Virtual Travelling: kids and companion toys

I meant to put this up yesterday: this is a shot of Sprog the Elder back in 2003, on an outing to the Royal Botanical Gardens in Sydney. You can see that he has a little friend helping him to subdue the scary statue.


That little friend, or another doggie friend from the same toy family, were StE’s best friends for years, ever since an auntie-out-law gave him the first doggie one for a birthday present when he was 4. He slept with them, they watched him eat and bathe, they read books together and he took them absolutely everywhere until he was about 7. After that they stayed home, but were still involved with home activities until he was about 11.

Anybody else know kids who have mandatory companion toys? Were you such a kid yourself at one time?

Categories: arts & entertainment, relationships

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13 replies

  1. I wasn’t really one of those kids. I mean, I had a lot of stuffed animal toys that I loved deeply. I think the closest I got was my Garfield stuffed animal. And I always took my dolls into my bath with me.
    But generally, I didn’t need a companion animal cause I had two siblings. I was always so distracted dealing with them that I never had the opportunity to imagine a friend to take to places. Never mind the endless number of cousins I had that I was always hanging around with – big big family. I guess, if you have a baby to play with, stuffed animals seem pretty boring in comparison. Oh, I also spent inordinant amounts of time with my cats. I still do. I guess my cat has taken over that role of “constant companion animal”. Rogue’s the one that watches me bathe and watches TV with me now.

  2. I didn’t have a stuffed animal I took everywhere, but I *did* have an excellent imaginary bestest bud (the youngest kid from Eight is Enough) we did EVERYTHING together. Sigh. I miss him.

  3. I can neither confirm nor deny that I still have mandatory companion toys for travelling away from home/cuddling in lieu of partner when he’s away.

  4. I had a panda called Panda, which wasn’t actually mine but my older sister’s, but that went everywhere and remained in or near my bed right up until I left home. I thought I ought to take it away with me, but in ten years my Mum hasn’t let me. At one point, she brought Panda half way up the country to where I was living to pass it on to me, but then she mistakenly-on-purpose brought it away with her again. I really don’t mind, it just amuses me she can’t part with it!
    I also had an imaginary friend, but really very late in the day, when I was already at high school. His name was Ambrose. I knew full well that I had made him up and didn’t tell anyone else about him. I shan’t admit when we last spoke…

  5. I have had a stuffed toy to snuggle with at night since I was 3. For a long time it was an ET plushie and he went to Japan to me and many school camps. He’s since been retired to do ill health and replaced by a big fluffy bear and a husband.

  6. My 4 yr old daughter absolutely has to have a companion soft toy animal for security – she has received special dispensation from the kindergarten for this to accompany her there (though it is strongly against the rules for the others to have toys with them). She is so attached to each and every one of them, and sobs if she has misplaced them, and can’t bear to share any of her many security toys with friends when they ome to play.. and I don’t force her to, though their mothers often look exasperated about it.

  7. I don’t recall having a security blanket/toy/other-object-of-choice. My older brother, however, had a Chatty Cathy doll that I ADORED. When he went to kindergarten, my father would “kidnap” the doll for me to play with during the day.
    My younger sister had a security blanket. Both of my kids do as well. Abigail started carrying around two blankets crocheted for her by her grandmothers when she was two; I connect it with a trip AJ and I took sans kids. Before the trip, she simply slept with them. After the trip, she had to take them everywhere. A couple of times this past school year (kindergarten for her), she needed to take one of them in her backpack to help her get through the day, when she was having difficult times with a classmate.
    Evan has started to grow away from needing his blankie during the day, except when he is really upset about something. But he can’t sleep without it — he curls up with it in his arms and rubs it against his face, just like he did when he was a baby and nursing (different blankie then, though — one that ended up lost somewhere in a mall and replaced, only after much wailing and gnashing of teeth, by the current much-used and well-worn blankie).

  8. I don’t recall having a comfort animal (well, except maybe my floppy-eared dog named Celia, which, practically as soon as I could read, I named such because it was an anagram for Alice), but my sister had a succession of Sleepy Head dolls like this one, which she kept into adulthood. I remember one adventure of deconstructing a worn-out Sleepy Head to make a pattern for a new body; that ended in failure. But her first venture into EBay was to buy herself a Sleepy Head.

  9. I actually tried to be, because my sister, who is very close in age, seemed more virtuous for her ability to take good care of her toys. But I would take stuffed toys to bed in an attempt to be nurturing and by morning find that I’d kicked them out the foot of the bed.
    Should have a careful think about co-sleeping I guess! (I’ve never kicked a human out of bed in my sleep, but possibly only because they’re heavier.)

  10. Kanga is in my wardrobe and I have never let the kids touch her, much less play with her because she is too fragile. I fully intend that she will be with me when I go to my final rest. She’s been with me so long, why give her up then? I actually pinched her from my brother when I was about 2, so she’s been with me 34 years.
    My daughter has a succession of toys that she carefully selects from to take to daycare. My son would occassionally like to take a teddy to school but usually decides himself not to.

  11. My cat has a companion toy — a plush squid that he likes to carry around and play with. Before he was neutered, he was a bit … intimate with the squid, and even carried it into his carry basket to go to the vet for the operation. Now they’re just good friends, and it’s quite surreal to see him wandering around with a toy squid as big as he is.

  12. My main companion toy was a stuffed dog named Fuzzy, but I also had a few other favorite stuffed animals. My two younger sisters also had some: Susannah the panda for the older of them; Bee-ba the squirrel for the youngest one. She’s thirteen and Bee-ba still goes with her everywhere around our house.

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