Many children have an attachment toy or blanket. This attachment gives them comfort when they sleep, when they go on holiday or if you fall into the trap of allowing it… They take it everywhere they go. You then make countless trips down the motorway when you find it’s been left at Grannies house, because they refuse to sleep without it. This toy is with them from infancy to their teenage years, where they hide it where their friends can’t see. One of my friends took her “blankey” on holiday with us when we were sixteen!
Rhino had a dolly called “Dolly”, Bunny has Rhinoceros called “Rhino” and Fluffy has a dog called… Wait for it… “Doggy!” Such inventive names don’t you think?
Tiny never really formed an attachment. She’s a bit fickle. First it was a dummy (for all of two months), then it was a blanket, then a cuddly toy, then Peppa pig, but really she couldn’t care less whether Peppa is by her side or not.
Fluffy however, is the most sensitive of our children. She doesn’t like to do anything without Doggy. She is a very very cuddly and affectionate toddler. We try to persuade her to leave Doggy at home every day, but sometimes it’s just not worth the tears. Doggy is a cuddly Dalmatian which she chose in Hamleys toy store in London, when she was one year old. Tiny had an identical doggy.
Somewhere along the line, one doggy got lost last year. Tiny didn’t care, so the remaining Doggy had to become Fluffy’s. Doggy was loved and loved and loved until he was a grubby shade of grey, rather than white, despite several adventures in the washing machine. Then last month, tragedy struck.
Somewhere between nursery and home, Doggy went for a walkies and got lost. Fluffy was distraught. We had to try and comfort her with toys similar in shape and texture. I would cuddle her til she fell asleep at night, so she wouldn’t cry. She asked for Doggy several times a day and every night. We told her Doggy was lost and we posted on Facebook, asked in local shops and supermarkets and did all we could to find him. Fluffy wasn’t the same child. She was heartbroken at the age of 2years and 11months. I hated seeing her look so sad.
I asked myself… Is an attachment toy replaceable?
Supposing I went to London and Hamley’s were still selling the very same cuddly dog. Would Fluffy notice that it wasn’t hers? Does she know the position if it’s spots and the shape of it’s face? Would she be happy with a replacement doggy or would it distress her more?
I had to do something to try and cheer my sweet little girl up. Bunny and I were going to London that weekend anyway, to do the Shaun in the City trail and one of the Shaun’s just happened to be in Hamley’s. Bunny and I got really nervous before going in. If they no longer had him in stock, we’d be gutted that we can’t replace the irreplaceable toy.
But we were in luck. There was a shelf FULL of “Doggy’s”.
We Whatsapped photos to Jonny to see how Fluffy reacted. I studied every single Dalmatian toy, one at a time to pick the one which most resembled the lost Doggy.
And for the bargain price of £10… We bought a new Doggy.
When we gave the new Doggy to Fluffy, she knew he was a “new” Doggy. She said “New Doggy? Doggy lost! Mummy got new Doggy!”
It’s incredible to know that a 2 year old knows the difference. But new Doggy, made Fluffy so very happy. I felt emotional as “New Doggy” was instantly welcomed into her right arm, as her left thumb went in her mouth. This is Fluffy’s most content position. It’s how she cuddles, how she sleeps and how she comforts herself.
She still talks sadly about “Lost Doggy” from time to time, but New Doggy has given us our happy little toddler back. New Doggy goes everywhere with her and she loves him just as much as Lost Doggy.