There are certain items that every household with children possesses. Some of these, unquestionably, are valuable. Without the Jumperoo, for example, I wouldn’t be able to neglect my children effectively in front of Iggle Piggle and the Ninky Nonk. Everyone I know owns a Sophie Giraffe, and generally babies do enjoy chewing on them. All well and good.
Other toys seem to proliferate without anyone actually liking them. Take Alfie Bear for example. Please, somebody take him. Actually, no need to. I’ll come to that later. If you don’t know what I’m talking about, you should be able to find at least twelve of them in your local charity shop. Ev
eryone I know owns an Alfie Bear. He has three buttons that when pressed, Alfie professes he is either a hungry bear, a happy bear or a sleepy bear. He also plays a random selection of what is supposed to be soothing music. He is too hard to hug, as he’s mostly made out of plastic. Most irritatingly, his large on/off button is usually the only one small children can manipulate by themselves… and of course he sings a happy little ditty every time you press it.
“I’m a friendly Lycra bear, I’ll teach you 1, 2, 3. A sleepy, hungry, happy bear, hey come and hug me.”
Apparently he doesn’t actually say “Lycra bear”, it’s supposed to be “light-up”, but it really doesn’t sound like it.
He also ejaculates, “I love you!” at inappropriate times, and blows kisses… and then starts his Lycra bear shit again.
Alfie Bear did not teach my children 1, 2, 3. Instead he taught them about loss and saying goodbye. Through no fault of anyone’s, this is what Alfie Bear started doing last night.
A change of batteries didn’t help. Twenty-five minutes later, with his batteries hurled across the kitchen, Alfie Bear met the bin. And literally nobody was sad.