Cherished Childhood Chums

In honor of Sophie and her favorite squash, we’ve gathered stories from our very own EMUs about special objects they adored as children.

Pat Zietlow Miller, of course, found inspiration through the experiences of her daughter:

“I didn’t have any security objects as a kid, but my youngest daughter, Sonia, who inspired SOPHIE’S SQUASH by falling in love with a butternut squash, also was very attached to her blue blanket and a stuffed pig and, at times, those small bags of Gold Medal flour. She still has the blanket. The pig was, unfortunately, lost at a grocery store several years ago, and I swooped in to save the bags of flour before they broke all over the house. Parental love has its limits.”


Bags of flour–how quirky cool is that? Young Sonia gets bonus points for originality.

Like many kids, several of us toted around favorite blankets or stuffed animals. Joshua McCune had a stuffed bear he named “Rabbin” because he mistook it for a rabbit but couldn’t quite pronounce the word. Donna Bowman Bratton had a security blanket that became “quite ratty” by the time her mother pulled the plug. I had a favorite blanket of my own, a soft, pink number that had to be spread perfectly flat on top of my other covers when I went to bed, so I could pull the fluff off a piece at a time and stuff the fuzz balls under my pillow. That’s probably why it looks the way it does today:


Laurie Ann Thompson loved a stuffed turtle named Tommy T. Laurie writes, “When I was little, he went everywhere with me. I talked to him every day and slept with him every night. I loved The Velveteen Rabbit when I was a kid, mostly because it taught me that Tommy T could become real if only I loved him enough, and I knew for sure that I did. I promised him.” As you can tell by the photo of Tommy T in the present day, Laurie has certainly kept her promise!


Tara Lazar tells us, “I dragged my Raggedy Anne doll by the leg everywhere as a young child, and after she was no longer ‘public-worthy’ she sat on a white wicker chair in my bedroom, a place of high honor. I even took her to college with me. I still have her–she sits atop my youngest daughter’s bookshelf, looking down at us. I think she’s our protector.”


Last but not least, Jeannie Mobley relates the story of her son’s stuffed dog, White Doggie.

“Whenever White Doggie got too dirty, my son would stand on a step stool at the washing machine and we’d wash him with the lid open. Every time the item rotated past on the surface he’d say, ‘White Doggie is swimming on his back!’ or some other enthusiastic comment. White Doggie traveled and spent so much time with us that we talked about him like one of the family–I think at times we all forgot that he wasn’t alive.


“I will never get rid of White Doggie. My 18-year-old son cleaned out his room to move out this
summer, and asked if he should put him in the throw-away or give-away pile, and I forbade either. White Doggie’s a part of the family and a part of my heart because of all the great memories, so I guess now you could say I’m the one with the attachment to him. As I wrote this I started to write, ‘should put IT in the throw-away,’ and I changed it to HE, because White Doggie simply isn’t an it in my mind.”

What was your favorite childhood object? Do you still have it? Leave us a comment for your chance to win a signed copy of SOPHIE’S SQUASH!


by | August 8, 2013 · 5:00 am

9 responses to “Cherished Childhood Chums

  1. I do love how White Doggie’s worn eye makes him appear to be finally having a well-deserved snooze!

    My son’s “kiki” (aka blankie) is carefully folded in his dresser drawer after a 4-5 year sojourn through baby, toddler and preschool venues. Although it now resembles dirty cheesecloth, it was once plush and satin and white!


  2. My cherished childhood chum was a stuffed Quick Draw McGraw. I don’t have him anymore…but I wish I did. One of my sister’s had Baba Looey. The four of us had many adventures together. Even though they were famous and had their own cartoon series, they were really great pals 🙂


  3. She was simply know as by the name Giraffe and when I was four, my dad won her at the Springdale Fireman’s Fourth of July Carnival in a ball throwing game My recollection is that she was a very tall (as any giraffe should be), at least three feet, and she was, by far, the most special stuffed animal I had as a child. She wasn’t exactly the kind of stuffed toy you’d drag around and take everywhere (I had a few of those as well) but her size, uniqueness, and the fact that my dad won her for me made her simply “the best.” There was no denying, I loved Giraffe.

    I can still remember being so disappointed that I could not go to kindergarten as a four year old. The school was only about a block away from our home and every day I watched the children walking to and from school. I cried — it was painful! I wanted to walk with them. To ease the pain of not yet going to “real” school, on most days I would drag every stuffed animal I owned out to the front porch and arrange them in “the classroom” (as I believed it would be when I got to school). Of course, I was the teacher but Giraffe was my best pupil (kind, helpful, always doing what the teacher told the class to do, and never getting into trouble). At 3:00 each day when the school bell rang, we were all on the front porch waving to the kids as I talked to my rather quiet pupils about what we had done in OUR classroom that day.

    I often have thought about Giraffe and wishing she had survived childhood to follow me through the years. What a reminder she is of so many things — my strong desire to go to school (which never diminished – I still love learning new things), my first experiences as a “teacher” (I later became a “real” teacher who taught for 37 years and had many wonderful students just like Giraffe), and my dad who probably spent far more money than she was worth to win Giraffe at the carnival for his girl.

    Although many years have passed, memories of my special stuffed animal, Giraffe, can only bring a big smile to this woman’s face.


  4. I had multiple lovies growing up, but the one that stuck through it all and I still have for myself is a green plaid blanket that my parents received for a wedding gift many years before I came along. I claimed it when I was little and dragged it all over. My mom put a dark green ribbon around the edges to keep them from fraying. It is still my favorite blanket and it goes on all trips with us too!


  5. Mike Jung

    I had two – a white teddy bear named Snowball who is no longer with us, alas, and a stuffed mouse that my grandmother made in 1974 from a pair of hideously multicolored plaid pants I wore as a preschooler. That one I still have – in fact, my daughter’s had it on her bed for the past 4 years.


  6. It’s Bubby — his real name is Butterscotch but we who love him know he’s Bubby. He is a big yellow teddy bear who was nearly as big as me when I got him one Christmas morning. I still have him and he’s nearly pristine. The things I loved, I took care of.


  7. Great post! I had a stuffed dog named “Mutsi” who was much loved (and still in a box in my basement–poor guy!) My sister had a smaller matching version which she also loved. When I had my son, the first thing my sister gave him was his very own Mutsi 🙂


  8. Pingback: Sophie’s Squash–Ripe for the Picking! | EMU's Debuts

  9. Alexa

    I had a reused ice cream bucket full of hotel soaps. They were my babies! Sadly, I’m not kidding.


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