Skyler’s been obsessed with Mickey Mouse Clubhouse for several months now. Even though we cancelled cable and no longer have every episode on DVR, we bought one DVD with 4 episodes and she is still happy to watch those same 4 over and over and over. She’s got them all memorized. Luckily, her birthday is coming up, and I suspect she’ll get lots of Mickey Mouse themed items, and I’m hoping hoping hoping that we’ll get some new DVD’s to add some variety to the episode selection we have. She may be content, but I’ve had enough. All in all, though, I find Mickey Mouse Clubhouse to be one of the more tolerable kids’ shows. Maybe b/c the characters are familiar from my own childhood, I don’t know. But I also find it funny that this is her obsession, as I was running my marathon through Disney World as she was just days into forming in my stomach. My experience with Disney World was that I will never go there again, or give one dime to that over-priced commercial playground that hypnotizes kids and demoralizes parents. And of course my kid (who’s most impressionable hours MUST HAVE BEEN during that time I was running through Disney World) ends up in LOVE with Mickey Mouse! Well not so much Mickey but Goofy, the DUMB DORKY one! Go-oorsh! Anyway, I must admit that a tiny part of me wants someday to see the excitement on Skyler’s face as she steps into Disney World and is surrounded by these characters that she’s grown to love. But ugh. The price. The crowd of kids. The kids on LEASHES. True story the only place I’ve seen kids on leashes like dogs was at Disney World.
Anyway, a couple weeks ago Skyler came home from spending the weekend with her grandma and got her first trip to the Disney store at the mall. They came home with a small plush Goofy and Mickey, and she’s been inseparable from them since then. They go to bed with her, in the car with her, to daycare with her. She feeds them with an old baby bottle and makes little beds for them, pats their backs and hugs them goodnight.
But who is missing from this picture? That’s right, Pink Bear. Her long time best buddy, otherwise known as P.B., Pink-a-bear, or Pinkest of All Bears. He’s faded, dirty, and floppy. Gone are the days he could sit up by himself. He can often be found among Skyler’s toys and blankets, sometimes alongside Mickey and Goofy, but usually only because we made Skyler invite him to the party. When I ask her if she forgot Pink Bear as we’re leaving for the day, she answers with “No, I don’t need him. I’ve got Goofy and Mickey.”
A few days ago we were cleaning the house. Skyler brought Pink Bear to me and said “I don’t want Pink Bear anymore. We can throw him in the trash.”
I’ll admit I almost got teary, and my heart hurt a little for Pink Bear. He’s been a part of this family since he came to her rescue at Children’s Mercy Hospital, nearly 2 1/2 years ago. I always pictured her carrying him around forever. But her snazzy new brightly colored Disney friends came along, leaving Pink Bear in the dust. I told Skyler that we don’t treat old friends that way by throwing them away, and that she should always love Pink Bear as her first best friend and treat him nicely. So of course I did not throw him away.
When she goes to sleep, I still lay him with her and all her other stuffed toys and blankets. I go in to get her in the mornings and she wakes up holding tightly to Pink Bear, plucking his fur absent-mindedly between her index and middle fingers as she’s done since she was a baby. And I know then that it’s not over, her friendship with Pink Bear. It may be different and they may drift apart, but there will always be that special bond between a child and their first teddy bear. Even if she moves on, he’ll always have a place in our home and I’ll make sure Pink Bear is taken care of, because he took such great care of her and brought happiness and joy to her little life.