hurry up, your friends are waiting

When I was younger, I had a healthy interest in stuffed animals.  (We're only going to go with "healthy interest" here rather than "unhealthy obsession", because I'd like to think that I still turned out ok without any lingering attachment issues.)  As I have already shown, I believe this collection was started before I was born by my parents. Along with the pig (which I don't have anymore), I had bears, others pigs, dogs, and a sock monkey.  Once I was old enough, I got to name these friends of mine, and I think this is really where my creativety started to shine at an early age.

Let's see, we had Teddy (a teddy bear), Big Bear (a big teddy bear), New Bear (he was new when we got him, ok?), Old Bear (perhaps he was just Bear before New Bear?), Puppy, and Socks (the sock monkey).

I know; looking back, I think my intellect was readily apparent even then.  Later in life, we added a pig puppet that was sort of purplish-brown and I thought it looked like he had been in the mud.  And he had fur.  His name?  Mudfur.

Hold your applause.

Each night, one of these lucky creatures would get to join me in bed for a good snuggle and chat.  The chat was not imagniary - often times, one of my obliging parents (most often Dad, if I recall) would provide the voice and other end of the conversation.  I also remember one night when I didn't get into bed before the news came on at nine o'clock and there was no talking stuffed animal.

I'm pretty sure there were tears.  I still don't know if I'm over it.

The point is, I liked stuffed animals.  I still do, and I'll probably always have a soft spot in my heart for them.  When Rhiannon and I have been out looking at baby related apparel, I often peruse the aninal collections.  Early last fall, before we even knew Beta was going to be joining us quite so soon, Target had a collection called Classic Pooh.  Along with the decorations, sheets, blankets, and towels, there was a Pooh Bear that I thought was wonderful.  (I also had a large stuffed boy called Christopher Robin, so anything Pooh related has an immediate advantage with me.)

There are some cultures that believe even buying many things for a nursery before the thrid trimester or the baby is born is just tempting fate, so buying the bear before conception might have been a little much, even for me.  Assuming I was actually buying the bear for a future child and not just myself.  I was tempted.

By the time we found out Beta was indeed a reality, the Classic Pooh line was on clearance and the bear was nowhere to be found.  We checked online - available in store only.  Rhiannon doesn't know this, but I even stopped at a couple of Target stores I drive near on my way home from work, but I had no luck.

About a month ago, we were walking through the baby section of Target, and there wasn't even a sign up for the clearance section anymore when Rhiannon popped her head around the end of an aisle and asked if this last bear sitting here was the one that I had wanted.

Yes, yes it was.

Beta, meet your newest best friend.  His name is Pooh.  You can call him New Bear if you want - I'll understand.

Pooh Bear