Today I welcome author Tara Lazar. Thank you, Tara, for stopping by to share your plushthora of childhood loveys!
And now, here’s Tara.
Oh, if ever there were a lovey lover, it was wee little Tara.
I had many a lovey—an entire plushthora of loveys. (My collective noun for stuffed animals.) In fact, I brought several of those loveys TO COLLEGE. (I told you I was a lovey-er.)
I remember Yellow Puff, a small beanbag bunny that I brought to first-grade Show-and-Tell, telling my classmates that I owned her for five years. My teacher exclaimed, “Five years, that’s such a long time!” (And now I know, it’s not. It’s a blazing-fast blur.)
I recall the St. Bernard I received for my birthday one year and how my little brother swatted him into the bath. He never stood up straight again. (The lovey, not my brother.)
Then there was Snoopy. And Rolf. Henrietta Horse, Gettysburg Dog and Sharpie. (He was an alligator you could write on—with a Sharpie, of course. The name served two purposes.)
But probably the most lovey-est of loveys was one I hardly recall toting in public. My parents told me that at age two, I dragged a poor Raggedy Ann doll by her leg until she earned her name.
Once I stopped lugging her everywhere, she took a permanent position of prominence on the white wicker chair in my bedroom. All the other stuffed animals piled high atop my bookshelf, but Raggedy Ann held court on the Queen’s Throne of Plushieland.
Raggedy Ann is the one stuffed toy from childhood I still own. I wanted my daughters to get attached to her, like I was, but no one ever told me that your children are not clones of you. I had to learn it like every other parent. I sat Raggedy Ann in a position of prominence atop their bookshelf, but they were frightened of her, looming over them. She’s doomed to spend eternity buried in a closet, the dungeon of Plushieland.
My daughters, now past lovey age, never got attached to toys. But it’s not for my lack of trying. That’s why we have 2,749 stuffed animals in our home. The moment they showed interest in a fluffy pal, I bought it, hoping it would be THE ONE. But no one ever told me that your children want everything in a store. I had to learn it like every other parent.
For most of their early years, my daughters clung to me. And I admit, it was nice. Were there times I wished they could find solace with something else to squeeze? Yes, I won’t lie. I felt raggedy myself, being dragged by the leg. I could have used a break sometimes and offered up a sticky, dirty—yet cuddly—Smelly Baby instead. But, oh, if ever there were a lovey, it was big mommy Tara.
Street magic performer. Hog-calling champion. Award-winning ice sculptor. These are all things Tara Lazar has never been. Instead, she writes quirky, humorous picture books. Her debut THE MONSTORE released in 2013, with I THOUGHT THIS WAS A BEAR BOOK and LITTLE RED GLIDING HOOD following in Fall 2015. NORMAL NORMAN made his entrance in March 2016 and you can stay up WAY PAST BEDTIME in April 2017. If you know the answer to “Why was 6 afraid of 7?” then you’ll love her book 7 ATE 9, coming from Disney*Hyperion next June.
Discover original stories, book reviews and giveaways at her award-winning blog “Writing for Kids (While Raising Them)” at TaraLazar.com.