Thursday, 3 August 2017

Names for toys.

Flicking through various news channels yesterday I caught the word "Stalin" in a headline.
The image of my childhood teddy bear sprang straight into my mind.
Newly home from the army after the war my father had told me my big new teddy bear was called Joseph Stalin. He had arrived in my pillow case on Christmas Day.
I was about five at the time...and perfectly happy to have my comfy teddy called Joseph Stalin...the name held no overtones of any sort at that point in my life.
Looking back I am aware that it was not a good thing that my father did but if it was supposed to convert me to communism it failed miserably was years later that I found that the dictator Joseph Stalin had not been a cuddly lovable man.
It was interesting though when I met my first husband David to be told that his bunny rabbit had been called Benito Mussolini.
We were obviously meant for each other!
I now wonder how many parents have lumbered their poor unsuspecting off spring with their own heroes names...I certainly didn't do it. Though now I think about it I'd be hard pressed to find a hero or even a heroine to name a toy after these days.....
When I knitted a golliwog for one of my grandchildren it was a test not to call it Idi Amin...but I didn't! I got into enough trouble for it being a golliwog without that! The politically correct brigade went into overdrive on that one.
I have since met a doll called Princess Di......and I suppose that's the more up to date version...but I think a good idea would be to let innocent children name their own toys....even though that means taking away the joy from their parents.

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  1. I've never named a toy, perhaps that is because I never had many. My children did, and we have one or two stuffed toys now adorning beds in spare bedrooms, two of which are Tigers. One is called Tigger 1 and the other Tigger 2. Not original, but convenience really. The cats lie against them so they must like them, and choose them as resting places. Not sure that naming toys does much for our interaction with real people - do we imagine that our toys are people. Now, naming pets is different, they are living, breathing creatures, who comfort us.

    1. My Mom used the opportunity to introduce me to the other official language of Canada and gave me French girls' names to choose from for my dollies. Maxine was the poor thing I left out in the sun and she turned pale zombie green; Mimi and Marie were dark and blonde twins; and Antoinette (now there's a challenge for the infant school spelling champion!) was the real oddity - a hand knitted Golliwog who, due to being made of leftover wool rather than bought, was actually the same colour as President Trump and quite unrecognisable as anything linked, however distantly, to Africa!
      I had to be educated a long time after as to why people have a problem with them...