Losing a Lovey or Favourite Stuffed Animal

Do you remember your favourite “lovies” from your childhood?  You hear stories of parents trying to get an old security blanket down to a small square by having it progressively “shrink” in the dryer, but what if your child’s lovey disappears by accident prematurely?

Have a look at the email I got from Jen describing her dilemma:

“My daughter will turn 3 next month. She has a toy giraffe which she was extremely dependent on. Trouble is, he was dropped out of the stroller and is now lost. It has been 5 days and she is an absolute mess. I don’t know what to do. She is melting down a lot, temper tantrums, throwing things. She never exhibits this type of behaviour.

We are searching for another similar toy, but it’s hard to find. I’ve tried to coax her to talk about him, but she doesn’t want to discuss it. She has spoken about missing him, and wishing she could find him, etc… It is breaking my heart, and therefore I’m not clamping down on her behaviour. When should I expect that she will be back to normal? Any advice on how to deal with this situation? It is tearing me up inside!”

Oh that is heart wrenching isn’t it?

You have to find that fine line between being empathetic for her real sense of loss – and not tolerating her using it as an excuse to behave badly.

We often see this with adults when they proclaim “I am just not a morning person”.  They walk around being grumpy (aka rude) to us.  They expect others to accept their poor behaviour because they supposedly “aren’t morning people”.  Yet we know that if they weren’t with family, they would not act this way.  They would be polite with the folks in the car pool, or to the neighbour.

So, you named it yourself: you are being lax and not dealing with her the same because of this loss. What might she be learning from this experience then?  I suggest you trust your instincts and get on with discipline as per usual and work to help her find a new “lovey”, even though nothing will replace her beloved giraffe.

I hope that is helpful.


About the Author:

Alyson Schafer

Alyson Schafer









Alyson Schafer is a psychotherapist and one of Canada’s most notable parenting experts. She is the resident expert on The Marilyn Denis Show, CTV News Channel and CBC’s The World This Weekend. Alyson is an “Ask an Expert” Columnist for Today’s Parent Magazine, and sits on the Health Advisory Board for Chatelaine Magazine.  Alyson is the best selling author of “Breaking The Good Mom Myth” and “Honey, I Wrecked The Kids” and her latest, “Ain’t Misbehavin”.  She is an international speaker including the inaugural TEDxKids in Brussels and offers free parenting tips at www.alysonschafer.com

Fundraiser Spotlight: Bearspaw Preschool Society

Over the years, we’ve had a variety of organizations host a fundraiser with us to assist in generating funds for their cause. We felt it was time to shine the spotlight on some of the amazing people and organizations running a Mabel’s Labels Fundraiser.

Bearspaw Preschool Society – located in Calgary, Alberta – has been hosting a successful fundraiser for their not-for-profit organization since 2009. The fundraiser has helped them earn hundreds of dollars over the years to assist with buying supplies and funding day trips for the morning and afternoon programs. Bearspaw Preschool Society runs programs for children ages 3 & 4 and is operated by a five-member executive board; all of which are elected parent volunteers.

Bearspaw thinks that a Mabel’s Labels Fundraiser makes the most sense for a preschool, as it’s the first time many kids and parents are coming into a school environment. They believe that ensuring the students’ items are properly labeled and easily identifiable makes life easier for the parents, children and teachers. They also like that they can promote their campaign throughout the year through their community monthly magazine as well as in an introductory letter that each parent receives upon registration.

Their advice to other organizations running a Mabel’s Labels fundraiser is to actively promote it, and remind parents how beneficial labels are for all sorts of school gear.

Do you want to support Bearspaw Preschool Society? Shop for your Mabel’s Labels here.

If you want to sign your preschool up to earn extra funds, visit www.signup.mabelslabels.com

Evaporated Milk? You bet!

Ok, so maybe I am a survivalist preparing for the Zombie apocalypse. And, so what if I still have my Y2K water stored in the basement? You have to have a just-in-case plan! Here’s another great one that I bet you wouldn’t expect…  Evaporated Milk. Yup!

This stuff is shelf-stable for years. Here are some great uses:

  • Use in baking when mixed ½ and ½ with water. It replaces milk in any recipe.
  • Use it for that fussy friend who only likes cream in their coffee and you are a skim milk kind of keeper.
  • It can also go the other way and make a savory cream sauce for pasta or on top of vegetables. Melt 1 tbsp butter, whisk in 1 tbsp flour, add a can of creamy magic and season if and as you wish. Just don’t boil it! Unlike cream, it can’t take the heat.

Still fortified with Vitamin D, it has twice the calcium and protein as regular milk but is less expensive and less perishable.  Honestly, you can’t really go wrong having a couple of cans on hand.  Just be sure you aren’t picking up a can of sweetened condensed milk because that is also made by heating and evaporating milk but it is also laden with sugar.

We can debate the “go dairy free, everyone’s allergic to it” concept and the “calcium isn’t absorbable from dairy” idea later. For now, when you have to make something for dinner and have very little going on in the fridge… Evaporated milk to the rescue!

Spaghetti Squash “Alfredo”
Serves: 4              Takes: 25 minutes

You know you love pasta with cream sauce. Everyone does. But the carbs and calories, oy! This quick dish gives you that deep, warm, creamy pleasure without all the guilt.  It comes together in a snap! Evaporated milk delivers twice the calcium and protein of the same amount of whole milk. It is creamy but much lower in fat and calories.  You can’t lose with this quick weeknight vegetarian meal.  If you don’t have the spaghetti squash, just make pasta and call it a day.

8 ounces  sliced mushroom

1 small  spaghetti squash

1 tablespoon  butter

1 1/2 tablespoons  flour

1 clove  garlic — minced

1 can  evaporated milk

1 teaspoon  freshly ground black pepper

salt — to taste

pinch  dried chili flakes

1/4  cup  grated parmesan cheese

Pierce squash with a fork and place in microwave on a plate.  Bake for 15-18 minutes until quite soft.

When cooked, slice open carefully to let steam escape.

Meanwhile, heat a large skillet; add 1 tsp of butter and quickly brown mushrooms over high heat, set aside.

In the same skillet, turn heat to medium, melt the rest of the butter and whisk in flour, stirring until it bubbles and starts to brown.

Stir in garlic and cook for 30 seconds and then whisk in evaporated milk. Whisk until it thickens 2-4 minutes over medium- medium high heat. Do not boil!

Scoop out seeds from squash and discard. Pull fibres with a fork and stir into creamy sauce.

Add salt, pepper and chili flakes, top with cheese.


About the Author:

Theresa Albert

Theresa Albert











Theresa Albert is a Food Communications Specialist and Toronto Personal Nutritionist. She is @theresaalbert on twitter and found daily at www.myfriendinfood.com

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