All the talk of royal babies has got me thinking about the beloved cuddly toys of childhood. Do you still have a favorite stuffed animal? I do; my bear with its sewed-up neck peeks out in my study, more a thing of sentiment than of love these days. It’s old, musty, and is marked with paint. Its head won’t stay upright because I used to clutch it to me, throttling it close, neck in my arms. I keep as a reminder of childhood love.
PyelotBoy’s first favorite animal was Quackers. We had several, for fear of losing one. Indeed, when my dad took him and the duck for a walk, they lost Quackers. Thankfully we had another one that was easily exchanged.
But soon PyelotBoy knew which was the real Quackers, and no other one could substitute. The Quackers he loved had a “poor eye,” which was fitting, for PyelotBoy had a poor eye too, one that had to be strengthened through patching the other eye and eventually surgery.
Then Quackers lost some of his appeal when Freddy the Frog came onto the scene. Given to him by American friends, this frog was everything for awhile. Then he lost interest. And PyelotBoy has grown out of stuffed animals now, with Quackers and Freddy shoved into a corner of a wardrobe. When I catch sight of them, I smile and feel a rush of love, thinking of my sweet boy who is growing up so quickly.
But the two items that I see regularly around the house are Fleece and Baby Elmo. When I look at them, I feel that same swell of love and affection. For they are CutiePyeGirl’s favorite things. They have traveled to the States countless times, and have been to Ireland and Wales and Spain and many a place in England. Only one time were they left behind, when we spent a couple of days at our friends’ house outside of London. The first night was tough, but CutiePyeGirl coped.
I have to admit I fail to see the extent of Baby Elmo’s appeal. As a creature he’s not the most attractive with his big plastic head and wizened body. I have to be careful when handing him to CutiePyeGirl, for his head is hard and could hurt her. Fleece, in contrast, is all soft and cuddly, and has become a character in her eyes. It’s grown from the skin of a sheep to something that almost has its own living characteristics.
If our house was on fire and everyone was safe, I would definitely grab Quackers, Freddy, Fleece, and Baby Elmo. I’m grateful for the way the children have loved them. Our children aren’t royalty – they probably wouldn’t even qualify by marriage, being half Yankee-Doodles – but they certainly are a prince and princess to us. And to the King, to whom they are direct descendants.
What was your favorite cuddly toy?