This is my teddy bear, and I have had him since I was born. He is very well-loved, as you can see, and he and the little knitted rabbit my mother made me were my constant companions throughout my childhood. We never had dolls: my mother hated them, and we inherited her dislike of their creepy plastic semi-humanness. Aside from a brief rebellious desire for a barbie-type doll when I was around 11, I don’t recall ever wanting a doll, but I loved my teddy bear. I probably held on to him longer than other kids my age: I remember being teased about taking him along on a car trip by my sister and brother, well after I had started school.
When I was eight I had appendicitis that turned into peritonitis and spent weeks in hospital. I doubt my teddy came to the hospital with me at first (both occasions were late-night emergencies as I recall), but he soon joined me there. The nurses made much of him, giving him an IV drip and a surgical bandage to match mine.
The jumper he’s wearing was rather inexpertly crocheted by me, probably when I was around fourteen or so. Every now and then I look at him and think I should make him a proper one, that fits, but this one has its own sentimental value, lumpen and misshapen as it is.