Until recently, and with the exception of his well-loved Black Bear, Robby had never been particularly interested in stuffed animals. He would eagerly accept them when gifted only to pile them in a corner a few hours later. I learned to hate the commonly bestowed child gift because they took up a lot of space, provided little to no play value for him, and were nearly impossible to clean.
Robby, of course, is full of surprises. He was given a few stuffed turtles from my friend Mary Ann, and his collection was born. He now has 14 stuffed turtles and to my surprise, he plays with them. He spends hours having turtle fights, playing turtle tag and loving on them. My living room, bedroom and kitchen floors are often littered with plush green turtles of various shapes and sizes. I have to admit that it is more pleasant to step on a stuffed turtle than a Lego!
Every turtle has a name, and he can explain the rational behind each one. Daddy Koopa, the biggest by far, has a variety of pockets and hiding spaces. My Mom sent this present to Robby last winter when he was battling Dengue Fever. He used it as a pillow for a long time, but now Daddy Koopa has been relegated to the "protector." Each night Robby makes sure that this turtle is propped on his dresser facing the door to guard against intruders and bad dreams.
His favorite turtle is Happy Face. We acquired this toy during our visit to the Baltimore Aquarium. Robby claims that Happy Face is the "most snuggliest" koopa, and is always ready to play. Happy Face likes adventures, so sometimes I put him in the booster seat to surprise Robby when I pick him up from school.
Mommy Koopa is the only turtle which is not plush. We bought her at a craft fair this past summer. She is fabricated from a small bowl, a few bent spoons and some bead eyes. I'm not sure why, but Robby was drawn to this little statue. He was insistent that he buy her, forcing us to traipse through the entire fair to locate the vendor.
I asked Robby why he named this turtle "Mommy Koopa," and his answer was succinct. "This koopa is different from all of the others and that makes her special. Her shell is hard and tough and doesn't rip. That means that she is super strong. She has pretty big eyes and makes me smile. This koopa just reminds me of you so that's why I named her."
I would be lying if I didn't admit that his justification made my heart melt. I love that he sees my differences as wonderful and unique. When this turtle phase ends, all of his plush toys will slowly be packed away. When that time comes, I can assure you that Mommy Koopa will assume a special place in my china cabinet.
In order from bottom to top (biggest to smallest)
Baby aka Charlie
This is Mommy Koopa--------->