Monday, October 14, 2013

My #1 Parenting Tip | Mama Advice

My #1 Parenting Tip | Lone Star Signers, San Antonio, Texas

I've been a mama for over five years now, and I love sharing my tips with new moms. This is SO simple, but VERY important to the long-term happiness of your child. <3

But first, a little backstory. Including adorable photos of my children, naturally.

This is my oldest daughter Adeline on her first birthday. The stuffed animal on the blanket is her lovey, Snuggle Puppy. He was a gift on her first Valentine's Day, way back in 2009.

Give yourself a high-five if you're singing the Snuggle Puppy song right now. (My husband's version is more of a scat, but it's not on YouTube...yet. *wink*)

This is Addie and Snuggle Puppy way back in April 2011. Note his important role in naptime. (Note also the pink and white cow next to her...it will be important in just a minute.)
February 2012: Addie & Snuggle Puppy with new family members Kate & Winston the bear. Sadly, Winston has no song. He just looked like a distinguished bear upon first meeting.

Our girls in February 2013. Please note Winston's "loved" appearance and necessary participation in family walks.

This picture is from three weeks ago. Winston is slightly out of camera, but you can see 4.5 year old Snuggle Puppy hanging out in our hotel at Disneyland. (And call us crazy, but Snuggle Puppy & Winston actually had their very own locker AT Disneyland...they are THAT important to our girls.)

What's our secret?

TWO Snuggle Puppies!

And THREE Winstons. :)

Way back before I was a mama, I was an Assistant Manager at a Hallmark store. I cannot tell you how many moms came into our store over the years, frantically searching for a duplicate of their child's favorite toy. And sadly, most of the time, they left our store empty-handed. (There are now websites like this and this to help with this exact situation.) 

I vowed in those moments: "I will ALWAYS have a duplicate lovey for my child!"

When Addie attached herself to Snuggle Puppy, I immediately purchased an identical dog (along with the pink & white cow "Penelope", which sadly never lived up to Snuggle Puppy standards). We diligently swapped him out every night so he would be equally "loved"...and Addie never knew! (Now that she's five, it's not a secret anymore. In fact, she helped me re-stuff them both this weekend.)

Kate has loved Winston since she was a wee little thing. He goes EVERYWHERE with us. And Kate, being a second child, has long been aware of the fact that she has TWO Winstons and insists on sleeping with BOTH of them every night. 

It should come as no surprise, then, that when he was once "misplaced" for about two weeks, I bought a *third* Winston from Amazon and had him rush-shipped to our house. When Winston #2 miraculously reappeared in our trunk, we all rejoiced! 

It's interesting to note that our girls are not fans of stuffed animals, in general. They have several on display in their room, but only Snuggle Puppy and Winston have become beloved members of our family. I *love* that my girls each have a special friend that they treasure and I'm very thankful that we've never had a "missing lovey" catastrophe!

Tell me: Does your child have a lovey? Has it ever been misplaced?
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  1. Great story! And you know mine, because it includes YOU! Your baby blanket, your lovely, became a 'take everywhere" and 'be included in everything' kind of blanket. You HAD to have it to sleep, and only that one blanket would do. My grandmother lovingly made it for you. It was lost in a store once (I believe it was JCP) and we had to circle back and search the floors til we found it. And once you left it at preschool and would NOT go to sleep without it, so I had to call the Director of the preschool and she happily met me back there at 9pm so I could get your 'blankie' for you ... It will always be a treasured memory in our family!!

    1. We left Winston at church once and had to go back to get him after the nursery had already been cleaned and locked. (The teacher must have thought the bear belonged to the classroom.) I tracked down a janitor to have him open the classroom for me. :)

  2. This just may be the best parenting tip ever (says the mom who didn't have a replacement lovie and suffered the consequences!).


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