When I was little I had a favourite toy, Monkeys. My twin monkeys, with their arms wrapped around each other in an embrace, went everywhere with me. I still have them now – they sit on a shelf in my daughter’s room – and I feel a special attachment to them, and the childhood they represent.
I love seeing toddlers with their favourite comforter, whether it’s a stuffed toy or a blankie, it’s such a gorgeous attachment. Kids can become quite obsessed with them, too – I’m sure we all know a child who sits under his favourite ruggy watching it dry on the line, or refuses to let anyone wash her teddy because it will lose its smell.
But unfortunately with that devoted attachment comes the potential for the world to cave in … that is, if that comforter is ever lost. Suddenly your once happy child can’t sleep, can’t settle and pines endlessly for their lost companion.
Recently a friend of mine posted a desperate Facebook update that read: “Disaster. Favourite doll missing. Child hysterical. NEED A SEARCH AND RESCUE TEAM!!!”
She received many replies offering support and sympathy, along with a rather unhelpful suggestion from me.
My son never formed an attachment to a favourite toy. All he ever needed was his thumb, which worked for me – they’re not easily lost
“Don’t you have a back-up doll? Aren’t you supposed to do that when they have a favourite toy?”
To which she replied, “I bought it in Paris. WHY DID I BUY HER A DOLL IN PARIS???!!!”
Luckily the doll turned up and peace was restored. But I’m sure my friend had a few wines to soothe her frayed nerves that night!
I’m sure it all sounds very melodramatic and silly – to anyone who hasn’t gone through the same experience, with their own child.
I nearly lost my Monkeys once (that’s a strange sentence), and to hear my mum tell the story it’s clear she can recall the potential disaster as though it were yesterday. I lost Monkeys at the Royal Show and we only realised when we arrived home, so my dad was sent back to drive around in the desperate hope of finding them. Amazingly there they were, in the gutter next to our car park, leading to a huge sigh of relief from everyone.
I never really related to that feeling until now; despite my best efforts, my son never formed an attachment to a favourite toy. All he ever needed for comfort was his thumb, which worked for me – they’re not easily lost. Although now, at six, it’s not so simple to give them away to the ‘thumb fairy’!
However, my now two-year-old most definitely has a favourite: her rabbit. Babbit, the once white, now grey, rabbit goes everywhere with us. If there’s no Babbit there’s no sleep, and the thought of losing him makes me break out in a sleep-deprived sweat.
However, thanks to the wisdom of lessons learned, if we do ever misplace dear Babbit I will be prepared.
You see, there’s an understudy Babbit sitting in the cupboard, ready to take the role should disaster strike. Sure, he won’t smell the same, he may need to be dragged through the dirt a bit, and his tag – which Poppy twiddles while she sleeps – won’t feel right at first. But I’m sure he could step up and play the part convincingly if he was ever called upon.
Until then, Babbit will be protected with as much love and care as his owner is. After all, her happiness requires his survival!