Do you remember the names of the toys you had as a child?
It is more years than I care to count since I lined my teddies and dolls neatly at the end of my bed and ticked their names on a home made register to play 'schools'. Not one of my inanimate childhood companions survived the rigours of time - they have all ended up in the great toybox in the sky - yet I still remember their names and it isn't difficult to conjure up memories of how they looked and felt and even their own special smells.
My three year old has just started naming her toys. She has considerably more than I ever had and is fickle in her affections but one toy is emerging as a definite favourite.
This particular toy was purchased from Dudley Zoo's gift shop and was a birthday present from her sister. She chose it herself out of the huge array of different stuffed animals and promptly named it Swaine the Meerkat.
Standing tall and stiff, Swaine the Meerkat isn't particularly cuddly but she does often sleep with it in her bed. Swaine the Meerkat doesn't have what I would class as a friendly face (I'd go as far as to say it looks bit evil) but she loves it.
Maybe in years to come she will think back with fondness at the memory of a small, stiff, slightly evil looking Meerkat named Swaine in much the same way as I do about my old teds Cuddly, Humpty and Footso and my dolls Patricia and Michelle. Or maybe he will be a long forgotten, dusty and discarded, mass produced piece of tat who, if such things were possible, would dream of the glory days when he was the favourite, much loved possession of a little girl who gave him a name.