Thursday, January 25, 2007

"Dibby" Submitted for AJ, 2

Introducing AJ and Dibby (Dibby is the bunny).

AJ has a stuffed animal hammock hanging above her crib. I walked into her room one morning when she was around 8 months old and found her cuddling this stuffed bunny my mom had given her. Seeing as AJ was a Spring baby, my mom thought bunnies were the perfect collection item. Needless to say, there were MANY stuffed bunnies in that hammock. There was no way at 8 months AJ could have reached that hammock, so it was a pure act of fate that the one bunny to fall out and into her arms would be THE bunny. Or was it? Maybe it was the timing. If another bunny had fallen that day instead, would it have been THE bunny? We will never know. I took her out of the crib and placed the bunny back in its hammock. That night when I put her down, she started crying immediately which was rare. The whaling usually waited at least 15 minutes. I went right in to see what the problem was. She was trying to tell me something but at that time I hadn’t mastered my non-verbal communication skills. Was she not feeling well? Did she catch her leg in between the rails again? Then, out of the corner of my eye the pink bunny with the words sweet dreams embroidered on its torso caught my attention. In a grabbing at straws kind of way, I grabbed the bunny and handed it to her. The crying abruptly stopped. That was it. AJ found her Woobie.

THE bunny remained nameless for a long time even after AJ started saying one word phrases. Sometimes it felt as if bunny was so divine it would be disrespectful to even speak his name. Then one day at around 13 months, AJ pointed in the crib at THE bunny and proclaimed “Dibby!” A name any divine being would be proud to have.

AJ and Dibby have a wonderful dynamic. AJ sucks her right thumb while embracing Dibby’s ear. Sometimes she rubs the ear against her face. Other times she flips the ear back and forth in a synchronous rhythm. Whenever AJ embraces Dibby there is an instant relaxing calm that sets in. The calm can even be brought on by the mention of the word Dibby. If we happen to pass other bunnies in a store during Easter time for example, the thumb immediately goes in the mouth. Bunny=thumb=calm.

Once my husband and I realized bunny was THE bunny, our mission was clear. Both Woobie addicts ourselves; we knew what it was like to lose a Woobie, have it left somewhere or have your mother lie and tell you it was lost when really she got rid of it. Reinforcement Dibby’s were in order. My mom couldn’t remember where she purchased Dibby. My internet search for the pink bunny was daunting and yielded little results. The only thing I found was a phone number for the company inscribed on Dibby’s tag. I called it and got a voice mail. With little hope my message would be acknowledged I started speaking after the beep. “Hi, my daughter AJ has fallen in love with a stuffed bunny I think you make. It’s pink with sweet dreams embroidered on it and I need to find more. Please call back and let me know if you sell them anywhere.” A few days later the miraculous phone call came. Dibby’s clones lived in Kohl’s department stores. With much anticipation I ran to the store. It was there among the countless other potential Woobies I found Dibby mountain. The gospel choir rang an AHHHHHHHHH in my head. I quickly bought 5 more and the Dibby reinforcement mission was complete. There are now Dibby’s stashed all over CT so that AJ will never be without.

"Blankie" Submitted by Jeff, 33

Blankie – the most calming word in all the English language. Wait – is blankie even a word? My spell check doesn’t think so. Anyway, it’s a word to me, and that’s all that really matters for this story. To be honest, this is my second blankie. My first blankie was something akin to a mop head. I can’t remember when I got it, but my mom tells me it was a gift – and boy was it ever. Immediately blankie and I got along famously. We went everywhere together, and blankie made himself (I’m not sure why it’s a boy) right at home with me and Joey – a doll my grandmother got me when I was 1 and I still have today (I tend to keep too many things). You might remember Joey – he was the doll that looked a whole lot like Chucky. I am super happy that movie wasn’t around when Joey was my best bud.

Anyway, back to blankie. We were like peas and carrots. Then, out of nowhere, tragedy struck. I was 4 years old, and the family went up the street to visit my grandmother (Nana) for dinner. As usual, blankie tagged along for the meal. We had a nice time with Nana, and headed back home to get ready for bed. Before I get to the really tragic part, I must describe how close the two houses are. Now in my older years, I describe it as a soft pitching wedge for you golfers out there. A soft wedge: maybe even a lob wedge on a good day when my back is loose. It is also a straight shot – no winding curves, or witches, or manhole drains; just a plain old sidewalk. As I neared the door to my house, the biggest freak-out in history begins – WHERE IS BLANKIE???? I made my parents walk that sidewalk about 20 times. Then back to Nana’s for another look. I looked EVERYWHERE. I was a kid on a serious mission. Alas, there was no hope. My mother still swears to this day that she did not take it from me, but I definitely don’t believe her (see my sister’s story – hers “blew” out of a moving station wagon on the way to Vermont).

Well let me tell you – did the poopie ever hit the fan. I must have cried for 2 weeks straight when my parents finally realized it was probably not the time to wean me off of blankie. Luckily for them, this loss of all losses happened 3 weeks before Christmas. Of course, as my weakened 4 year old body just began to pull itself together, there was a blankie under the Christmas tree. A blankie under the Christmas tree!!!!! My mom told me Mrs. Claus heard how sad I was about my old blankie and she personally knitted a new one for me. I sadly found out the truth some years later when I saw my blankie proudly on display in Caldors – the original Wal-Mart.

