Four years ago yesterday, at 9:45 p.m., this sweet fella entered our life. He was born in St. Paul, Minnesota, and we moved to North Carolina about 9 months later. About 6 months after that, he discovered Baby Einstein’s Baby Galileo DVD. And it has all been ALL SPACE ALL THE TIME for him ever since then. I’m told that kids go through obsession phases. I’ve seen it with Rowen. But this particular one has extended into more of a life’s ambition I think.
Well, what do you get a 4-year-old who owns every planet book, owns two solar system models, space PJ’s, everything? Who knew that there are NO stuffed replicas of Neptune to be found anywhere? And I looked. Oh yes I did.
So I called on the help of a friend I met through Etsy while shopping for Christmas presents last year, and commissioned a custom set of stuffed planets. Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Neptune, and Uranus. And Kathrina from The Freckled Elephant did a GENIUS job. She has space fans in her house (something I didn’t know, but feel incredibly lucky for), so Saturn has his rings, Earth has land masses AND polar ice caps, Mars has ice caps on the north and south poles (appliqued in white felt!), and Elliott’s favorite part: Jupiter has his Great Red Spot. YES. Beautifully stitched, with loops for hanging if we ever want to do that.
Now look at him, snuggling his birthday present:
It was the BEST present he could have dreamed of. He jumped on them, squashed them, squeezed them, then piled them all back in the huge box she packed them in, and jumped in after them. So did Rowen.
At bedtime, we brought the box o’ planets upstairs, and he put on one of his two astronaut helmets and hung out with his planets in his new spaceship (of course the box is as good a toy as the toys, right?). And the best part, when he was finally ready for sleep, he piled all the planets around himself, and snuggled them as he fell asleep.
We didn’t get to the present-opening until about 8 p.m. last night, when the light was failing. And apparently, my camera was feeling funky last night, because I couldn’t get a nice shot FOR THE LIFE OF ME. Very frustrating. But, such is life, right? So here are the not-very-decent-but-still-precious pics of Ele and his new one-of-a-kind planets:
You can see a bit of Jupiter’s spot there, and Neptune is off to the right. She interspersed the fabric with a spotted velour she calls “minky”, which I thought would be great for putting his cheek on at night. He loves the texture, and it makes the planets look so cool. :)
Lovin’ on the earth.
Coolest part? He recognized each of them right away. Can you? ;)
Every kid dreams of jumping in his own pile of planets, right?
This is a rocketship, complete with minky fire coming out the back!
Rocketship in foreground, kids playing in the “spaceship” in the background. :)
Piloting his craft. Looks like he’s already arrived at Jupiter. ;)
This boy. Ah. I will need another post or two about him. Let this one be about him and his planets. It is a beautiful relationship. :)