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I'm a married mum who loves chocolate & music & having an opinion on just about everything! E-Mail summermama@hotmail.co.uk

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

My Pal Scout - More Than Just a Cuddly Toy

Before The Boy was born, all throughout my pregnancy, I was adamant that he wouldn’t be one of those children whose bedrooms were swamped with a variety of cuddly toys or whose cot was overfilled with stuffed animals. I purchased him four cuddly toys from Sainsburys because they went well with the colours in the nursery, he had the tag blanket and the teddy bear that went with the “Please Look After Me” nursery range from Mothercare that we used in the nursery and my work colleagues brought me the mobile to match the range, which had dangling teddy bears on it. As far as I was concerned, that was enough.

In the last couple of weeks before his birth, suddenly we received an abundance of gifts from people, most of which were cuddly toys. We ended up with a giant Rupert Bear and an equal size black bear with red ribbon from a friend at work: An enormous Eeyore that is about the same size as our Boy Dog from my MIL: a variety of knitted things from MIL and more teddies and cuddly toys then arrived after his birth in a variety of shades from baby blue right through to navy, all of which had been lovingly picked out by people but none of which I particularly wanted to give space to!

However, by that point I was willing to admit that the reason most children end up with such an abundance of cuddly toys was not because their parents had been obsessively buying everything they could find, but due to the kind nature of family and friends who see these cute things and buy them with your baby in mind – and to be fair, you can’t moan at them for that, can you. So I smiled graciously with every new addition and they were all arranged in and around the cot/bed.

It wasn’t an issue when he was really tiny – he slept in the Moses basket in our room, so it didn’t matter that the cot was practically full up of soft toys. When he did transfer into the cot he was almost four months old so the excessive amount of toys didn’t hinder the amount of space he had, as he didn’t need a lot and he wasn’t moving about much so it wasn’t a concern. As time went on though, he moved about and needed more space, and the toys had virtually taken over. I’d go into his room when he awoke and find the toys littered over the floor where he’d thrown them out – or else he’d be hidden under a pile of them, which worried me, as I was concerned if that happened while he was asleep he could suffocate. So I purchase a big plastic toy box and shoved the cuddly toys into it.

A few remained in the cot – his favourites. This way he has something to snuggle into, because since he could move around the cot he’s been very fond of using a cuddly toy to snuggle with, normally the softest, plushest one he could find, and he’d fall asleep sucking his thumb, the other arm wrapped tightly around the toy keeping it pinned to his cheek and his fingers rubbing the soft fur. I was happy to leave a couple in the cot, and after a while packed some of the bigger ones away in the spare bedroom wardrobe (they just took up too much room, and he’s never been interested in playing with them).

With the lullaby function available on My Pal Scout, I decided immediately to try it, which meant putting it in the cot with The Boy, and I wasn’t sure how he’d feel about that – other toys I thought he’d like in there that he didn’t he quickly throws over the sides, and some I didn’t think he liked that much and packed into the toy box he rescues the next time he is able to and throws them into the cot, so the first day we had Scout and The Boy went for a nap, I put Scout in the cot with his lullaby setting on for 10 minutes, and waited to see what would happen. After waking from his nap and crying for me, I went into his room and found The Boy still cuddling Scout and having pressed the buttons was merrily chatting away to the plush green puppy. Within a few hours of being in the household, Scout had already been promoted to a cot toy, an acclaimed position that not all get to!

That night at bedtime I did the same thing, and the following morning rather than The Boy crying when he woke up and waking me up, I was awoken to the much nicer noise of The Boy giggling. When I checked the monitor I saw that while he was awake, he was quite content, cuddled up with Scout pressing buttons and chatting away. He stayed like that for a good ten or fifteen minutes, giving me time to wake up properly before launching out of bed, as is the usual start to my day.

Since then, Scout has been with The Boy at all times, and I do mean all times; he’ll dash out of a room, then come to a halt, spin around and run back, grab Scout and then continue to where he was originally headed. Scout has been sitting at the highchair with The Boy for mealtimes, and for each mouthful The Boy has, Scout gets one, too, as well as a drink, and when we’re changing The Boy’s nappy we put Scout at the end of the changing table and play the daytime songs that I sing along to. He’s also been introduced to all the other cuddly toys, and when it was time to pack away The Boy was very careful to put Scout in the rocking chair while he put the others back in the toy box!

The Boy has always been very keen on music – when I was pregnant and listening to music he’d be wriggling about, and after his birth was no different; from a young age he has been the sort of child to listen to the start of a song very carefully to decide if he thinks he’ll like it or not, and if not he shakes his head and if he does he’ll dance. He loves ‘Show Me, Show Me’ on CBeebies when they practise their groovy moves and dance to music, and he’ll always join in – the same applies to the opening music of certain programs, and he’ll always dance if I put music on the radio or a music show on TV. In the car once he’s in the carseat and the radio comes on he’ll clap his hands, waggle his feet and wiggle about in the carseat like he’s dancing. Having music on Scout only serves to encourage his dancing, and he’ll start as soon as the music does, laughing and clapping as he’s doing so, which is a joy to see.

I think it says a lot for Scout that he has already been chosen by The Boy as one of the clear favourite toys … He will be joining us for our epic weekend away this weekend, though I’ll have to keep a very close eye on him I’m hoping that as he serves to entertain The Boy so well and The Boy is so keen on him that the two of them should be side by side on a constant basis, but just in case I am going to put his name on Scout’s label! We learned the hard way with the loss of his favourite ever cuddly toy a few months ago – he went out with it attached to a Toy Tie on the pushchair, and when he returned it was gone. The Hubby and I searched the town for two solid hours for it to no avail, I even made up ‘Missing’ posters and put them through shop letterboxes and handed them out to people with my contact details on it, and we heard nothing. Luckily for us on that occasion my good friend Mummy, Not Big Milk Thing found an identical cuddly toy on E-Bay that was delivered within a couple of days which averted what could otherwise have been a major disaster! But for that reason I will keep a very close eye on Scout while we’re away this weekend.

The Hubby had a look at Scout for the first time properly last night and came to the conclusion that “it’s pretty good really” – trust him to be understated! I will be recommending Scout and Violet to all my friends with suitable age children as I can see how attached The Boy has got so quickly and I think that shows a good toy that has been well produced with kids’ interests in mind. The Boy and Scout really have become best pals just like Scout’s song says!

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