Operation Teddy Bear Destruction

My daughter might be nearly 11, but she is still very attached to her teddy (known only as Teddy). She always sleeps with him at night and she always takes him with her when she gets up in the morning.

This year is a big one for her. She has her year 6 residential and a week-long Scout camp. For a girl who has difficulties settling down to sleep, that is a pretty big deal. But I also think that it’s absolutely the right thing for her to take part.

The other day she expressed some second thoughts about the Scout camp (despite her brother and a few girls her age going). As I watched her climb the stairs to bed with Teddy, I wondered how she would cope. Because there’s one thing for certain. Teddy doesn’t go on school residentials or Scout camps. She might find it hard to sleep without him, but the sheer pain of potentially losing him would be too much to ‘bear’.

She actually dropped him out of her rucksack in London when we were running to watch Daddy complete Ride London. Thank goodness my eldest was running behind her and saw Teddy fall. The thought of what could have happened otherwise leaves me cold.

Teddy cannot leave the house.

Which leaves me with a conundrum.

But then I woke up at 4.45 one day, with my head full of pointless thoughts and worries, and I knew what I had to do.

I had to destroy a teddy.

Teddy is an Easyjet bear and back in the day he had an Easyjet Tshirt. Over time, the Tshirt was completely destroyed, so we asked someone to get us another Easyjet bear, so that Teddy could have that Tshirt. That Tshirt disintegrated too and now he wears a jumper my mum knitted.

Teddy, Teddy bears, Daughter, 365

And there is a perfectly good, naked teddy, identical in size and shape to Teddy. But where Teddy is worn and rough, this teddy is shiny and smooth. He is a poor imitation of Teddy. But is it possible to do in five months what it took over six years to achieve? Teddy has been cuddled and carried, thrown on the floor, had stuff spilled on him and had a fair few washes over the years to turn him into the well-loved and well-worn bear he is today.

Operation Teddy Bear Destruction started with a go in the washing machine which, disappointingly, had very little effect.

Teddy, Daughter, Teddy bear

I rubbed at his fur quickly and repeatedly, hoping to replicate six years of love in super-fast time. I swung him by his arms and legs a bit to make them go all floppy. I threw him on the floor over and over again (which felt a bit mean). My mum has knitted him his own jumper, to make him feel more like Teddy too.

I’m determined to do all I can to turn this teddy into one more like actual Teddy over the next few months. And even if I don’t quite succeed, my daughter will know just how much love I’ve poured into this little bear, just for her, and I hope he brings her some comfort when she’s away from home.

Teddies, Teddy bear, Daughter, Parenting, Growing up


Author: Sarah Mummy

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  1. Now I tried doing similar with a replica teddy bear my daughter had. In a bid to replicate three year’s worth of abuse (and this is no word of a lie) I tied it to the underside of our car and went for a drive, allowing it to drag along the road. It didn’t work. All the muck washed out first time in the washing machine. Good luck!

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    • Ha ha, that’s commitment! The lengths we go to. My campaign of repeatedly rubbing the fur and dropping the teddy on the ground isn’t making an awful lot of difference, but I’ll keep trying!

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  2. good luck we have Gracie bear and my daughter wouldn’t be able to sleep without her. She’s the same age as your daughter, 11 in March and off to secondary school in September, first school residential in a few months time. I will let Gracie go with her and just hope that she doesn’t get left behind or lost.

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    • Good luck! I think I would spend the whole time worrying about the teddy more than about my daughter! Luckily my daughter is happy to take the spare bear with her (in theory at any rate!).

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  3. Ahh! It is amazing the lengths we go to, to keep our children happy. I hope your girl settles withthe stand in teddy.
    My girl has her monkey and to have a stand in would be impossible. We got him from a charity shop and I haven’t seen another anything like him! Eek x

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    • Thanks very much! I think she will be OK with the stand-in. I think she’d be terrified of taking actual Teddy away with her at any rate. I hope your daughter’s monkey never goes missing! x

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  4. i was devastated when my youngest lost his teddy and searched everywhere trying to find a replacement, he however just moved on to a new one….kids eh?

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    • Ha ha, so typical! As my daughter is the age she is and has had Teddy so long, I know she would be devastated if she lost him!

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  5. Oh my goodness, I never knew how much trouble someone would go to get a teddy to look old and worn. It is so hard isn’t it because it would be awful to lose it. I am quite lucky that the boys never really had a favourite teddy and my daughter has so many teddies, she operates a ‘favourite teddy rotation’ which makes things easier. Good luck and I think you are probably going to have to lie on it every night to try and get it looking worn.

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    • My boys didn’t have a favourite teddy either, thank goodness! I have actually been lying on it, but it’s got a long way to go yet!

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    • Thanks very much! He really can’t go!

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  6. I’ve never seen such teddy abuse in my life and now you have me thinking of ways you could get him to look older. What if you trim the fur away a bit and maybe sand him down with some sandpaper? Good luck though!!!

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    • Sandpaper is a really good idea! It’s got to be more effective than me rubbing him with my hands (although my hands are rather like sandpaper a lot of the time!).

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  7. Ah bless, that’s such a lovely idea. Maybe she could start sleeping with both of them in her bed before she goes so she gets used to this one as well? We also have toys that don’t go anywhere as they can’t sleep without them.

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    • Thanks very much! I think she should have the new teddy in with her to get used to him, but she thinks she can only have one teddy at a time! x

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  8. We had a similar problem after our daughter lost ‘Baby Girl’, her blanket baby (bear head, pink blanket body) she’s had since she was born – that was a treasure, it had been through everything, including all her hospital stays and surgical recoveries, I cried when she lost it.
    Our problem was that it came from Australia and they don’t make them anymore. A lady on Ebay Australia had a blue one, I messaged her and much to my surprise after she heard our story she sent it to me free of charge. It was then that dismantling and destruction began. Like you, I had issues with the bear being ‘too good’. A friend who uses real nappies suggested using a dishwasher tablet in the washing machine to wash it. This stripped some of the fibres leaving it looking more used. A scrubbing with a washing up brush helped as well. I then turned back to my Aussie roots and remembered the hair of every surfer kid I knew growing up – some rock salt and water in a spray bottle, a hair dryer and we were well on our way to ‘Baby Girl’ territory. It took a lot of spraying, washing and drying but we got there in the end.

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    • Wow, that’s amazing! I might try some of these tips myself. It must have been devastating when it was lost. My daughter’s first attachment was to one of those blankets and I ended up buying a similar, but different one, just in case. But she actually moved on to a George the Pig not long after that, until she got Teddy when she was 4 and he became the chosen one!

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  9. Oh good luck hon. I have this to go through next year. I am not looking forward to it at all. We have replica ones, but like I said he knows the different. Not sure what we’ll do, but time will tell. Hugs lovely x

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    • It’s amazing that he can tell the difference! Maybe a replica will be acceptable for him for a school trip – it’s definitely preferable to losing the real thing! x

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  10. This takes me back to a few times when we lost Morgan’s teddy (obviously this was years ago, as Coco now lives with Katie). Katie actually took her ‘Knitted bear’ away to scout camp a few weeks ago, and alot of people had their bears with them. Thankfully knitted bear came home, as it never occurred to me what would happen if she lost him x

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