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.