Wednesday, 26 May 2010

The Gallery - On friendship, love and loyalty

There are three members of my family about whom I've never yet blogged.  Their pictures haven't appeared up here, either full-face or from behind.  I don't mention them when I tell people about my family.  My mum doesn't ask after them when she rings.

But without them we would be bereft.

They are L, S and A's friends, and their love for them knows no bounds:

Like any love, and many friendships, there is no logic to it, no rhyme nor reason.  The objects of this love are, to the objective eye, nothing special, everyday, ordinary, a little grubby, tatty, and maybe even in need of a wash.  But to L, Mummy Sheep (her choice of name):

to S, Piggywig:

and to A, Pink Bunny (to distinguish him from White Bunny, who was given to S, and in whom S has shown no interest at all, although A will begrudgingly accept him as a barely tolerable substitute when Pink Bunny is in the wash):

are the zenith of all that is good and beautiful.  L put yet another lump in my throat when we were reading the Velveteen Rabbit with her certainty that "Mummy Sheep is Real, Mummy, because I love her very much". 

Why do they feel like this? What is it about these perfectly ordinary soft toys that melts my daughters' hearts? That means they are fiercely loyal to them and that none other will do?  Piggywig was literally the first toy S picked up, aged about four months.  A took longer to fall in love, and flirted with an orange pig and a different (also pink) rabbit before settling on Pink Bunny at about 10 months.  L chose Mummy Sheep when she realised, at not quite one, that someone else wanted to play with her, and although she has had moments of threatened infidelity with, among others, Chick, Dingle Sheep, and Other One Sheep (yes, that really is his name), it is always Mummy Sheep to whom she turns in need.

We refer to them as their "friends" because they really are. And while I have no doubt that other friends, both human and not-so-animate, will come along. There's a big part of me hoping that Mummy Sheep, Piggywig and Pink Bunny will be hiding in the suitcases when my grown-up girls leave home...


This post was inspired by, and written for (even if it wasn't quite what she intended) Tara Cain's Gallery over at Sticky Fingers.  For more amazing pictures and stories click here.


  1. Ha ha ... love that .. I am a 29 year old man .. and I have Luchann .. she does appear in quite a few of my photos because she goes everywhere with us. She has traveled the world, and is our little friend .. pathetic.. maybe I should stay anonymous about all this ... but I totally get you

  2. My son is 33 & still has 'Blue Ted'! They are wonderful friends!

  3. Funny isnt it. Mai has no connection to his soft toys, but mini he is so protective of his bears, they are his companions, conforters and everything to him. They are looking rather tatty and worn after 4 years of being so close and have had to be stitched numerous times

  4. Those are absolutely adorable! I've wanted Little Miss to find her SPECIAL friend soft-toy but she has yet to find ONE. How lovely that your child has these! ;)

  5. Simply lovely post - love it, (and I think they all look adorable, but I especially like the smile on the sheep).

  6. Brilliant!

    C has yet to find a 'special' toy but I'm sure she will soon!

  7. Loving the take on this - brilliant :D

  8. Just to let you know there is a post just for you over at mine:

  9. I'm 22 and I still have "Rosie Rabbit" who I've had since my Christening!

  10. Awww, lovely, lovely. We have a mousy and a minnie mouse...wonder what they are. ;0)I have had to drive miles before to retrieve them from places left behind. ;0S

  11. Ahhhhh! I still sleep with 'Bunny' when D goes away and I'm 33! x

  12. Lovely, I used to have a soft friend too, wish I still did sometimes! Great interpretation of the prompt:) Jen.

  13. Brilliant! My girls have a favourite teddy each and both are named 'Teddy' maybe a name will follow in years to come :)

  14. We have Pillow (a boy) has his own squeaky high-pitched voice which developed after he returned from accidentally being left in Scotland. I think it might have been the shock that brought on his speech!

  15. Lol - what a wonderfully original take on the theme. They look like very special cuddlies to me.

  16. Beyond Cute! My eldest two never took to the idea of a "Favourite" soft toy however much we tried to persuade them. By the time Little One came along we'd given it, then lo and behold, she now has "Ellie" who never leaves her side. She tells everyone "He's my Best Friend". It makes my heart melt every time.

    MD xx

  17. Aww they look so well loved! My post was about Blondie Boy's lovie, too :)

  18. Mine also have their favourites, which will be travelling around the world with us. Well we couldn't leave them behind, could we?

  19. What a wonderful post! I'm sure that those three friends will be around for many years to come :D

  20. That's such a nice take on the theme - makes me want to take photos of my boys 'friends' to make sure we never forget them.

  21. Ah I loved this. So cute! And so true. We had a white version of that little rabbit at the end but he (whisper it....) got lost. I love your take on this - perfect!

  22. Moon - so glad it's men too. B's Doggo got moth in our old house and was ceremoniously laid to rest before we moved. My Coonie (she's a racoon, ok? And I didn't know it was racist. I was 7!) is still with us.... Hasn't travelled quite as widely as you, but did enjoy a year in Nepal and another in Russia...

    Jfb - good for him!

    Mad Mummy and Karin - it is interesting isn't it? All three of mine have formed real attachments to a particular toy, so I find it odd when other children don't, but then lots don't. I wonder if it says something about mine having a needy streak....A psychologist would probably say I'm failing them!

    Suzanne - I can't possibly comment. I can't have favourites!

    Emma, Mummy Mishaps, Nickie and Barbara - thank you!

    Fourdown, Mum to go - a BIG thank you!

    Livi and Linz - good for you! My favourite toy (Coonie - see above) was given to me when I was 7 so I often wonder about the toys I had before then (although Ned the Lonely Donkey, who I defintely had by 2 because there are pictures, is still with me), so it's nice to know that a friend that old has stayed with you throughout.

    Nova and Mari - the names are great aren't they! Loving the originality we all come up with.

    Jen - what happened to him/her?!

    Fiona - how's his accent?!

    MD - I love that "Ellie"'s a boy! L also has Dingle and Other One Sheep, both of whom regularly change sex: "Mummy, Dingle's a boy today"... Oh, right.

    Melaina - great minds! Am very behind, so must go and check it out!

    Victoria - you can't possibly even think about leaving them behind! All those life experiences....

    Bubbleboo - I hope so too!

    Lorna - you should! They're so important, it'd be wrong to forget them.

    Heidi - thank you!

    Deer Baby - I'd offer you White Rabbit in replacement, but I just know he'd prove more important than I'm giving him credit for.... Well done on surviving the grief though - I'm not sure how ours would cope.


I know. I'm sorry. I hate these word recognition, are you a robot, guff things too, but having just got rid of a large number of ungrammatical and poorly spelt adverts for all sorts of things I don't want, and especially don't want on my blog, I'm hoping that this will mean that only lovely people, of the actually a person variety, will comment.

So please do. Comments are great...