Toy StoryFriday, August 14, 2015
You know sometimes you read a blog post and you just have to write about the topic too? That's what happened when I read Kezzie's Toy Story post. And it was on Gem's Country Life Dream that Kezzie found her inspiration for it.
I have two toys in my toy story.
The first is one that's been around as long as I have. I'm not even sure if he was my most treasured toy when I was little, I'm not even sure I had a firm favourite, which leads me to believe that I probably didn't.
Over the years my toy collection slowly dwindled, but I just couldn't part with this bear. I don't recall what he was named originally, all my toys got renamed several times over the years, but he has been Big Ted Michael for as long as I can remember.
He's old, tatty and lopsided but I can't bring myself to throw him away because he's named after my Dad. I told him this the other day, to which he smiled and rolled his eyes affectionately.
I discovered that the day I was born, my Dad brought my brother to meet me at the hospital, and my brother gave me this teddy.
I remember him always being front and centre when I arranged all the toys on my bed. I found him in a box in the bottom of the airing cupboard but now he sits atop the picnic baskets in my bedroom. I think he deserves better than to be stuffed into a box in his old age.
I don't think I'll ever part with him now. Who else would appreciate his well worn charm in the way that I do? I'd hate him to become one of the numerous lonely old soft toys you see in charity shops.
Another favourite soft toy still in my possession is this Pufferlump (I have a vague recollection of calling her Rosie), I found her in the airing cupboard too. I picked her out of the Argos catalogue in 1988 for my 13th birthday. My Mum and brother used to call her a 'Fluffer-Plump' to wind me up. It worked, I found that so annoying.
Some of my friends sniggered at my choice of gift but I really didn't care, I wasn't in a hurry to grow up. I was happy to be a teenager, not a child but not yet an adult. A lot of my friends seemed to be in such a hurry to grow up, they wanted to skip the teenage bit altogether.
When I was taking my Pufferlump to bed of an evening and my best friend (same age as me) was unable to sleep due to a pregnancy scare. Another friend 'lost it' to a man on the bank of a local river, he was older than her and she'd known him only a few hours. When asked about it she said 'at least I've done it now'. She was 14 and never saw him again.
I didn't realise at the time that in asking for Rosie as a gift, I was reacting against something. I remember thinking that there where so many changes to come in the years ahead but it was still OK to be young for while longer. To play, to cuddle a toy. My Mum asked me if I was certain I wanted a toy for my birthday. I told her I wasn't too old for a cuddly toy, 'I'm not all grown up yet Mum' I said.
Rosie sat on my bed until I went to college and I painted my pink bedroom walls grey, and replaced the Garfield posters with 'artful' black and white photographs. I took her and Big Ted Michael when I left home, and they've lived with me where ever I've been ever since, albeit in a box in the bottom of the airing cupboard.
Do you still have your favourite childhood teddy? Feel free to share your 'Toy Story', tales of such teenage antics are entirely optional, just be sure to leave me a link if you do.