Today’s blog is all about Mr. Whale. That’s right, Molly’s beloved whale has become such a staple in our household that he gets an entire blog dedicated just to him! Ha! My husband Kevin even co-hosts a radio show in LA (Valentine in the Morning – 104.3 Myfm) where they have been talking about Mr. Whale and getting TONS of text messages from listeners writing in to discuss the topic of children being attached to toys or blankets! And the other day I did some Instagram stories tell you guys about how I was searching for a duplicate of Molly’s whale because I was so worried about her losing him and being devastated – and worried about it getting super gross. Anyway, after I did those Instagram stories I was surprised by some of the DM’s I got and comments on a completely unrelated blog post, saying that they thought I was doing her disservice by getting a second whale. First, let me say that this post isn’t to get in an argument with those people! That’s not what my blogs about. My blog is about sharing opinions and experiences even if they are extremely different. I want this to be a safe place where people can talk about their experiences in motherhood and womanhood! I will say that some of the comments I got about Mr. Whale were mean-spirited. But for the most part, many just wanted to start a dialogue. So I thought why not dedicate an entire blog post to it. So here it is.
Let me explain the Mr. Whale situation. Mr. Whale is a stuffed animal that Molly’s uncle Ryan gave to her about a year ago. When she first got it she didn’t show more interest in it than any of her other stuff animals. Honestly, most of her stuffed animals sat on a shelf in her play area and she never touched them. I guess I always imagined that when my daughter picked a favorite toy she would pick it the moment it was given to her and I would immediately be able to buy a back up if I wanted to. Well that’s not how it happened for her and based on a lot of comments and DMs I got from you guys it didn’t happen that way for many of your kids either.
It wasn’t until about two months ago that Molly was starting to get attached to Mr. Whale. All the sudden Mr. Whale went from being just one of her stuffed animals that never got played with to her very best friend never left her side! It seriously happened overnight. Not only can she not sleep without Mr. Whale, but she doesn’t even like to leave him in the other room when she goes into another room. She tells him how much she loves him dozens of times a day and gives him the biggest snuggles that her little heart can muster up! Then shall proceed to ask me, Kevin, Riley, and Owen (our Poochie) to hug him as well. I’ve truly never seen a little person so in love with anything in my entire life! It’s honestly very sweet but also made me panic a little bit.
What is something happened to Mr. Whale? What if I came home from work one day and Owen had mistaken him for a toy and ripped him to shreds? What if we leave him at a hotel one day and couldn’t possibly getting back? What if we left him at Grammys house on a trip to Massachusetts and had to wait for her to get to the post office to mail him back? Would Molly just not sleep for a few days? Probably. And there would be tears. So so so many tears. And look, I get losing things and having to say goodbye as a part of life. I get it. I also get that it’s important that as Molly’s mother I teach her that loss is a part of life. Some of the criticism I got about trying to get another Whale was saying that I was making life seem like rainbows and butterflies for her. And that’s just not true. I want to prepare my daughter for the worst! But I’m also gonna do every damn thing in my power to protect her from the worst! Like any mother would do for their child.
So we have talks about the fact that Mr. Whale might not always be around. We also gave him boundaries. She’s not allowed to bring Mr. Whale to school, parties, in stores, or really anywhere we go outside of our house and other family members houses. If she brings them in the car, which she does whenever we go anywhere, she knows that he stays in the car and waits for her in her car seat until she gets back. I want to teach those boundaries. I want her to know he can’t be there every possible second with her.
But if buying another whale as a backup is going to keep her from shedding even one tear I’m going to do it! Look, I’m no child development psychologist, I don’t know if what I’m doing is the right thing to do. But I do know that my instinct as her mother is to protect her from little things like losing her best friend.
To be completely honest with you guys, the original reason I started looking for another whale isn’t even necessarily because I was afraid she was going to lose it. It was because I saw what happened to my nieces favorite toy when my sister couldn’t find a back up. Let me explain.
