All of my kids have a special affiliation with a specific animal. For Gracie it has always been about ladybugs. For Dominick – it is monkeys, and for Annie it is bunnies. Sophie is no different – except it has always been two animals: giraffes and lambs. Her original two companions are a stuffed lamb that
the Easter Bunny got Sophie for her first Easter and a giraffe blanket that one of Melani’s best friends got her when she was born. Since Sophie’s vocabulary and pronunciation were obviously very limited because of her age, the lamb has always been known simply as Ba Ba and her giraffe blanket as Giagge. Sophie’s two buddies are nearly inseparable (and indeed she is inseparable from them) so they soon became known as GiaggeBaba – all one word/name. Think Brangelina here or Bennifer.
But as Sophie has gotten older – she has branched out socially. She has become a fan of Sesame Street and has acquired some new companions. She has Elmo, Grover, Oscar, Elmo Soccer, Count Von Count and a hodge-podge of other characters like Daniel Tiger and Miss Elaina from PBS television shows like Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood. The cast of characters – or friends, seems to grow by the day, and now includes a very diverse group of which there is even a Pez dispenser Spider Man and a flying fairy. She loves to cart them around and stand them up in lines and semi-circles. Sophie then takes them down and starts all over again someplace new. She also likes to switch the transport vehicle from one “‘tainer” to another or “different ‘tainer”.
But these companions are most definitely separate and distinct from her buddies. She refers to these new companions strictly as her friends – and it seems to be much more a relationship of convenience as opposed to the deeper relationship of trust & loyalty she shares with her buddies. In times of need or when Sophie wants comforting – it is not her friends she turns to – but rather her buddies! And the kid is a stickler on the distinction! You do not want to confuse her friends and her buddies. In-fact it is a mistake you would definitely make just once!
How true in life too! We all have relationships that are just convenient because we are at the same station in life, have kids at the same school, or on the same team. But there are those others with people who we can really trust and rely on in times of need. Our rocks. I just never expected to see it ( or be reminded of it) in someone as young as two. But such are universal truths – positively immutable. Always remember who your true buddies in life are!
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