Thursday, June 12, 2008


You never really know which toy your child will latch onto, do you? My money (figurately speaking, of course) was on the Steiff bear my dad brought back from Germany, probably because I still love my own teddy bear so much. Todd thought it would be a custom blanket/sheep (I think they're called a "lovey") given by a friend.

Instead it was Bear. He was a "free gift with purchase" sample developed by my former employer for a perfume line the company was launching. I think Bear was intended as a Christmas giveaway: he was wearing a striped scarf and, if I recall correctly, a hat when he was given to us by one of my former colleagues.

We almost turned him down. After all, we already had so many little soft friends in our apartment at the time of our visit to my old workplace (Tsia was young and probably had six or seven softies; only in retrospect do we realize how manageable a collection of six was! So naive, we were.). But Tsia wouldn't let go, and hasn't let go ever since.

When he first came to our house, Bear was pure white and soft, soft. Despite regular baths and one stuffing transplant (he was well qualified to assist during our friend Big Blue Ted's transplant last winter as a result), he scarcely resembles the bear he once was.

And we love him. I only hope he continues to hold together. Something tells me that the manufacturers of perfume giveaways aren't thinking about heritage and childhood memories when they're selecting fabric and thread.

Bear has been helping us to test out the fall line, as well. It's getting positive feedback on the pajama front. From both members of the short set.


  1. May I suggest that you search eBay and find one of Bear's brothers or sisters, then try to get it as dirty as you can, then put it away somewhere where it will pick up the smells of your home (not hermetically sealed, that is) just in case by some horrible chance something should ever happen to Bear? Having a similar bear to stand in could make the mourning easier for Tsia.

    My beloved panda, Mocky, got lost on a vacation. My parents were able to find the same panda still for sale new a few months later. They never tried to make me believe it was the same bear, they just wisely offered him as a stand-in, and after thinking it over a bit, I decided he was also Mocky. I still have him.

    My eldest had a white bear she adored named Teh-teh. He got left behind in the sheets of a bed in a motel as we were making a family move from California to the Midwest. It was a traumatic enough move as it was, and to lose Teh-teh! To leave him with strangers who would not understand how wonderful he was! It was heartbreaking. (For me, too. I'll admit it. I'm hopeless about stuffed animals.)

    We were able to find another white bear soon thereafter who could be altered a little to substitute for Teh-teh, and my daughter (now 17) still has him.

    But if I ever had it to do over again, I'd wait and see which lovey my child chose, then stash away a few spares!

  2. For my son Phoenix, it is a monkey that he is attached to, not a bear, although we do have several bears too. I had bought the monkey for my husband during my pregnancy as a joke, but the little one grew to love it, so naturally, it became his.

    The pajamas are adorable (bear must have good taste). Any chance I could get that in an adult size!? I would totally wear that. =)

  3. Anonymous3:14 AM

    My daughter loves a very cheap, slightly wonky rabbit I bought for her on a whim from a department store and off-handedly named "FooFoo". She used to love Teddy who was a gift from a good friend and who had a history and is lovely, but she seems to have settled on Foofoo despite me trying various things to inveigle Teddy back into favour. I did go looking for a replacement for him online for just in case but he appears to have been an Xmas bear and not that common. Goodness knows if I could find a replacement Foofoo, maybe I should be looking.

    I have a big small pillow sized white mouse called Timothy who was given to me when I was 4. He got caught up in bedsheets at a hotel in Denmark when I was 10 and I still remember the despair and tears. Luckily he was returned and still lives with me 30 years later :)

  4. Bear is pretty respectable, at least. my mum was dismayed to say the least when i took to a luminous orange panda my grandpop brought me. at the moment my youngest vacillates between a cashmere blanket i lovingly and laboriously knit her during my pregnancy, and her dad's discarded underwear :o

  5. I love it! My son is attached to Mr. Bunny, a gift from some dear friends while I sick with hyperemesis during my pregnancy. We initially gave it to him so that he could hold the ears while sleeping, now its his best friend. Mr. Bunny is losing some stuffing and has had his ears sewn back on once. His nose is wearing off, and I'm sure we're close to losing the ribbon around his neck. And I pray that we never lose him because I have searched for another and he cannot be found. Thanks for sharing your little one's friend! And I love your patterns - I am going to learn to sew kids clothes and will be buying and making them all! :)

  6. I can't wait to see what epsilon picks for herself.

    My favorite softie was Mr. Teddy. However, through late elementary school I had a fling with Miss Bear. She was new, pretty, and white. He was old and brown. But when I went away, Mr. Teddy was the animal that went with me. I sent Mr. Teddy off to my boyfriend when he was in the hospital, and we are both very attached to the bear now. Fortunately Mr. Teddy was made of good stuff. In over 20 years of hard use he has not lost any major parts.

  7. Is bear wearing a pair of polka dotted underwear from Hannah? We have an elephant who is currently wearing the same pair.

  8. We have a "bear" around here too, though I swear he is as big as my daughter. She will love that thing until he falls apart (which wont be long, given the state of things)!

    I also wanted to say that I am *SOOOO* anxious for the patterns to come out for that LOVELY outfit!!!


  9. My first son once dropped his favorite toy (a stuffed caterpillar) in a kids' consignment shop, and when we went back to get him, he was FOR SALE and they refused to believe my story or hand him over. Cause so many moms go around trying to scam consignment shops out of their stuffed toys, right?

    I ordered him a new one, and he loved him, too, eventually.

  10. Yes... is Bear sporting a pair of big girl undies? Too cute.

    My oldest niece was very attached to a little Raggedy Ann. Luckily you could find copies everywhere. We went through a lot.
    There was one at each grandparents house (three sets) as well as at home. We went through a lot of them as she tended to pull the yarn hair out. We replaced many bald Annies.

  11. Ha! This post is too funny! I was just sitting with my mom and sister discussing our favorite childood stuffed friends. I had two, a heinously ugly 3 foot tall teddy bear that for some odd reason I named Shawn, and a goofy little stuffed raccoon I named Rickey. Yup, Shawn and Rickey were my best buds, even though their names suggested they belonged to an 80's hair band, and not a childhood melange of stuffed animals, but I shared many, many cuddles with them over the years, and I am quite thankful that my mom tolerated their revolting appearances as they withered away over the years. Thank you for the little memory!

  12. oh my goodness. can I just say that lil outfit she's got on is just killin' me? I LOOOVE it! I am definitely duplicating that, although technically i don't have any kids yet, but maybe it'd still look cute on me... hmmm. love it!

  13. My childhood friend, Mr. Furly, has taken on a life of his own!

  14. your blog, and the things you create are lovely. :)

  15. oh she is just precious!