I've given Osh Osh a new nickname. He's my "Soft Toy Boy". He loves it. Whenever he has the need for extra affection and longer hugs, he will come up to me and say in a soft babyish voice, "Mummy, am I your Soft Toy Boy?" I would reply, "Yes" and give him a hug. He would then repeat the question and I would give him another hug. He can repeat the question up to 5 or 6 times. Our hugs would get bigger, tighter and longer and if we were in his room, we would end up rolling on the mattress and laughing.
Why "Soft Toy Boy"? Osh Osh has 3 small soft toys that he brings to bed with him every night. There's Baby Lion, about 4 inches in length, which we got as a free gift together with one of the children's meals from a restaurant. Then, there's Tigger which he received as a Christmas present 2 years ago and Me Too, a soft rabbit shaped pencil case which was given to him by one of his teachers on Children's Day. Baby Lion is his favourite and he loves to pretend that Baby Lion is him and I am Tigger. So, he would always give me Tigger and we would make the 2 soft toys have conversations together with Tigger as Baby Lion's mother.
Every night, after we've finished playing, he would give Tigger to me to bring to my room. He said Tigger belongs to me. It's very kind of him to share Tigger with me. I would always take Tigger away but when Osh Osh is asleep, I would put Tigger beside him again. I love watching him sleep. He would put Baby Lion in his pajama top because he doesn't want Baby Lion to be cold. He would then lie on his side and hug Me Too.
About 2 weeks ago, when we were having this conversation, I told him that he doesn't need to give me Tigger anymore because I know how much he loves Tigger too. He can keep Tigger along with Baby Lion and Me Too. Then he looked long and hard at me and asked, "Who will be your soft toy?"
He looked so adorable so the answer automatically came to me. I hugged him and said, "You are my Soft Toy Boy". I can see that the name pleased him as his eyes gleamed and he smiled widely. So, the name stuck. He said he won't use the name at school but only at home with me. Sometimes, when we are sitting on the sofa, he would climb onto my lap and stroke my hair and ask, "Am I your Soft Toy Boy?" My heart melts each time.
I cherish these moments with him because I can see that he's growing up so quickly. He's learning to do new things each day and becoming more independent. There are times when I am very melancholy especially when I look at him sleep. Thoughts like "He is the only baby I will ever have" and "One day, he won't need as many hugs from me anymore" would engulf me. I guess these are normal feelings that a mother goes through. They are just that…feelings! What really matters is that the Soft Toy Boy loves his Mummy and his Mummy is overwhelmed with gratitude to be his mother.