My daughter is 10 years old, and she loves stuffed animals. She’s never met a stuffed animal she didn’t like, and her room proves it; I’m certain that she has more stuffed animals then my wife has shoes. She’s constantly on the lookout for new stuffed animals, because she knows that adding a new, unique member to her over-ripe family tree is exciting! She can coddle this new addition and show it off to her friends and family. When the newness wears off, it takes it’s place in the panoply of her collection where it is no less loved then it was when she first acquired it.
She’ll never turn down the opportunity to acquire another dog, another cat, another bird, bear, panda, koala, lion or tiger. She’ll see a stuffed animal in the store and will be drawn to it, regardless of it’s pedigree, and she’ll want it. If she has the money, she’ll buy it. She’ll bring it home and she’ll love it like she loves any other of her stuffed animals. She doesn’t nitpick; I’ve never heard her complain that this animals eyes are too big, or the yarn mouth on that one is crooked, or that the fur on that one isn’t as soft as the fur on this one. Each animal stands on it’s own two (or four) feet regardless of how it stacks up to the animals that she already owns.
She plays with all of these animals. She plays with them by lining them up and pretending they’re in school, or on some kind of anthropomorphic adventure together. I got yelled at last night because I stopped by to tell her it was time to take her shower; I had interrupted her, had pulled her from the imaginary world that she had immersed herself in…where she was having fun. She always has fun playing with any and all of her animals, no matter how many cats she has, no matter how many have large eyes, or small eyes, or crooked yarn mouths, because she loves stuffed animals, regardless of their sameness, or their differences.