Search This Blog

Feb 9, 2010

Daniel and his stuffed friend Elmo

So far, Daniel never had a favorite doll or stuffed toy. His most precious property was his pacifier(s), which we are slowly trying to take away - and thinking we are making some progress.
We thought that he is just the type of kid that doesn't need a cuddle object. It's just how it is (and we didn't complain given the horror stories we heard about kids panicking when cuddle objects are lost). Interestingly enough, though, things changed drastically in the last month.

When we came back from vacation, Daniel moved to a new class at his daycare, and the transition was a little bit difficult. The teachers suggested that we should bring his favorite toy to the classroom as a way to make the environment a bit more familiar. I first thought that it wouldn't make a big difference... I didn't know what favorite toy would work. But then, I decided to give it a try and bring a stuffed Elmo to class.
Daniel had been playing with this Elmo on and off for quite a while, and he likes the character on TV. I thought it would be a good choice. Little did I imagine that Elmo would become the companion of choice for anything Daniel now does.
We have to bring Elmo to daycare every day now. Additionally, Elmo needs to sleep together with Daniel at night (before, Daniel would reject any stuffed toy we tried to offer him for night time). Daniel takes him to have breakfast, to play in the park, he makes sure he is healthy, gives him band-aids when he is hurt, etc.... Daniel hugs Elmo when he is feeling sad. in short, Daniel and Elmo are best friends now!

How things change in a few weeks! I think Elmo's presence came at a crucial point: right when Daniel was paying a lot of attention to relationships and people; and right when he felt insecure. Now, I have noticed that a lot of Daniel's friends from daycare bring a stuffed toy too. It sounds like it's a common pattern at this age.

It will be interesting to see how long this friendship lasts. In a way, it's great to see that Daniel has found a way to enhance his social skills and comforting skills. It might also be helping him transition out of the pacifier. At the same time, I hope he won't become too attached to the point of panicking if we forget him. Maybe it's time to buy a back-up Elmo?

No comments:

Post a Comment