I don't know exactly at what point Ruby's favorite toy became her teddy bear, but once it happened there was no looking back. A gift from her aunt and uncle at her baptism, the bear slowly but surely moved up the ranks to emerge as the number one toy in Ruby's life. When she got old enough to talk and name her toys, she created a family out of the top toys, which were the bear and her two foxes. Daddy Bear, Mommy Fox, and Ruby Fox became a family, to be joined later by Baby Bear. Ruby loved them all, but Daddy Bear was the one she took with her in the car, to sleep over at Grammy's, and basically everywhere else she went.
Now, I can't say for sure whether the bear is just the most awesome bear ever, or if it is only because Ruby loves him so much, but once Edward came along it became very clear that he wanted that bear. Whenever Ruby was cuddling with Daddy Bear, Edward wanted to cuddle him too. If Ruby left him on the floor for a moment, Edward would snatch him up and Ruby would freak the heck out because Edward was touching her favorite special toy. This caused a lot of conflict in our family.
Now, I will let you in on a little parenting secret here. When the foxes emerged as favorite toys, we went to the store and bought extras. If Ruby ever lost her fox, we were not prepared to handle the ensuing devastation, so we always had a backup fox ready to go. But we didn't buy Daddy Bear. We didn't know where he was from, or how to get a second one, so we just prayed really hard that Daddy Bear would stay with us and intact at all times. So far so good. Now, if we did have an extra bear, we would have just given it to Edward so that we could delay the lesson in sharing and private property for another day. Or if he had decided the foxes were his favorite, we would have given him a backup fox. But sadly, we just spent a lot of time breaking up fights.
Well, as it happens we discovered another Daddy Bear this weekend. Now, we are way past the point of replacing Daddy Bear, since his neck is all stretched out, most of his stuffing has moved down to his bum, his fur is matted and worn, and he has several scars from where we have stitched him up. A brand new bear would not fool anyone in this family, even if we said he'd had a bath. But we are not past the point of giving Edward his own bear so that he will stop attacking his sister constantly.
Ladies and gentlemen, meet Uncle Bear. Daddy Bear's brother has come to live with us, and our plan actually worked. Edward has not attacked Ruby or tried to steal her bear even once since we picked up Uncle Bear at the store. However, Ruby has decided that she needs two bears now and spends all of her time trying to play with both of them. So, all in all I would say that parenting is really hard and you should not buy your children anything. Either that or buy ten of everything.