Kids can get attached to all sorts of toys — teddy bears, Barbie dolls, toy trucks — but one mom’s toddler has quite a unique favorite.
His name is William Shakespeare.
Sophie McBain, a New Statesman reporter from the UK who lives in New York, told BuzzFeed News her 20-month-old daughter is obsessed with the toy, which she calls “Shayspar.”
The toddler (who McBain declined to name or share photos of for privacy reasons) got the toy as a Christmas present last year, but she didn’t become attached to it until recently. When McBain first saw the gift, she thought it looked “creepy.”
“I think one of the things about being British is you can have a relatively good poker face in these situations — we’re quite used to repressing emotions,” she said. “So I was just like, ‘…oh! Great! Thanks!’”
McBain isn’t sure why her daughter suddenly became obsessed with this particular toy.
“She’s got all these cute stuffed monkeys and bunnies and an Elmo toy, but for some reason, it’s ‘Shayspar’ who’s really captured her imagination,” she said.
Shayspar and the toddler hang out every day, doing everything together, McBain said.
The two go on stroller tours of the house, have breakfast together (sometimes with the late playwright getting his own bowl), and sleep together at night.
“She likes to put him on the potty quite a bit,” she said. “Which is interesting because I’ve been trying for a long time to get her to sit on the potty, and it’s not happening, but Shakespeare spends a lot of time on the potty.”
Like any best friends, they have their issues.
“Sometimes she gets frustrated with him because she wants him to sit up independently, but he’s too floppy to do that,” said McBain. “She’ll go, ‘Shayspar, sit! Sit!’ and gets very stressed out.”
McBain said her husband thinks the attachment is “sweet,” but she is a little “less tolerant” of the doll’s creepiness.
“I’ve been toying with the idea of getting Shayspar to go on a little vacation in the cupboard for a few months to see if she starts taking interest in her slightly more normal toys,” she said.
People are cracking up over Shayspar, with a lot of people agreeing the doll looks incredibly creepy.
Still, others are all about McBain’s daughter’s new pal and think it could lead to a love of language in her future.