Enough. Stuffed. Animals.

This is just one end of the bed.
This shot represents about one-third of my son’s stuffed animal collection. It’s no wonder bed-making is so stressful.

Every morning, Bini has a small anxiety attack about making his bed. We don’t expect hospital corners — we just want him to pull his comforter up and make it look neat. So we were puzzled when, every day, he’d start crying about how it was “too hard.”

Today, it finally dawned on me. The kid has 28 stuffed animals on his twin loft bed. If I had to try and make a bed look neat with that kind of plush-toy situation going on, I’d cry too.

I had a lot of stuffed animals as a child.  I remember distinctly having to arrange them in a precise order every night and every morning — early indications of my type-A tendencies. I also remember having about 10 stuffed animals, which were decidedly easier to manage than 28. My parents were smart. We, apparently, are not.

Whenever I talk to Bini about rehoming some of his stuffed animals, he gets agitated. “But they’re my friends,” he’ll protest. Formless, omnipresent maternal guilt stops me from proceeding further.

But I’m not above doing a targeted Goodwill sweep while he’s at school. None of the big guns, like Bucky, Cocoa Bear or Pangea, one of his three stuffed monkeys, would get the hook. I’d pick off the lesser knowns, like Giraffe or one of the stuffed bunnies that arrive, like clockwork, every Easter. But Bini would KNOW. The other night, he complained that he couldn’t find Zebra. Zebra is about the size of a miniature stapler, but he was lost, and Bini would not rest (literally) until he was found.

When we ask Bini for some ideas on solving the stuffed-animal-overcrowding problem, he offers one solution: a bunk bed. That way, he can sleep on the top, and the stuffed animals can slumber peaceably on the bottom.

That’s starting to sound like a reasonable idea.