My daughter now has a favourite cuddly toy, I think it’s a dog but she seems to think it’s a rabbit. She’s named him Hoppity after her favourite cartoon Bing Bunny, who also has a toy Hoppity.
Hoppity is currently coming everywhere with us (although he is sometime replaced by doggy, doggy also has been dragged to many places). Hoppity has to join in everything, I have to also feed Hoppity, he has a place at the dinner table, he needs his hair and teeth brushing, it took a lot of persuasion for him to not go in the bath and quite frankly sometime I wish Hoppity would do one!
It someways though I can also use Hoppity to my advantage because Hoppity sits nicely on the couch and Hoppity doesn’t need to go on the naughty step, so as much as Hoppity is a pain in the arse, he’s also a good form of parental bribery and corruption.
It is quite nice that she’s forming this use of imagination. If I’m honest, it’s not just with Hoppity, whenever we go anywhere, even just from downstairs to upstairs, we have a moment of, “I’ll taaaaakkkkkeeeee…..” whilst she decides which toy is going to be dragged by it’s toe across the drive to the car. She’s a small select couple of favourites that are essential to have at bedtime and woe betide me if I don’t have each to hand to join in our story before bed because of course “doggy read it” is a must! I may come across as a bit negative but I do understand that it’s a comfort thing, that it’s her security blanket having one (or twenty) of her cuddly toys close by and that it’s all part of her confidence building as well as the development of her imagination.
I like it, it’s her way of taking ownership over her belongings, her asserting her own authority (in a decent way and not tantrum in the middle of Aldi because I won’t let her be “rudey budey”). It’s her way exploring friendships and without getting all Piaget’s cognitive development on you, it is actually her exploring her sense of self and others. She talks to her toys (as well as our pet chinchilla “Giz-a-moo”) and I hear her telling her the same things I say to her (do I really tell her to sit nicely that often??). I hear her using them as a way to form and develop her own understanding, she tells them things and sometimes that’s when I hear her using new words and sentences for the first time. She uses them to mimic and do the things she’s learning, so Hoppity has had to sit on the potty, eat his toast (cue face in palm emoji as jam went all over Hoppity’s face) and say sorry, please and thank you mummy.
Hoppity also has to woosh everywhere, however when I say everywhere I mean everywhere he can get lost. Because of course, Bing’s Hoppity wooshes in the air so little Miss P’s has to. Now I wouldn’t have a problem with this if it weren’t for the pet lip and teary eyes that would follow if Hoppity would go missing and yes those tears would come from both of us because as much as Hoppity and friends drive me up the wall, I kind of need them as much as P.l, they keep her happy and when she’s happy, I am.
On that note, I have to go salvage Hoppity from the top of the slide in the garden as it looks set to rain and Hoppity didn’t put his coat on!