It had to happen at some point. Yes, we held it off for as long as we could, maybe we even went into a bit of denial. But it was always lurking in the backs of our minds: one day, Arwen's stuffed toy seal would have to go to toy heaven. It had a long life, to be sure: it started out as a childhood toy of my own, was usurped by Gandalf as his special friend, and then usurped from him by Arwen. It survived my childhood, it survived Gandalf, but by far its hardest years were with Arwen. Having ripped the stuffing out, I stuffed it back in and sewed it. She ripped it out again, I sewed it back in again. It happened again and again (and again, I think about 5 or six times total), though I will admit to not stuffing every piece back in every time - the amounts of stuffing this seal held, I have no idea how it didn't explode on its own! Finally I left it unstuffed and Arwen actually seemed to like that best. She carried it everywhere. I took photo after photo of her with Mr. Seal. When I washed it, I blogged about her stressful day here.
Finally, the dreaded day came.
Arwen was discovered trying to rip out the eyes and nose. It was a VERY tough day. I took it away, hoping to teach her not to do that. No good, she tried it again as soon as I gave it back to her. I threw it away, I am sorry to say. A moment of silence if you please, for Mr. Seal. He will be remembered fondly for many years.
Poor Arwen went through seal withdrawal for almost a week, trying to go back to her crab (which also has no stuffing), or her pepper (which also has no stuffing), or her ball, or her Kong, or bones, but nothing really seemed to hold her interest and she'd constantly go back to the cupboard where the garbage is hidden, as if to say, "Mommy...I really need my toy back please".
Then one glorious day arrived...
Brennan came home with a new toy!!! It is a dino (we think), but it looks and feels sort of like Mr. Seal!! We christened it Mr. Dino. It took about a day for Arwen to overcome the shock of having a new toy (her eyes went absolutely HUGE when he showed it to her), and now, well, she goes everywhere with it! She takes it to the window with her when she wants to look outside (above), she takes it to the back door when she wants to go outside, she takes it to bed when she wants to sleep.
And she is happy :)