Is that a cracker on your head or are you just pleased to see me?

Daughter with doll

Most small children at some stage have a toy or blanket or something that they want to take everywhere. I call them ‘comfort buddies’. In the photo above you can see my daughter when she was a toddler with her comfort buddy – a doll named ‘Feet’. I’m not sure what the crackers on their heads are all about. Might be a good photo for a caption competition, any thoughts? She used to name all her dolls and cuddly toys after body parts; we never did work out why, but I’m sure the reason will emerge in some therapy session or other when she’s older.

Vanessa with cuddly toy rabbit3 cuddly toys

For my part I had three comfort buddies; went by the names of Sarah, Doggy and Rabbit. Ooh, I’ve just realised, in my post about superstitions I mentioned that I always think of the number three as being lucky, I wonder if there’s a connection there with my comfort buddies. Usually I took all three with me everywhere, but as you can see in the photo, sometimes I just had one. As you can also see in the photo, Rabbit’s ears were convenienty joined at the top to enable me to wear him on my wrist as (I’m sure you’ll agree), an unusual and attractive accessory. Somebody also sewed doggy’s ears together for the same reason. Doggy and Rabbit were in fact pyjama cases, but were never used as such, they were instead used to keep bits of candle wax drips that I had chipped off the side of candles. I had every colour in there, like little magical drops of rainbow. Whenever I felt lonely, I would unzip their stomachs, empty out the treasures within and play with the little bits of wax in my fingers until they became warm enough to squash, and then I knew that everything was alright with the world. Sarah’s forehead was there for me to nibble on when I needed to concentrate on something; that’s why you can see a hole in her head.

Cuddly toy dog

My son’s comfort buddy was a dog called Woof-Woof. He was a really good dog was Woof-Woof. He’s retired now of course. I couldn’t find any photos of my son actually with Woof-Woof, and he refused to pose for one for me now because “I’m 10 years old Mum!”, so the dog has had to model alone for me. Woof-Woof was born to be a comfort buddy. He used to belong to a lady I worked with on a temp job I was at for a few months. He sat on her desk. She had an emotionally demanding job, and sometimes she would hold the dog and stroke his head while pondering how to handle something, or she would talk to him like “I think we should have a cup of tea now don’t you?”. One day, a crisis was thrust upon my family to deal with, and after receiving a phone call at work, I had to leave suddenly. I was in a bit of a state. She grabbed the dog and said “I want you to have him and give him to your children”. It was such a kind gesture that meant a lot because the dog was her comfort buddy at work. My daughter was still carrying Feet around everywhere, so I gave the dog to my son who was just a few months old, and they instantly bonded and were inseparable for at least three years. Yep, comfort buddies don’t come much better than Woof-Woof.

And finally, a group picture of all our comfort buddies together. Group hug everyone…

Group of cuddly comfort toys

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8 responses to “Is that a cracker on your head or are you just pleased to see me?

  1. I bet you still have a comfort buddy called rabbit!

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  2. I never had a comfort buddy. My 4-year-old granddaughter has a 12-inch square fluffy blanket which goes by the name of Stinky. (Purchased from Walmart in the kids’ section)

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    • I daren’t think about how it obtained the name Stinky! A lot of people have or had comfort blankets didn’t they, I wonder whether blankets or toys are more popular and how much the choice is influenced by parents.

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  3. What gorgeous toys you’ve photographed! Very nostalgic piece to read! Mine were E-or (a donkey) and Golly. Frankly I cringe at my lack of imagination. But I was only small! nicola http:homemadekids.wordpress.com

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    • Well I’m not sure that Doggy or Rabbit are particularly imaginative names either! Yes, I enjoyed the nostalgia aspect of writing this and getting all the buddies out to photograph. It’s nice to record these things in some way, lest we forget in the future.

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  4. Comfort buddies, huh? My youngest daughter had a little stuffed rabbit. She left it at a drive-in movie one evening and we had to go back for it. We were walking all over looking for it and people started turning their car lights on so we could find whatever we were looking for. It was a nice gesture or maybe the second feature was just too boring, or maybe they though we were up to something. Anyway, we found the damn thing, problem solved. My other two daughters had blankets, or more correctly “blankies.” My oldest still has it on her bed. Great post.

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