The trials of teddy
He's a bit shapeless looking, a bit crusty and a bit smelly yet he is more loved than any other in our house by young Ivy - may I introduce Freddy the flat teddy.
Inspired by the tales my friend Tiff had told about her little baby Millie and her passion for sharing her cot with a stuffed toy called Lambie I was determined to get Ivy to invest emotionally in one of her lovely toys rather than the dishwasher which I'm fairly certain wouldn't fit in her bed despite her passionate displays of affection for it.
I offered up a selection of stuffed lovies for her to choose from, a soft plush tiger with floppy paws which she threw on the floor in disdain, a cute pink monkey made out of socks was tossed to the corner of the cot, a hand knitted golliwog didn't even make it into the cot but was unceremoniously dumped off the end of the change table in a dusty corner where he remains to this day. Things weren't looking good - faced with a child that seemed to prefer whitegoods over most things I needed to call in the big guns, and conjured up the flat teddy.
Flat teddy had been bought for Ivy by her Nanna when she was a wee baby and although I liked him Ivy wasn't that fussed. However after 10 months languishing in the tox box teddy suddenly seemed to have developed a lot of appeal and was ripped out of my hands by Ivy as she squealed and shoved him into her face, her way of declaring true love. Now teddy is Ivy's constant bedtime companion, she uses him as a pillow, can be heard chatting and cooing to him in the middle of the night and is always waving him in the air when we go and get her in the morning. If you ask her "where's teddy?" she will go and get him and wave him around with a big smile on her face. (sadly she can't quite distinguish between the words 'teddy' and 'daddy' and offers up the teddy as the answer to both questions - sorry Ed) It's adorable and reminds me of me and my siblings passion for a strange toy rabbit called Rupey who, by the time I got to have a go of, had no stuffing left, his eyes had disappeared into his head and his fur was the colour of dirty dishwater - yet we still loved him to bits.
Whoever designed the flat teddy must be from the same school that designed the teletubby. In other words something that is unbelievably attractive to babies and little kids but appears as just odd and unappealing to us adults. Flat teddy doesn't really have any facial features, he's small and well without wanting to state the obvious.....he's flat. But there seems to be method in the madness of the teddy, he has no buttons or eyes that can be pulled off and swallowed, he's small enough for little hands to pick him up and because he is so darned flat it's rare that he can roll or fall out of the cot. For me the only appealing thing about teddy was his lovely soft fur - but having done more than a few tough nights with Ivy he has been snotted on, cried on and even vomited on and in less than a fortnight he is looking quite aged and greyish. But just like her mother before her, age and the loss of looks will not stop Ivy loving Freddy. I'd say the more vomit, snot and other smells loaded onto him over the years will make him vintage to her...just like a fine wine.