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Monday, 12 November 2012

How the stuffed became the stuffing

Funny thing about childhood. Children grow and change, rushing towards new stages far faster than often you'd wish. But also they cling on - to what's past, to the childish things they seemed ready to put away.

It makes for the loveliest incongruity - witness Eldest's friend, turning up at the house with a bag containing both her Blackberry smartphone and a teddy bear with a vast range of outfits.

So what was I to do when Littlest wanted a reading corner, but I couldn't make it to the bookcase past the piles of soft toys she couldn't bear to give away? I've wrestled with this for a while. Every few weeks I pathetically type 'clever toy storage' into Pinterest with the hope of some new inspiration. And usually I get this pin, which never fails to call to mind a medieval dungeon.


Or what about this? Alarming. "Help us!" is the message in the toys' eerie, silent, and slightly squashed eyes.



Then I struck gold at Living With Punks, which has an unbeatable tutorial for a toddler's floor cushion. I had some fabric left over from the bedroom blind - so I added a zip, and sized up the pattern a few inches to accommodate an older child (you get to work out the measurements with pi! That Maths 'O' Level finally came in handy). For the price of a zip and a length of bias binding for fancy, it made a rather good seat stuffed with bears, rag dolls, puffins, dolphins and deer.


Sometimes the cushion is sumptuously stuffed; sometimes the cushion is a bit thin, with a stray reindeer hoof poking out into the material. It all depends what mood Littlest is in - how old she's feeling that day.

But it's not all about her. The other week, as I sniffled under my duvet with a bad cold, Littlest dug out some of the animals in her cushion and tucked them in around me. Thank goodness I never made her throw them out - we're never too old to appreciate a teddy bear's comfort.



22 comments:

  1. Oh my goodness, what a sweet post! I just bagged up a load of soft toys to try and free up some space - I think picking which ones were for the chop pained me far more than it did my children. 'Oh, this is the one that X gave you when you were born'; 'Oh this is the one that you used to always have in bed with you when you were tiny'. 'Yeah mum, whatevs'. I'm such a sap.

    Love the bean bag idea. If it requires geometry though, I may be doomed.

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    1. Oh, entirely. If they try and get rid of the Baby Pom that Eldest won for Littlest on a tombola in 2007, I will cut them both off without a penny.

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    2. Quite right. That's like a real-life 'Dogger' (which I haven't managed to get rid of either. Don't get me started on books. They're even worse than soft toys).

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  2. Nooooo - my eldest would think that was stuffed toy abuse. At the grand old age of 12, he still checks that if I have put one in the suitcase for travelling, that I have left the zip open a chink so they can breathe. I know. He has also written a will, stating that they are all to be buried with him after his demise. The concern over their suffocation doesn't seem to preclude him wanting them buried alive, but I haven't pressed the point.

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  3. I have a trunk full of them. And though my boys may not be aware of their present locale, we are all aware of them still being in our home.

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  4. Genius.
    I meant to add that you are a genius.

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  5. I like that a lot.i do slightly agree with Ali's son but I think a bit of toy squishing might be a small price to pay in return for seeing the floor again.

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  6. I think it's genius. And it they survive sleeping under the cover with smell children's feet for company... a zipped up cushion should be paradise!

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  7. That's amazing. Of course I'll have forgotten it by the time I need to make one. My wee boy shows an alarming tendency to acquire soft toys, but rather sweetly comes in every morning to tuck Susan (giant white polar bear) in with me. I shall miss Susan.

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    1. Susan sounds LOVELY. I will also miss Susan.

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  8. What a great idea, I have to admit, that adult as I am (and I am older than dirt) I still have a house full of stuffed animals, and I have no grandchildren, they're all mine!

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    1. Good for you! I still have a Tom and Jerry toy in the attic, sucked into a vacuum bag.

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  9. you put in a zip. I totally didn't realise that when I first saw it. Your skills continue to amaze me.......

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  10. Brilliant idea. If I was not completely and utterly cack-handed at sewing, that's what I would make for my (soon to be 15 years old) son's room. Get the soft toy zoo out from under his bed.

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    1. Is it... could be... is it really you?

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  11. Hmmm...a shared beanbag might solve the continuing argument between MasterM and MissM about who owns Mrs Polar Bear.

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  12. Our boys old toys go to the cupboard above the stairs first as a sort of lets see if they are not really needed place which they can come back from before they get bagged up for the garage (I couldn't throw any of them away).

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  13. Brilliant idea. Would to use it in my girls' rooms but they would kill me if I made them sit on their softies. The toys have, apparently, all the human sensibilities. At 12 and 14, they still believe it. S we live the mess and lung destroying dust instead. It's awesome.

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    1. I always miss words and make typos with the iPad. Also awesome.

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