Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Tuesday's Tip: The Bear Fairy

The Bear Fairy visited last week.  A couple of my readers expressed an interest in how she works, so I thought I would write a post explaining how the Bear Fairy came to be.

As all sleep toys are, Daniel's and Sarah Beth's bears were well-loved and therefore well-worn.  The problem was that Daniel chewed a hole in his bear's nose (after the above picture was taken).  My mother, who knows a thing or two about sewing, said the only way to fix it would be to darn it as you would darn a hole in a sock.  That would make the poor bear very ugly.  Sarah Beth's bear wasn't in as bad a shape, but she had chewed on her bear's ears when she was a baby, too.

John and I decided that we needed to replace their toys, but we also knew that children don't usually want new replacements for their favorite toys.  What to do?  I'm not sure who came up with the idea of the Bear Fairy, but it was probably John.

Since neither bear was still being produced, I was a little worried about finding replacements.  Ebay to the rescue!  I found both bears there, and Daniel's was even new with tags!

To prepare them, we told our children that the Bear Fairy might come since their bears were so worn.  We explained that she would come and make their bears look new again.  But we also explained that the Bear Fairy only comes once; we didn't want her to be an excuse to tear up their toys, and we didn't want the expense of more visits!

Changing Sarah Beth's bears out was easy, but Daniel was a little more trouble.  Every time I went into his room, I woke him up!  Finally, in the middle of the night, I was able to make the switch.  Both children were happy in the morning to find their "new" bears.

Because of the trouble and expense, we bought an extra bear for Rachel even before we realized that it would be her favorite toy.  (Actually, I found it on clearance!)  It's been sitting hiding in her closet in three different homes for more than three years, waiting.  Rachel doesn't chew on her bear and never has, but the stitching was coming undone, and she looked old.  Once again, we brought up the Bear Fairy.

The night I made the switch, both John and I were worried that she may not like the new bear, that she may want the old one back.  And when she didn't come down the stairs with Sarah Beth the next morning, I was ready to give her back her old bear.  But she was upset about something else, and she didn't seem to have even noticed that her bear was "transformed."  Once I pointed it out, however, she was so excited.  She couldn't stop telling me how "sparkle-y" her bear was now.  It was cute!

Occasionally, Rachel will say, "My bear is new!"  And Daniel will respond, "No, she's not; she's old.  She just looks new."  I have to stop these arguments, and I try not to laugh.

Mary has a puppy in her bed with a replacement in her closet, but she has shown no interest in the one in her bed.   I imagine the Bear Fairy will never visit again, and that makes me a little sad.  However, maybe the Blanket Fairy will since Mary loves the blanket I made her.  Much cheaper to replace....

So there you have it -- the Bear Fairy.  Have you replaced your children's toys like this?  How did you do it?

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