When Jayce was about 2 months old, my mom bought him one of those blanket with a head things that are so popular for babies now. I tried to talk her out of it at the time, telling her that he had more stuffed animals and blankets now than he'd ever need and didn't need a hybrid. But she got it anyway, and it almost immediately became Jayce's favorite thing.
There will be no sleeping without it and the mention of it can reduce a happy child to tears. When we leave the house on a trip, Chris or I will say to the other, "Do we have the essential item?" It is that important. It even appears in our family portraits.
For some odd reason, what Jayce likes the most about his bear is the tiny satin ribbon around it's neck. As soon as we present Jayce with the bear, his grabs immediately for the bear's head and searches around with his little fingers for that satin ribbon. Once he gets it, he rubs the ribbon over and over between his fingers and then pulls it up to his face, rubbing the satin over his nose and cheeks. I had always wondered how little kids come up with the things that they do to settle themselves down, like hair twirling or thumb sucking, and now that I have a kid of my own, I still have no idea. I have tried to show Jayce that the whole underside of the bear and the edges are covered with the same satin that is around the bear's neck, but none of that really matters.
The other day, (a few months ago actually, but who's counting?) we put Jayce to bed and he started crying shortly after. When I went to check on him, I found a very sad sight. He was sitting up in the corner of his crib, holding his bear and pointing miserably to something on the floor. The ribbon had come off and was laying pitifully beside the bed. I gave him the replacement bear to try to hold him over for a bit (which obviously didn't work, because the replacement items never do,) and headed downstairs. Luckily my mom was staying with us that day and was able to perform emergency ribbon re-attachment surgery. So for now, all is well in the Keith household.
But we are throwing out the paci soon. God help us. If anyone has any good advice on that, I'll gladly welcome it.