Dear Lola,

My darling daughter has a beloved stuffed animal that she has slept with since she was a baby. She used to carry him around everywhere she went, until he began to fall apart. She is able to leave him at home, though she desperately needs her stuffed dog when she falls asleep. In order to preserve stuffed puppy for as long as possible, I hand wash him in the sink and then allow him to air dry. This process can be time consuming but I’m happy to do it since daughter is so attached to him. My husband recently became frustrated at her ‘being a baby’ and decided to throw the stuffed puppy into the washing machine while I was out. Stuffed puppy did not make it out intact and is not even in good enough shape for repair. Darling daughter is now a hysterical mess at bedtime and it takes her hours to fall asleep.

Lola, I am absolutely livid. Our daughter is only 8 years old and I do not agree with my husband. Our daughter is in no way acting like a baby by playing with stuffed animals. In fact, when my husband brought it up in our teacher’s conference he was told by her teacher that most of the children still play with stuffed animals and dolls. I do not know what to do now. My daughter is a mess and my husband is walking around acting justified. To compound the problem, he is adamant that our daughter needs to just grow up and go to sleep.


Mother of Mayhem

Dear Mother of Mayhem,

Wow, oh wow, have you brought quite a mess to the table today. There are so many feelings pouring out of this letter that I am almost unsure where to begin. It seems to me that you have a two-part problem to solve – one with your husband and one with your Miniature Human. Since your Miniature Human is the priority, I’ll tackle that problem first.

Are you absolutely certain that the beloved Stuffed Canine cannot be saved?

It may look bad, even hopeless, but there are wonderful people with tremendous skills who may be able to resurrect Stuffed Canine. There may be a way to create a new body from new materials and utilize the original pieces of Stuffed Puppy for the head and face. See if you can locate someone near you and inquire about pricing. Please note that you should not let on to your Miniature Human that you are exploring this option as it may raise her hopes only to fail. Only after you have sought out a second opinion and know you can afford the service should you begin to gently talk with your Miniature Human. This will allow her to make the choice of whether or not she would like Stuffed Puppy resurrected in a newish form. If this option is not possible, it’s time to move onto plan b.

Hold a funeral service for the beloved Stuffed Canine.

I know it may seem a bit morbid, or even excessive, but your Miniature Human has extremely valid feelings of attachment to her Stuffed Canine. Holding a funeral service will allow her to mourn her friend and also put a close to the sudden loss of him. Consider purchasing a pretty wood box with a plaque on it to allow your Miniature Human to open it up from time to time to remember how much she loved her Stuffed Puppy without him becoming even more damaged. I do not think I need to stress how much you need to get your husband on board with this plan.

The last thing your Miniature Human needs is drama at the funeral.

If he cannot behave himself and act with dignity and decorum, the funeral needs to take place when he is out of the home. To make up for the glaring hole in the procession, which your Miniature Human will surely notice, you can invite a few close family members who understand your Miniature Human’s attachment to Stuffed Canine. Having a nice ice cream party together afterwards would surely lift your Miniature Human’s spirit as she tells funny stories of her adventures with Stuffed Canine.

Now it’s time to plan the second funeral.

I do not mean this literally and please refrain from using this phrase as it may land you on the latest investigative program. While I absolutely love watching Dateline, I would hate to see this story play out for my Friday night’s entertainment. The funeral I am speaking of is metaphorical. It’s time to hit your husband where it hurts. Gather something that he loves – a video game system, a treasured piece of sport memorabilia, his valuable collection of Funko Pop figurines.

Put those valuables in the washing machine and let her rip!

It may seem petty, but I promise the level of satisfaction you will get from exacting revenge upon your unfeeling spouse will be entirely worth it. You may want to invite your Miniature Human to witness the carnage, but only if you have the money necessary for future lawyers as her life slowly unravels in the aftermath of her teen years.

Hang on just a minute, my Mommybeast is now interjecting her own thoughts.

… Mwah wah wah wah mwah …

… Mwah wah wah wah mwah …

Alright, alright, I get your point!

My dearest reader, thank you for your patience. Apparently my Mommybeast is worried that I am dispensing advice that could be illegal. At the very least she strenuously reiterated that it is ill-advised. I really couldn’t say since I am a canine who is exempt from the laws of mankind. However, out of an abundance of caution, I think we should shelve the idea of destroying your husband’s possessions in the washing machine.

However, there’s nothing that says you can’t dream about the sweetest revenge.

So, where does your marriage go from here? You need to have a serious discussion with your spouse about his actions. Not only did he grievously injure your Miniature Human’s feelings, he continues to do so by dismissing her distress every night at bedtime. In addition to this monstrous behavior, he is completely ignoring your thoughts and feelings about the situation that he has created.

I can only imagine what he would do if left to the bedtime routine while you are out.

I cannot say whether the behavior your husband has exhibited is abnormal for him or not, since I only have the one example in front of me. I can say that he has behaved deplorably in this situation. The fact that he asked her teacher and was told it was completely age appropriate behavior, and still demanded your Miniature Human stop, is quite incredible. Unfortunately, it wasn’t enough for him to make a demand. He waited until you were out of the house and unable to stop him and then went on a tyrannical mission to actually destroy your defenseless Miniature Human’s favorite treasure.

His devotion to destroying a childhood is disturbing.

Marriage counseling and some parenting classes are probably in order. If he refuses to go to either, then it’s up to you to make some tough decisions about where you will go from here. I wish you all the best as you navigate the minefield your husband has laid out in front of you and the Miniature Human.


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