Monday, January 18, 2010

Meet the Friends

For the longest time, Ayaan had no time to spare for his ever-growing soft toy collection, gifted over the years by friends and family. They were all stuffed into a shelf in his cupboard and largely ignored. All except the Noddy doll that was his sleep companion till he turned three and then was ruthlessly discarded.

But then about six months ago, they were discovered. It started with him needing some company for his weekend TV viewing. So a random selection of soft toys would be dragged out from the cupboard and made to sit facing the TV for the duration of the permitted cartoon time after which they went back to spend the remainder of the week in the cupboard.

The next evolution in their status happened when he decided that some of the lucky ones would get to share his bed at night. So a new ritual was added to bedtime – that of picking the three fortunate bedfellows. Only they were not cuddled and hugged as you might expect. They had to sleep under his pillow…

The next step was to christen some of the favourite ones. He was gifted a white teddy bear for his last birthday, who he insisted was actually a polar bear so he got named Pola. The other favourites included Dogga, Frogga and Pengua (no prizes for guessing the animals) and just when I was despairing of any creativity in the naming process, Icy the Giraffe.

Once they got names, they became an integral part of our lives. We had long chats about their doings and their naughty behaviour, which resulted in one or more of them being banished back to the cupboard. They came vegetable shopping with us. Pola accompanied us to Ayaan’s first visit to McDonalds. Pola, Pengua and Frogga went to see Up with the father-son duo and due to a relatively empty theatre, even got seats of their own.

Ayaan clicked some portraits of his friends as well. Say hello to Pola:

And Pengua...

Dogga is the Snoopy in the TV watching picture and Frogga is buried behind Pola in the same picture.

Anyway, it was inconceivable that the friends did not accompany us on our mad holiday and that too as hand baggage. With visions of our baggage being doubled by the numerous soft toys, he was told that he could pick any three – so Pola, Frogga and Icy made the cut while Dogga and Pengua were left behind because they had been naughty boys. Much was made of them throughout the trip. They each got a hand baggage tag of their own and made their way into and out of the baggage xray machine under the watchful eyes of a certain boy.

In Bangalore, they went to the park and got to ride on the merry-go-round, the see-saw and the swing. (They were also chucked down the slide but that happened too fast to be captured on film).

Two new friends also joined the gang – Whaley and Beary. They were actually presents for Tarana but were quickly appropriated by Ayaan and can be seen here with the others watching on while Ayaan enjoys his daily hour of internet games

In Jaipur, we lost Frogga – lost being an euphemism for being chewed up by the dogs. By the time, we got him away from Beanz, he had lost both his eyes. We gingerly broke the news to Ayaan who shrugged it off by saying that Frogga was a very brave boy since he didn’t cry.

And so we came back to Mumbai, having lost one ‘friend’ but having gained two. These days, he seems to be growing out of his interest in his soft toys. So I thought I better get this post out there before it becomes another one of those lost memories :)


  1. Oh ... the soft toys have been so much tossed around the house .. love / frustration / preaching ... they have endured everything.
    I think it would hurt to say Cantaloupe finds a way to imitate me for her soft toys :)

  2. This is the cutest post ever!

  3. I'm glad you posted this. Hug and kiss all the babies for me, please- all my kids' soft toy days are long gone:(

  4. It's so nice to see lil' boys being nurturing and so attached to their soft toys n dolls. It never fails to move me when Dhruv arranges all his soft toys on all the pillows and covers them with lil' hanky blankets on his bed before he nods off, this is a very cute post!!! Esp the laptop pic!

  5. This is such a sweet post :) it made me smile

  6. And here we have a long and enduring love affair with Winnie the Pooh, Tigger and Piglet, with Tigger being the undisputed winner. Many a blissful hour is spent as Nikki stares soulfully into his eyes, stroking his fur and babbling softly as the Papa Man lurks around jealously.

  7. awwww.... cute post! LOL at Dogga, Frogga and Pengua...:-D He believes in keeping things siimple!!

  8. aw. i think that he was pretty creative with their names. okay? okay.

  9. I still have my soft toys tucked away safely and I'm 31! I have to say Ayaan's nomenclature system for them is quite methodical. I didn't ever bother with names.

  10. It's a really sweet post... Loved his names for and interactions with them. My daughter's soft toys are all stashed away as she shows absolutely ZERO interest in them, while I actually still have a few fm my childhood.

  11. Reminds of my childhood and all those imaginary friends

  12. [CA] Oh Ayaan does that too - scolds them in the same mean way that I scold him...

    [Chox/ R's Mom/ HGM] Thanks :)

    [Dipali] You want me to kiss the babies or the soft toys? :p

    [Starry] Ayaan is not particularly nurturing. They get thrown around a lot :)

    [NMOTB] Awwwww... that's so cute

    [JLT] Yeah, except for Icy the outlier :)

    [Mona] You're biased :p

    [FFM] I had a whole bunch but left them at my mom's place. They are still there :)

    [Preeti] So much for gender stereotypes when it comes to toys :)

    [Pesto] What fun. I was a boring kid with no imaginary friends...

  13. The babies and the soft toys please!

  14. And 'aminals' did you say?
    Check this! -

  15. Sumedha also recently discovered her dolls- Dora, Kutchi, Dee Dee and Dinky. Except for Kutchi, the others were named by me. Her favourites are Dora and Dee Dee and she insists on Dora sleeping with her and accompanying her to the park etc (luckily she leaves her behind in the car!). Most of the time she's quite caring to the dolls, but the other day we found that she had lined them up in a row and was beating them with an orange bat!!!

  16. :)

    He gets it from me. I still cuddle Srinivas Teddy on nights when I'm particularly morose.