Teddy Catches the Sun

May 25, 2007 at 3:11 am Leave a comment

I have an unusual interest in the inter-personal politics of my little sister’s stuffed animals.

It’s funny. For as long as my little sister’s been able to talk, she’s been creating elaborate personalities and relationships for her toys. It started with her favourite pink teddy bear, named Teddy (of course). She takes Teddy everywhere, has long conversations with him, and basically treats him like her best friend. One day she decided that in addition to being a bear Teddy was also the President, and for the next three weeks we were hearing about President Teddy’s new policies. During this period, I took to joking that President Teddy made the trains run on time.

Teddy is basically a rambunctious kid, much more so than my little sister herself. He’s outgoing, inquisitive, and enjoys scaring people by roaring (he is a bear, after all). He’s also a little shy at times, and is very sensitive about what people say about him. Teddy tends to have grand adventures, including the time he got lost at school (an event I eventually adapted into a children’s story).

Teddy’s best friend (besides Victoria) used to be Mr. Sheep, who is of course a stuffed sheep. However, when I got back from my year in England, I was surprised to learn Mr. Sheep had grown rude and pessimistic while I was gone. My little sister now has occasional arguments with him, and more than once has given him a time out.

Rounding out the “Big Three” of the stuffed animals is Sally Bunny, Teddy’s sister. No, I don’t understand how a bear has a rabbit for a sister either. Sally’s a bit like Teddy, but more quiet; probably the most like my little sister of the three. As I understand it, Sally still maintains good relations with Mr. Sheep despite his change in attitude.

Besides these three, my little sister has perhaps a dozen more stuffed animals with names and distinct personalities; Dozy Bunny, Rainbow, Kitty, Glow Bear, etc.

Personally, I find this all endlessly fascinating. My little sister is only in Kindergarten, and she’s gone and created a detailed and complex set of characters and relationships for her stuffed animals. They’re only stuffed animals, but the way she describes what they do and acts as them when they “talk” makes them seem alive, especially considering she’s been building these stories for years now.

By this point, I couldn’t tell you how many times I’ve attended a “birthday” for one of her stuffed animals. Sometimes it gets to be a pain, but really… it’s not going to last much longer. She’s growing up, and soon she’s going to stop playing pretend with all her stuffed friends. All their adventures and relationships and conversations are just going to stop. It’s sad, really; being around here, I’ve gotten to be friends with her stuffed animals too, and she’s going to move on long before I do. She’ll get too old for Teddy’s companionship before I ever get tired of hearing about him.

It’s a funny world, I guess. This really isn’t something I should be concerned about, but here I am anyway; worrying about the fate of Teddy and his stuffed friends. Maybe I just look for significance in the wrong places. Maybe this is just part of me worrying about her growing up. Until that happens, though, I’m going to keep going to those birthdays, and I’ll be sure to listen when I’m told what Teddy did today. After all, who knows what adventures he might have?

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Back-Seat Movie Making, Volume II I am in Total Awe

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