"Mom, I found some stuffing. Can you help me put it into Bolt's neck so it won't be so floppy?"
Bolt is Boo's special stuffed animal. I think he's supposed to be a polecat, actually, purchased for her years ago by my parents at Ikea. But he looks enough like a dog, and he's white, and Boo had just seen the movie Bolt when she got him, so she named him Bolt. Although she has over a hundred stuffed animals, Bolt is the one she brings with her when she sleeps somewhere else. Bolt is the one she wants when she's sad. Bolt is the one who's in charge of welcoming new stuffed animals and telling them where they will sleep. He's the most important.
And now she wanted me to cut his neck open.
"I think I can do that."
"What will happen if you mess up?"
That's the question, isn't it. How badly could I potentially destroy my child's most treasured possession?
"I think the worst case scenario is that you would see the seam when I'm done."
And so we began.
I made Boo give Bolt anesthesia before I started. You might think I did that because I'm such a good mom and wanted Boo to feel safe. In fact, I did it for me. I didn't want to think I was hurting a dog.
Luckily, Boo left the room then--she had to use the bathroom. Because I had to take the scissors and hack a hole in Bolt's neck, then shove the blade inside to cut the hole bigger. I found this very traumatic. Boo returned and began shoving Bolt's stuffing around with a stick, evidently unmoved by his suffering.
Eventually, Boo had Bolt stuffed just the way she wanted, and I sewed him up. Plush is pretty forgiving to bad sewing, because the fur covers your stitches. We brought Bolt out of the anesthesia and he is recovering nicely.
Whether I will is another story.