It doesn’t matter where blankie came from. Blankie has been through everything with me; school, sex, marriage, death, divorce, marriage again, and finally kids. If blankie could speak, he could tell you of my many transformations – both good and bad. It’s like sleeping every night with the history of me – a script that could only be written by him. Although family and some friends have been around as long as blankie, they weren’t there with me in bed every night. Whether it was crying myself to sleep, or dreaming of the grand things I might become, blankie saw it all. And I wouldn’t have it any other way.

"Heather" Submitted by SF, 35 years old

My woobie was a life size doll (life size for about a three year old) her name was Heather and she was (as the story goes) the best friend of Holly Hobby. I never cared much for the whole Holly Hobby thing, not quite my gig but Heather was a whole different story. Heather started out kind of scratchy and her hair was rough red yarn braided into two short braids that barely hung from her floppy hat. She wore a dress with an apron and had feet that were perfectly round. I am not sure exactly how or when I acquired Heather but she became the second most important thing in my life by around age four. The most important thing being my thumb which fit perfectly on my palate and was the most sleep inducing object I have yet to this day ever found. Holly was just one of a multitude of dolls and stuffed animals in my collection and she was by far not the cutest, softest or most endearing but she fit perfectly in the crook of my arm. When I held her in my left arm and sucked my right thumb it felt like everything in the world was perfectly aligned. As years went by Heather only became softer and more comforting. There were those awful occasions when she would rip and tear, usually at the neck and I would go to my grandfather who was a tailor back in the old country of Poland) and he would "operate" each time he would repair her he would use a different color ribbon and would tell me that she was so pretty that she deserved a necklace, as a teenager I realized that the necklace was developed because the fabric around the tear was so soft and worn it would have been impossible for him to just sew the material back together. By the time Heather made the big move from sleeping in the bed every night to being placed on shelf she had a variable rainbow of necklaces, she was soft as a cotton ball and lacked any of the firmness her arms and legs once had. I think the best thing about Heather is how the memories of her bring back the memories of my grandfather who I did not get to spend much time with as he died when I was young. I will always remember how he cared for Heather and now realize it was not Heather he really cared about, it was really me

Sunday, January 14, 2007

The old woman that lives in a shoe.

"There was an old woman
Who lived in a shoe,
She had so many children
She didn’t know what to do.
She gave them some broth
Without any bread.
She whipped them all soundly
And sent them to bed."

33 Years Ago this pillow, constructed by my mother, was the shoe where the old woman and all her children resided. It was light blue with fun pictures of windows, shutters and doors. The red plaid patch now rests in the spot that used to be a pocket for little stuffed children. The children long ago flew the nest, only to be replaced by dust mites and a lifetime of memories.

This beautiful dirty thing is my Ba-Ba or Ba for short.

I wish I could remember what drew me to this particular object. I mean, what about this pillow was more appealing to my 1 year old psyche than the 50 stuffed animals and 17 blankets I'm sure I'd accumulated by that time? Whatever it was, it drew me in deep. I couldn't live without it.

Overtime, as all good woobies do, it began to rip. My mother would sew up the rips around the seams and patch the tears on its body. One would think this would make the Ba less appealing, but for me it was the opposite. Rubbing my fingers on the build up of thread around the seams while sucking my left thumb, made for an unprecedented relaxing calm. It took me 27 years to find something else that gave me this same calm. Funny enough it was another Woobie. Not mine but my now husbands. Hopefully we'll hear about "Blankie" from him.

For a period of time between college and work, Ba was sent to the attic at my dad's house. We were reunited as a gift on my 30th birthday.

"Ba-Ba enshrined in gold"

I mentioned before that a lifetime of my memories live in the Ba. I suppose that makes me the old woman that lives in a shoe. :)

What is a Woobie?

woobie (wu-bee or woo-bee);

Wiktionary defintion:

1. (US) (slang) A soft, warm, and typically fuzzy blanket or garment that is used simply for its comfortable characteristics.
2. (US) (slang) A cuddly, soft, and fuzzy stuffed toy, usually in the form of some adorable animal.

My definition:

1. A Foul-smelling object often saturated with a lifetime of saliva and dirt that provides its owner with unsurpassed tranquility.
2. One of the best things in the whole freakin world.

You may remember this quote from the 1983 movie Mr. Mom where Jack Butler (Michael Keaton) is trying to convince his son Kenny to give up his security blanket.

“I understand that you little guys start out with your woobies and you think they're great... and they are, they are terrific. But pretty soon, a woobie isn't enough. You're out on the street trying to score an electric blanket, or maybe a quilt. And the next thing you know, you're strung out on bedspreads Ken. That's serious.”

I think Kenny eventually does give it up, but I’ve learned that many of us in the real world aren’t as brave as Kenny. Or perhaps it’s that we didn’t have a father like Jack Butler to teach us of the downward spiral we may encounter in face of our Woobie addictions.

This space is designed to be a meeting ground for all of us who still love and cherish our woobies, loveys, tts, blankies, ba-bas, teddies, woofies and security objects of any other name.

I want to learn about your Woobie. What’s its name? Is it a boy or girl Woobie? What does it look like? What is your optimal Woobie holding position? Do you suck your thumb, rub your ear, pick your nose, or twirl your hair when holding your Woobie? What stories does your Woobie have to tell? Anything you want to share about your Woobie (stories, pictures, poems, secrets, etc.) is welcome. E-mail to

*please be aware that all the wonderful photos and stories you send to this site will be published here and become the property of woobieaddicts for possible republishing, and retelling around the dinner table.*