Children have the funniest things that they hold dear, and I was no different. As a child I simply could not understand why my Polly Pockets couldn’t come everywhere with me, and I used to have a pet called Percy that lived at my grandparents house. “A pet called Percy?” you say “t
That’s not that odd….” How about when I tell you that Percy was a zebra skin that my grandfather had acquired from somewhere, that was pinned to the wall in a slightly macabre fashion halfway up the stairs? As little children we would march up the flight in my grandparents upside down house, pat the pet and say “hi Percy, I love you” as if this was the most natural thing in the world. Percy was removed when I was around sixteen as he was becoming a little threadbare and was worn in a patch on his right buttock, where children of different heights had petted him as they passed, for well over a decade. I never thought it was weird until Sam; one of my American cousins came (around four at the time) and cried for about half an hour over the dead animal on the stair.
I had a teddy called Jamie too. Jamie was a pathetic looking species, possibly a bear, and had wonky button eyes and dungarees. He was made of silk, and was grotty and soiled where I would drop food on him at regular intervals. I wasn’t one of those children that hugged a teddy when I slept (even at that age I was evil and a selfish bed hog) but he would sit on my pillow, overseeing the sleeping process. So obviously, my little sister had a teddy too. And she HAD to call him Jamie, because mine was Jamie (children have very little imagination at times, don’t they!) As her Jamie was on a two year delay he was a little more bearlike and professional, with proper eyes and a washable outfit. Where my Jamie would fall down the side of the bed and stay there for weeks unnoticed till mum found him, Little Bean’s Jamie went everywhere with her.
On one driving holiday to France she left him in some creepy B&B and cried for the rest of the trip, so I had to donate her my Jamie (which I think was the whole end game for leaving hers behind, but I digress). Upon returning to England my mum spent weeks frantically trying to hash together some French and correspond with the B&B to return the bear, suspecting a possible explosion from her oldest daughter, who at six was apoplectic with rage that she might have to lose a toy because her sister couldn’t remember to collect her belongings. Jamie version 2 was returned via airmail, for my sister to lose him a few weeks later on the way to a sleepover a few minutes’ walk away. Police dogs were sent (!) and to this day the body of her dearly beloved Jamie has never been returned. Still didn’t let her have mine, although I think I let her borrow him for a time. I didn’t really like him that much anyway!
(This isn’t Jamie. This is Mr Bean’s teddy. Just so you know)
My sister’s friend has a little boy called Archie, who has been bought all the toys he could desire over his three year existence. Teddies and dinosaurs and dollies and dogs have been bestowed upon him, yet what is his prized possession? A massive woodlouse shaped pyjama holder that is really creepy and looks like it might eat your brains in your sleep. Of course that’s his favourite!
What was your favourite toy as a child?