Much more than a turtle. The story of a special toy!

Timmy at the Washington Monument

Does your child have a special comforter? A toy, dummy, blanket? You know, the thing they take EVERYWHERE. To the shops, to nursery, to the park, to bed. They drag (sometimes literally) wherever they go. It is the thing they need to get them to sleep. They turn to it when they are tired. It comforts them when they fall, or are upset. It gets their unconditional love. They are priceless, for all the reasons I have just mentioned. But they are also the millstone around the neck of every parent. More so when it is a specific toy or blanket that the child has taken a shine to. One that is now worn and faded. Falling apart from endless stroking, suckling and general wear and tear. For each parent lives in constant fear that the comforter will one day get lost.

When I was little I had a yellow blanket. It had been handmade by my great auntie Margaret. I used drag mine around, sleep with it. Or and I used to suck it! My mum eventually had to cut it into four pieces so she had a rotation of spare, clean blankets instead of one, manky smelling rag. Eventually they disintegrated when I was about six or seven.

Dylan, our eldest rainbow, has one. Timmy the Turtle. Timmy is well known around these parts. He is a regular companion when we go out and about and tends to make an appearance in most photographs. Dylan took a shine to Timmy when he was about 15 months old and despite now being 3 and a half, Dylan shows no sign of cutting ties with him.

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Timmy got lost last summer. On my watch too! I went to pick Dylan up from nursery. I remember collecting Timmy from the nursery staff (he was kept in a special cupboard with all the other special toys). At bedtime, Adam popped his head out of Dylan’s door and shouted down for Timmy. Usually a common occurrence. My brain started racing, scanning for the last memory of Timmy. I couldn’t remember seeing him since nursery. I frantically searched the house, the car…. nothing! I ran upstairs and Adam could tell by the wild panic in my eyes that Timmy was nowhere. I can’t remember the tale he spun Dylan, I think it was something along the lines of Timmy having a bath. Whatever it was, it worked for the time being and he managed to get Dylan to sleep with some extra soothing. I ducked out of the house, and drove back to nursery and then to the supermarket where we had stopped off on the way home. Again I drew a blank. In desperation I sent a message on Facebook to the nursery owner. Could she have a look when they opened up first thing in the morning and let us know if we had dropped him in the playground or if he had been handed in? Bless her she actually drove down to nursery that night to see if she could find anything. Still nothing!

We never found the original Timmy. Adam had initially bought him (of course he is a ‘he’ and not an ‘it’) from Alton Towers so it wasn’t a quick jaunt back to the shop. Luckily he found a replacement though the power of the Internet. We paid extra for next day delivery (money was absolutely no object) and we managed to spin lie upon lie to keep Dylan from uncovering the truth. There were a couple of hairy (and upset) times, in the interim, but brand new New Timmy arrived soon enough, all spick and span. Dylan looked slightly suspicious. We made a big song and dance about how clean he looked after his long bath and just about managed to get away with it. I think Dylan was so happy to have him back, he didn’t care.

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Fast forward to yesterday. I took the boys to the park and of course Timmy came with us. Dylan was giving Timmy his usual tough love. Throwing him down the slide and from the top of the climbing frame. I’ve lost count of the amount of times I’ve said ‘poor Timmy’ over the last couple of years because of the rough treatment he gets. When we got home, Adam was back from work so I nipped out to the supermarket. The second I stepped back through the door, Dylan appeared at the top of the stairs (we live in a townhouse) and said ‘Mummy, where’s Timmy’ with just a hint of concern in his voice. My heart pumped that little bit faster. Not again, surely not! We went through the house, looking under the sofa, outside, in the bedrooms. No Timmy! I donned my trainers and ran down to the park. More frantic searching. Another call into the local supermarket where we had stopped off. No luck. Walking back, I sent Adam a text with the bad news and said I didn’t want to come home. We had just about managed to get through it last time, but it was obvious he was lost this time and we couldn’t pull the wool over his eyes again. My mouth was dry. I felt sick. Dylan didn’t see me at first, but then clocked me and looked expectantly.

I was just about to deliver the bad news, when I saw a flash of dark green in Jude’s ball pool. There he was buried under a tonne of brightly coloured balls.

I was too relieved and delighted to be cross. We dodged another bullet! Timmy was alive and kicking and we all lived to fight another day. Dylan went to bed happy … with Timmy.

I spent last night on the internet searching for microchips for toys. They don’t exist … yet. An idea for Dragon’s Den maybe?

Do you have any similar toy horror stories? It can’t just be me.

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My Life As A Mummy
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12 responses to “Much more than a turtle. The story of a special toy!

  1. I always wanted Seth to have a ‘special’ teddy but when I read stories like this or see appeals for missing toys on FB, I’m so glad his affections are shared across a few! Thank goodness you found him again!

    • Thanks Ruth. It’s a blessing, but a curse too. Timmy is like a magic wand and always guaranteed to make Dylan smile, calm him down, cheer him up. But it’s horrendous when he goes missing.

  2. Rachel Billington

    Oh my goodness! My heart was beating when reading this! Florrie’s miaow (small, grey cat) has had several of her 9 lives! That sick feeling has overcome me on quite a few occasions! Ikea, Sainsburys, Holiday cottages, Grandma’s handbag are just some of the places that we have lost miaow! Florrie is 6 now and still is as attached as ever! Jacob has a blue rabbit and we’ve already lost him once, but luckily found in Booth’s! X

    • Booths was my last stop yesterday. But technically he wasn’t even lost! I need to start thinking what’s going to happen when Dylan goes to school. We’ve got a year to tackle it. What did you do with Miaow?

  3. Rachel Billington

    She took miaow and monkey (2nd fave) to school, but left them in her tray. In year one she brought them in the car or left them on Jacob’s pram and now she happily leaves them at home! We talked about it a lot, but as we’d just moved and she didn’t know anyone I felt cruel taking her comfort away!

    • Wow I didn’t think schools would allow them. I think nursery are quite good at trying to just let Timmy come out if he’s tired or upset. But it’s going to be such a wrench. I bet he will be more traumatised at leaving Timmy to go to school than leaving me!

  4. Just one special toy/comforter!?!?! Dexter has 4. He’s 6 and still sleeps with a rubber lizard, Geoffrey the giraffe and two blankies!!
    Ellis has about a thousand!!!! Her cot looks like Dr Doolittles surgery when its time for bed. She drags them around too….. A rabbit, two rats, a rubber snake, a doll, a dog, a rubber duck and a cat that is twice her size!!!! Madness!!

    My cousin’s son (is that my 2nd cousin??) is now 25 and he still sleeps with his penguin!!

    • At bedtimes we have what I call the A team and the B team. The A team are at the top of the bed. It includes Kaa snake, Iggle Piggle, Gloria the Gloworm, Tina & Toby (& little Toby – all turtles too!). I think most of those made the trip to Sweden. Sometimes there is a promotion, but no-one is ever demoted. So the A team is getting invariably bigger and bigger.
      But he would drop all of them in a heartbeat for Timmy!

  5. I’ve been lucky with mine,out of 3 kids none of them have had a comforter.They do tend to want to take a toy out with them but it never seems to be the same one!Sounds a bit of a nightmare when it gets lost!Love your blog name too it’s perfect x

    • Hilariously my husband read this post and has since bought another Timmy off the internet. Just in case!! Love your blog name too. It’s ace.

  6. I thought I wanted T to have a special toy… after reading this, maybe not! Haha, I’m so glad Timmy lived to fight another day!!