I’m participating in the bloganuary challenge (though I have missed some days and will surely miss some more), which means I will be responding to prompts throughout the month.
Prompt: What was your favorite toy as a child?
I had a beloved stuffie that I named P.D. In fact, I still do have P.D., somewhere. P.D. was a puppy stuffie that my aunt got me when I was an infant. She had a beanbag body, so she was really gratifying to carry around. I slept with P.D. in the crook of my elbow, and could not sleep otherwise. I can remember when P.D. had little felt eyebrows, though they are long gone now. P.D. is also blind, as the black ink that was painted on her white eyeballs gradually chipped away. Her fur used to be plush, I am told, though I certainly do not remember that. It’s always been a matted nap to me. She is probably 9-10 inches in length, with short little legs and a big head. I remember once we were flying somewhere and the flight attendants made a huge deal out of P.D., giving her a bandaid and serving her and such. It made me feel very good and validated to have other people recognize how important P.D. was. Days when P.D. went in the washer were worrisome and exciting; I would be concerned that something would happen to her but also looking forward to seeing her sparkling clean. When I was very little I was of course worried about her breathing in the washer, though eventually I did realize that wasn’t an issue.
P.D. went to college with me, and has followed me everywhere since, though I am ashamed to say that she sits in a box now. For a toy that is more than 40 years old at this point, she has provided an immense amount of comfort to me as well as entertainment.
My daughter has a stuffie of her own that is very important. His name is Pink Dog, which you will notice has the same initials as P.D. I find it mildly thrilling that Eleanor chose Pink Dog to be a boy, which was something I never did with my toys as a child. However, since she has a twin brother, she seems more comfortable with the idea, and it may even seem like the most obvious thing in the world that her beloved Pink Dog is a boy just like her most beloved person in the world. Although P.D. and Pink Dog are not alike at all, save for both being dogs, I see a lot of my own investment into P.D., in Eleanor and Pink Dog. She prefers to sleep with him, though I notice that recently she doesn’t need to be touching Pink Dog, and sometimes he is in her chair, rather than in her bed when she goes to sleep. She is distraught when he can’t be found, and though she doesn’t carry him everywhere like she used to, it’s still important that she knows where he is. I remember how much time I spent with P.D. draped on my arm, how inseparable from P.D. I was, and for how long, and I simply can’t believe that Eleanor is 10 already. She’s growing beyond her need for Pink Dog, though she still retains the vestiges of that need; he’s comforting and familiar. She doesn’t much like when he goes in the washer, and gives him copious hugs and cuddles when he emerges from the dryer, but not for very long anymore. I’m sure that just like P.D., Pink Dog will stand faithfully by Eleanor ready to have his eyes and features loved away for as long as she needs him, and will wait ceaselessly in the dark until she finds the box in the basement and rescues him again.