I saw this article in a magazine at the hairdressers recently.
It's an article reviewing a book with photographs of people's well loved soft toys and the stories behind them. It got me thinking about my favourite soft toy - let me introduce you to Oscar.
I got Oscar for my first birthday from my Great Uncle Jack. Apparently I couldn't decide what to call this newly acquired dog (well let's face it I was one - I probably didn't have much vocabulary) so Mum put various names on pieces of paper and put them in a mug, or a bowl, or something else I could get my small toddler sized hand in. I pulled one out and my dog became Oscar.
Oscar has gone pretty much everywhere with me. Over the years his fur has worn away and he has become fairly threadbare. At least one leg has had to be stitched up and his ears have needed to be repaired countless times. All of these are an indication of just how well loved Oscar was, and still is. He now resides on my bedside table despite the fact that I am married and have two children of my own.
Max has his own version of Oscar. This is Luise.
Luise is a steiff bear that Max was given by his Great Aunty Patty for his christening. We didn't have to do the "names in a receptacle" thing as Luise came with his own name. Max couldn't say "Luise" when he was small and so he has become "Elise" over the years. I think I am the only person who insists on calling him Luise now. Luise goes everywhere with Max. Other soft toys go in and out of favour but Luise remains a constant in Max's affections.
Penelope conversely is not that bothered by soft toys. She will have a favourite for a few days and then doesn't bother. I think this is partly because she sucks her thumb so has no reason to have a different comforter. It can't be the whole story though as I sucked my thumb as a child and I had Oscar. I think ultimately Penelope is just not that bothered by soft toys - not that that will stop me from trying to inveigle one of her soft toys in her affections!!