Jimmy The Dressing Gown.

By Alison April 4, 2007 8 Comments 3 Min Read


Finley has got Mummy Bear. Gabriel has got Doggy and Bear. Eleanor has  Keekie. Caitlin has poor little Pasquale and our Helen, aged thirty two and a half, has got Jimmy the Dressing Gown.

Oh yes. Helens  comforter as  a child was  Jimmy the very small, green felted wool dressing gown. And Helens comforter as a grown up  is a very small green felted wool dressing gown who lives  under her pillow and follows her from house to house. Bless him. He isn’t mine and yet I know how he smells. I know how it feels to rub the smocking around his neck…

Helen was a ritualistic child. She couldn’t go to bed without  Jimmy, Dummy and Beans  (A  kind  of rubber  faced fabric doll with beans in his tummy). Me, I skipped the stairs to bed all by myself. I never had a single childhood "friend" other than my imaginary mate Peter who had to have a place set for him at the table…

Even now I find the whole "comforter" thing a bit strange. I live in fear of Mummy Bear being lost. At quarter to seven every evening my heart starts to race because the blasted little yellow blanket is nowhere to be seen. When a demented search reveals him hiding in the fridge, I watch in wonder as Finley bashes himself in the face with the little yellow critter as he falls asleep. Slowly but surely bits of him are being loved away. The silky ribbon edging has come away, and his little black nose is looking a little threadbare. And it doesn’t matter how often I wash him, Mummy Bear stinks in a way familiar to every child who has ever loved an inanimate object half to death…

While I appreciate the comfort Mummy Bear has provided, I find him to be a stressful little matter. What if we lost him forever? What if Finley still wants to take him to bed when he is nineteen and three quarters and it is socially unacceptable? What if Finley really does love him more than he loves me (Apparently him and Mummy Bear are "moving to another house" because they don’t love me anymore!). What if bit by bit, I started to cut little bits off him till there wasn’t much left to love? Wouldn’t that be a good plan? Maybe Helen won’t notice if I cut an arm or two off Jimmy the dressing gown too…?

Lordy, what the hell is wrong with me? Is this some kind of warped form of jealousy because I haven’t got a dressing gown of my own to love? Should I go and claim the housekeepers equivalent? A nice crocheted little pinny to stroke as I fall asleep?  Should I sneak into Finn’s room at night and borrow Mummy Bear to see what all the fuss is about? And more than all of this: does my lack of love for something snuggly mean I’ve got committment issues??  Are these children with deep attachments to fuzzy things simply teaching themselves how to love well? To love something simply because it is…?

Peter where are you now, now that I need you? Tears on my pillow…

Read about more snuggly bezzie mates here in the tale of Dirty Wow Wow.


  1. Cookie says:

    Alison…I absolutely fell of my chair laughing at this one…you are one hellova storyteller !!! I dont get the comforter thing either. My daughter (now 31) gave up her "Bobby" the night before her wedding and she was 22 then. Go figure ! You are one funny lady…dont ever stop.

  2. Sarah says:

    I still have my lovely bear Sam, however he sits on a chair in by bedroom. He used to belong to my Dad so is very old, extremely well loved, has no nose and is threadbare so is more comfortable there! I remember my brothers old duck (Captain Beaky) that I suspect he still has stashed somewhere in his house – along with the playmobile and toy soldiers and my sisters bear (cross teddy) who we had to turn around for when we were going on holiday…. Its a shame to grow up isn't it!

  3. Gayla says:

    The Velveteen Rabbit thing…. Ah, well…. some of us don't have comforters because we are such extreme pessimists at heart we feel if we attach that much, the item is doomed to fall into a fire or something… at least I think that's what I think… I have adopted a beautiful brocade coverlet from my mother two Christmases ago… I call it my "pet cover" and have made all sorts of fuss over it, but truth be told, I could sleep under a newspaper if I'm tired. Love you, hun.

  4. Finley!!!! Hide the scissors NOW!!!
    And run for your life! My own mother cut my blankie into fourths!!! It didn't stop my sincere affection for blankie and blankie didn't stop loving me…not any part of him. Or her.
    So she starched all four parts. Stiff.

  5. Elizabeth says:

    My son, now 16, had dear Teddy Brown. I lived in fear that good old Teddy Brown would get lost, he travelled extensively with us and now resides in my hutch. He has had many surgeries to reattach his head and neck firmly to his shoulders, has undergone plastic surgeries around his eyes. I can;t imagine ever getting rid of him.

  6. shelanne says:

    Happy the Hippo, bit smelly now. 10 yr old dd knows he won't survive another wash, but is a bit smelly. What to do? Maybe whole comforter thing solves itself if fuzzy thing gets too stinky and too fragile even for the delicates cycle!!!

  7. Helen May says:

    Dear Sister,
    Come near my Jimmy and consider our sibling relationship OVER!
    Anyway, I think you'll find it was much more difficult for me at 3 years old to understand why there was someone sat at our dinner table called Peter, who got his own dinner plate and cup, who everybody referred to, looked at and even occassionally addressed… AND I COULDN'T SEE HIM! It baffled me!

  8. Thanks for bringing back the memories, in a way only you can. My Humphrey B. Bear, is still alive, but a lot worse the wear missing an eye, fur, etc. When I met my husband, he said to me: 'I hope you love me, but not as much as Humphrey!' My sister had a bye bye (blanket). Mum was worried she would be walking down the aisle with it, so gave it to the good will. My sister was devastated. Another friend told her son that the Easter Bunny had taken his dummy away and now he hates the Easter Bunny with a passion. What I thought was lovely was when an old friend saved a piece of her daughter's special blanket from childhoold and sewed a small piece into the lining of her wedding dress. Thought that was really special. I think it would be quite a dilemma for parents as to what to do with these precious items. Luckily my children are not really attached to anything. No imaginery friends either. My sister had one called Catholic. I must ask her what happend to him. Maybe she is living happily ever after with Peter!

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