People assume children love cuddly toys. All of my kids received cuddly toys as gifts when they were little.
I had a large blue teddy bear named Kissy as a child who went everywhere with me - I even remember falling out with my mum in '76 because she claimed (unreasonably as far as I could see! ) that it could not be fitted into our family VW Beetle for a trip to Blackpool along with me, my brother, 2 suitcases, a tent, and all our camping gear!
Charlotte was obsessed by this snowman from three to six. She had my mum knit him a coat claiming he was cold. Remembering my traumatic separations from Kissy as a child
- I used to leave her carrots and berries when we went on holiday and tuck her up in bed so she would feel safe and I would then take a drawing of her with me - I let Lots take Frosty everywhere - he's flown all over Europe, always in hand luggage in case BA should accidentally transfer him to Osaka!
Léon is the cuddliest little boy I know - he often spontaneously comes out with 'I need a hug' and sits hugging you tightly. But he is completely uninterested in cuddly toys. Yesterday for Children in Need everyone had to bring a bear to nursery. As we waited to go in 90% of the kids stood tightly hugging or kissing their bear. Léon, as a last minute gesture, had taken Anna's purple zebra and held it dangling by one leg. When I went to pick him up, his teacher said she'd had to retrieve it all afternoon as Léon had kept putting it down completely disinterested. If she'd binned it, he couldn't have cared less. It isn't a lack of paternal instinct - he had a tantrum yesterday when I didn't let him change Anna's nappy (he'll make someone a wonderful husband one day!) and hugs her constantly, almost smothering her. He just sees cuddly toys as insignificant pieces of material. Marcel was the same as a small boy. Happy to cuddle me but not interested by inanimate objects...
Interestingly, Charlotte was only interested in the snowman after I stopped breastfeeding her. I wonder if Frosty was a mummy replacement and the boys just didn't need mummy replacements once they came off the boob because they were happy to admit they needed a hug while Charlotte was trying to act grown up and independent? I must monitor it with Anna, who so far also shows no interest in cuddly toys.