Gabi is so happy to be home. Our first day back, she ran around the house loudly exclaiming over her toys. "There's my Nemo! And there's my playdoh box! And there's my microphone! Oh, I missed them so MUCH!" She was especially excited to find her doll, Baby Ducky, laying in the coat closet exactly where she'd left her.
Yesterday, when I got home from work, I found her mattress leaning against a corner, forming a triangle of space behind it. Inside were almost every toy, stuffed animal and doll she owned. She'd spent most of the day amassing her things and "hiding" them. Attached much?
Mom: Gabi, what on earth are you doing? Why did you take your mattress off your bed?
Gabi: To make a hiding place for all of my special things!
Mom: Why do you need to do that? Why are all of your toys in this pile?
Gabi: I need to protect them! So no one can play with them when I go on vacation.
Next time we travel (back to Brazil this coming April), we'll have to reassure her before we leave that all of her things will still be there when we get back, and that the neighborhood children aren't sneaking into our house to play them every time we leave. I'm hoping that this is a normal coping mechanism for traveling when young, and not her father's hording tendencies.
By the way, Baby Ducky is still in the coat closet. I'm not quite sure why Baby Ducky had to be in there in the first place, but when I suggested we move her to the cradle right before we left the house to head to the airport, there was an almost meltdown. I learned my lesson, and Baby Ducky is welcome to stay in the closet as long as Gabi sees fit.