My niece Lennon was given this super cute little baby doll with her name on it when she was born. It very quickly became Lennon’s favorite thing in the whole world. She named it “Doo doo” and I’m not 100% certain but it might even of been one of her first words. Not that Doo doo is even a word really. That’s why the doll got such a simple sounding name. Because it’s one of the first names/sounds she ever attached to an object herself. To Lennon, Doo doo was EVERYTHING!
Once my sister realized how much Lennon absolutely adored this doll she searched everywhere for a duplicate. She even ordered a couple dolls that look the exact same online but when they arrived they just weren’t the same doll. They look somewhat similar but Lennon knew right away (even at one years old) that it wasn’t the same doll. In a last ditch effort, my sister called the company that made the doll trying to get the exact one. No luck. So my sister Raya, like many parents out there, couldn’t get a replica to have as a back up. And as the years went on this is what Doo doo looks like now…
Ummm yeah. Doo doo has looked better. My sister has done everything in her power to wash and care for Doo doo over the last 6 years but with all the love my niece has given this doll there’s nothing anyone can do to help poor little Doo doo. And as much as I love my niece, I really don’t want my daughter caring around something that looks like this! Ha! So when I first thought about getting a duplicate whale it was mostly so it didn’t get super gross because I’ve witnessed what can happen with a extremely loved toy! Case and point – Doo doo. Ha! And as I started to search, I started thinking more and more about what would happen if she ever lost Mr. whale.
Btw – For those of you who have been following me for a while, look how BIG Lennon is now! She’s 6 and I feel like she was born yesterday! Time flies.
So part of me got it because I didn’t want her to feel hurt if it got lost and a huge part of me got it because I didn’t want her caring around a rag that used to be a whale. And he’s white! You know he’s going to get super dirty super-quick you no matter how many times I wash him! And I am sooo glad that I got the duplicate now instead of waiting for him to get really dirty. Because at that point, she would know the difference for sure!
In fact, I don’t only stand behind my decision to buy a back up but I’m honestly about to get online and order two or three more back up! I want to keep Mr. whale looking relatively white and clean for as long as possible. Ha!
Real quick though. I will admit that when I first gave her the imposter Mr. Whale I felt a bit of guilt. She definitely knew something was up when she first saw him. This new whale, even though I bought it used on eBay, was a lot fluffier than her extremely loved current whale. So when I gave it to her in the car she kept asking why he was all fluffy and feathery. She even got a few tears in her eyes at one point because he wasn’t quite the same to her. And honestly, that broke my heart! But she quickly got over it and hasn’t said a thing since! She loves the new Mr. Whale just as much as the other one we have hidden upstairs in our closet.
But at the end of the day, it’s not about the physical stuffed animal. It’s about the comfort that your child gets from that stuffed animal. So even though I know it’s not the same whale. She doesn’t know that. And Mr. Whale makes her feel safe and comfy and cozy! And I will do absolutely everything in anything in my power to make my child feel safe.
Real quick before I go I highly recommend any parents out there searching for a duplicate toy to check eBay. I have no idea why I didn’t think of it before. But I was posting stories to Instagram telling you guys how I had bought whales that had pictures online that looks the exact same but when they arrived they looked different. So then a bunch of you suggested I check eBay and I did and because I was able to see an exact picture of the whale I was buying that was gently used, I knew exactly what I was getting! I’m going to search for a few more to have extra back up! Just wanted to give any other parents out there who are in the same position as I am this little tip! And I am glad I got a back-up NOW while Mr. Whale is still relatively new looking instead of waiting until he is SO loved that a duplicate would never do! It would look way too different.
And lastly, if you would’ve asked me three years ago before I had kids if I would be writing blog posts entirely about a whale stuffed animal I would’ve told you that you’re crazy! Ha! Yet here I am doing exactly that. It’s so funny how motherhood completely changes everything.
I want encourage all of you guys to share your stories in the comments below! Maybe you disagree with what I’m doing or maybe you’ve done it with your child! I’d love to hear all opinions as long as they’re respectful. I’m not perfect. I’m not saying my way of doing things is the best way. I’m just opening up my blog as a place for me and others to share their experiences and learn from each other. Can’t wait to hear all of your stories!