer teddy bear that wakes up at night and goes off killing people in the town. It climbed from underneath the girl's arm at night and tiptoed out of the house with a kitchen knife. One night it went after the girl and her mom cut the bear up in pieces but that night the pieces all marched out of the trashcan towards the girl's bedroom. Stupid, I know, but to an 8-year-old in the 80s it was terrifying. I tried to get rid of my stuffed animals but my mother kept putting some of them back in my room. I finally tied their hands together with my hair scrunchies. Shut up. I AM TOTALLY OVER IT NOW. /Digression

Ewan's obsession is fine until one of his animals falls out of bed which prompts him to wake up and yodel into the baby monitor until Chris or I retrieve it. This cannot become a pattern. I cannot be woken up night after night because some douchebag stuffed animal falls a whole foot from a plastic racecar bed. Because I'm wholly neurotic, I worry that Ewan's growing collection is an indication that he will grow up to be one of Those People who collect Beanie Babies and ride around town in his 80s-issued vehicle with a mountain of stuffed animals displayed in the back windshield.

He probably won't. But I'm drawing the line at this:


(There's a herd off-camera you aren't seeing.)


I so feel your pain. My 10 year old daughter, whom I keep thinking will grow out of the stuffed animal phase, has not. As a matter of fact, it is getting worse! She has, I kid you not, 168 webkinz/littlekinz!!! And I have bought 2 of them. The rest? A few here and there from birthday gifts, etc. However, her aunt -- I believe the 2 are sharing an OCD compulsion about these things. I cannot find my own daughter in her full size bed for all the Webkinz!!!

Dana-My (almost )5 year old daughter her so many stuffed animals, she could open her own store!! And not just little ones either, she has a few that are as big as she is! Each night when she goes to bed, I try to limit how many she can have in bed with her, (regular sized ones only,) and she says, so sweetly, "OK, Mommy." So, later, after she is fast asleep, I go in to check on her and find her in bed with 3-times as many animals as she had when I left!! Sneaky girl got up and gathered up some more friends for her own slumber party!!! So I gently remove some of them, and she slumbers on. She never says anything in the morning, so I am not sure she remembers how many she actually had in there with her. I do love to listen to her talk to them thru the baby monitor, when she is going to sleep. Ok, sometimes that is not good, when she says things I did not want her to overhear in the first place, but all in all, it's still pretty cute!! I hope she shows all creatures in her life, both animal and human, the love and affection she showers on these animals!

OK....where's the Dana-cam in my house?!?! Why just this morning I tossed two trash bags full of stuffed animals to the basement as they've been in bags almost 2 years in their closet and my 3 boys are oblivious that they exist any longer. God forbid that I touch their Webkinz though... just blame Grandma for those!

I'm not even going to go there.

I have a continual campaign to 'donate those to a baby who needs them', so far it's not working.

The first picture does make me wonder what you did with the niche on the one stair landing though...

I knew we had too many stuffed animals when my daughter was about to take a picture of her 100 stuffed animals for her "100th day of school" project.

We cut them down to one tub.

"I cannot be woken up night after night because some douchebag stuffed animal falls a whole foot from a plastic racecar bed."

Um, hi, funniest sentence I've read today. It would have been the whole week except I read a funny piece about why Crocs suck yesterday.

Sophie is a total hoarder. I feel your pain.

story of my life. Isabella had 4 Doras and seventy five frogs that live in her bed. and she screams when they fall out of her's a GREAT game we've been playing lately...

My son is just like this, only instead of stuffed animals, he collects every kind of ball on the planet, in every size, and he had to sleep with some of them, too. Aaaahhh!

My daughter has to have tons of stuffed animals, but different groups of them each night. It make the bedtime ritual even longer. Little does she know, I've discovered her dastardly plan & I can just move bedtime a bit earlier. Ha ha!

My Mom once told me the reason she and my Dad never got me a full sized bed (I slept in a twin until I moved out of my house, seriously) was for fear I would continue to drown myself in stuffed animals. But I turned out normal, right? (Please disregard any dancing you may have witnessed this past weekend.)

I had a lot of stuffed animals as a child. When I went away to college - yes as in I was 17 - my mom decided it was time to narrow down what I had. Unbeknownst to me, she kept them in a trashbag in the basement. I've never felt such joy as an almost 40 year old when this year we found the bag and I was reunited with them. Oddly after over 20 years, there were only a couple I had to keep.

Oh, and I didn't grow up to collect beanie babies and I don't allow anything personal in my car. I am however an engineer. Draw your own conclusions.

I used to sleep in a full-sized bed with animals lined up on each side of me. It was a defense -- I had convinced myself it would fool the vampires. All I knew of vampires came from commercials for scary movies in the 70s. Sometimes your children have great reasons for crazy behavior! My daughters currently "give" me Webkinz to sleep with because my husband isn't ready for a puppy. The only time I had a beanie baby problem was when I was pregnant, so, for that, I take a pass. And there is nothing personal in my car.

ugh. those cockroaches may win you the most tolerant mother award in my book.

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I don't wanna see it if it's just a plastic toy.

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Maybe the funniest line I've ever read (though you have a lot to choose from) is the one about "Those People who collect Beanie Babies and ride around town in his 80s-issued vehicle with a mountain of stuffed animals displayed in the back windshield." Because every time I see that on the highway I wonder why that person thinks that's acceptable. And why doesn't that person have anyone who loves him who will tell him that stuffed animals in cars at the age of 35 is unacceptable?

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Dana asks: "Thanksgiving Traditions: Yours or Your Mother's?"