Leah is the equivalent of a bag lady when it comes to her bed, and the arrangement of stuffed animals that reside upon it. She usually has at least one baby doll, some smallish marine mammal, a few bears, two or three random animals purloined from her siblings' beds, and of course Honey, Bunny, Bearie and Mac.
We didn't realize there was a naming scheme until we began limiting the number of animals she was allowed to sleep with each night. While going through the rigors of explaining why she didn't need all seven beanie bears I grabbed one of the sacred four and receive a howl of utter desperation.
Bearie? Okay, not bearie. But certainly you don't need both baby dolls? And I think you can live without...
Leah, you won't even allow Mac* to look at you, much less come near you. You can't sleep without Mac? (Shakes her head emphatically) Alright. But you need to put back this fish, and you can also put away...
You named this one Honey? (She nods her head, while sucking her thumb) Are there any others that you simply must have with you?
She looks at the chaos on her bed, and grabs only one more. Bunny.
I have to have BUNNY, Mama.
So you need to have each of these four? You can't live without any of them?
Nope. Honey, Bunny, Bearie, and Mac all need to stay here with me or else I won't ever sleep.
We still deal with weeding out her bed from time to time. I find hair bands, Sunday School pictures, single socks lost from their mate forever, and of course seven dolls, two pairs of shoes, a missing pajama shirt, and her sister's book. But we have struck a deal that works for everyone - I am allowed to remove all the excess toys down to a sheet, blanket and pillow as long as I understand that Honey, Bunny, Bearie and Mac do not fall into the category of "excessive", and must live next to her pillow until Christ returns.
I won't be utterly shocked to find them in heaven.
*Mac is our next door neighbor's dog. He is a big dog who could mean business if he wanted to, but has been adopted by our children as their dog while we work on Daddy's resolve for a puppy of our own. Mac's owners gave Leah her stuffed Mac, and even wrote his name on a cute little dog collar that her version wears. We have been working for the better part of 2 years on breaking Leah of her fear of dogs, so the irony of her choice of beloved stuffed animal is made all the more humorous to us.