Sophie the Giraffe
List Price: $26 ($17 on Amazon, though it might be counterfeit)
Date of Dissection: December 21st 2011
Cause of Death: Lack of continued infant interest, maternal curiosity
Biographical Information: Sophie the Giraffe is the toy that unites all (bourgeois) babies. She first came out in 1961 -- she turned 50 last year, though she doesn't look it -- and she's had a certain retro resurgence as of late. She's made of natural rubber and 'food paint' in a small town in France. There are 1,687 customer reviews on Amazon. Good for babies of all ages.
|Eight months pregnant, receiving Sophie the Giraffe|
at my interpretive baby shower.
Sophie spent the first few months of her life in her cute little box. I brought her out when the baby started teething. Sweet Baby James was immediately taken with her squeaky nature, long floppy neck, and particularly delicious hooves. From about November 2011, however, Sophie the Giraffe took a backseat in the toybox, left on her anatomically incorrect backside in favour of empty yogourt containers and measuring cups.
It was clear that Sophie's days were numbered. She was sad and lonely. She was also a very, very dirty girl. My attempts to clean her up -- including the time I brought her into the bath with us, which downgraded her bright little squeak to a forlorn squawk -- were futile. When I was hanging with other mama-baby dyads I could tell which Sophie was "our" Sophie just by virtue of her greying, grimy rubber. I figured I had two options: I could throw her in the trash like a normal mama or I could slice her open like I secretly always wanted.
|Sophie's front and back sides, vertical incision along frontal (coronal) plane|
What's inside Sophie the Giraffe?
|Sophie's slightly damaged plastic and rubber 'reed' |
(the little flap in the centre is the part that vibrates)
Cutting along the seams left by the rubber molding, I was happy to find that there was comparably little dirt, water, or dirty water organisms living inside Sophie. Just her squeaky valve, a plastic and rubber 'reed' that vibrates and produces the high-pitched sound when air is forced through it. Because Sophie can only contain a small amount of air inside her at any given time, the high-pitched sound comes out as an attractive, short little squeak. Having taken her into the bath with us, I probably damaged the reed's flexible parts, thus reducing its ability to vibrate and dampening the sound.
What new/hacked uses does this toy have?
Sweet Baby James is in two minds about Sophie's sudden
|In 2 minds about 1/2 a Sophie|
|More flop for your (26) bucks|
|And she's still delicious!|
Bonus: Instead of making one little squeak, Sophie the Giraffe can now function as a great whistle! You can even play her kind of like a flute: just put your mouth on the reed and give her a good blow, intermittently tapping the other side. This will stop any baby mid-cry -- if you don't mind looking like an ass, because it looks like you're doing something naughty with Sophie's. In fact will make your baby very, very happy. And once in a while, desperate times call for desperate measures.