When my first child, Bella, was very small and I was constantly crippled by the fear that I was doing everything related to parenting Very Wrong Indeed, I remember reading somewhere that French mothers didn't give their babies soft toys or dummies as comforters, but instead they used plain white muslin cloths. You know the sort, you'd put them on your shoulder when bringing up an infant's wind, in case of spills. (Oh, that smell when they're nestled into your neck...) The beauty in this idea is that the cloths are interchangeable, washable, and you can have ten of them, preventing anguished pre-bedtime "Where the hell is bunny?" scenarios. Of course, I thought, of course these slim, chic women have found an elegant solution to the comforter issue, and wished I'd known of it before.
This is what Bella had. Still has.
Bunny, a gift from my in-laws. It's always been known as bunny, nothing more, nothing less. My children are unimaginative with names for their toys. It's a kind of soft, square piece of fleece with a head attached and it's been through the washing machine many times. We would always put this little creature in with Bella in her cot - with no real idea of any attachment actually developing - but develop it did, for by the time she was one Bunny was a firm fixture in our bedtime routine.
Angus has one very similar, also a thoughtful gift from my in-laws while I was pregnant. While we didn't know Bella's sex until she was born, we found out that Angus was a boy at the 20 week scan and so this one is blue, for a boy.
This animal is also called Bunny and it is also beloved by it's owner and essential at bedtime. Angus refers to his toy as "he" while Bella's is always a "she". Beyond that, we only know which flipping Bunny is needed by whichever child wakes in the night, calling out and searching for the rabbit lost on the floor.
I had Pink Ted. (Hmm, perhaps they inherited their lack of imagination from me...?) His pink fur quickly fell off through over-cuddling and he's a poor, sorry looking rag of a bear now. He's in a box in storage at the moment otherwise I'd have dug him out for a photo opportunity. What about you, did you have a much-loved soft toy as a child? Did it have a silly name? Do please tell me, I'd love to know. I've just asked John and he apparently had a bear called Herbert. My sister had a bear called Gruffles. Gruffles?!
These funny looking creatures are precious to Bella and Angus, of course, but they are incredibly dear to me. They capture the baby and toddler years of my children in a way that not a lot else does, and it will be a sad day for me when Bunny 1 and Bunny 2 are no longer needed. For now, I will cherish their smelly, faded, raggedy bodies and be very thankful indeed that I gave my children these daft toys instead of a white muslin cloth. For where are the memories in that? I use my old ones as dusters.
Don't forget to visit the other Colour Collaborative blogs for more of this month's posts, just click on the links below:
What is The Colour Collaborative?
All creative bloggers make stuff, gather stuff, shape stuff, and share stuff. Mostly they work on their own, but what happens when a group of them work together? Is a creative collaboration greater than the sum of its parts? We think so and we hope you will too. We'll each be offering our own monthly take on a colour related theme, and hoping that in combination our ideas will encourage us, and perhaps you, to think about colour in new ways.