Monday, October 26, 2009

Sophie La Girafe

A recent article in the Los Angeles Times explained "How Sophie the giraffe became a status teether - A mom ponders the appeal of the soft, adorable and pricey teething toy from France." This article brought back many memories from childhood and beyond, as I used to have my own Sophie back in the days when she was certainly not an it toy, and as I have since seen her, clutched in the little hands of many French kids - lovely, precious baby Arthur, whom I posted about last summer, was so kind as to let me borrow his Sophie for the picture above.
Sophie La Girafe has been produced artisanally in France since 1961; the all-natural rubber she's made of comes from hevea trees, which makes her safe for babies to put in their mouths.
Just for old times' sake, I had my mum mail me one from France a couple of weeks ago. At first propped on my bookshelf, Sophie had to make a hasty retreat into a closet as Benjy was eager to sink his fangs in, and to chew in order to elicit Sophie's high pitched squeak...

In the picture below, yes, it's me! Aged about 6 months,in our Paris kitchen, with my dear Sophie...

34 comments:

Taocito said...

OOOOOOH! I love your baby pictures. Tell me, were you also delivered like me in a big gym bag with a red bow?
I don't know Sophie but she looks very chewable, as I am sure the Oracle would agree

Simply Mel said...

Sophie goes everywhere with my little crumb!

vintage simple said...

Oh - adorable..! Want to know what I love the most about this?? You were in an apartment in *Paris* at age 6 months! Of course you were very cute, too. And Sophie is beautiful in that most vintage-y chic way the old continent can pull off so effortlessly.

-maria

Mary-Laure said...

TAOCITO - I don't think I was delivered by a grand dadais in a gym bag with a webcam and all... But I'll have to check with my mum...
Stay away from Sophie!

SIMPLY MEL - of you MUST post a picture of your little one with Sophie! Pllllleeeeaaaase...

VINTAGE SIMPLE - yes, I was born in Paris. We left for Uruguay when I was 9 months and then went to live in Iran a few months later, when I was around 1. The Traveling Baby!

sealaura said...

so cute! j'ai besoin d'une petite sophie!

Beth said...

Never had a special teething toy - just used my thumb! - but Sophie La Girafe is precious. And so were you as a baby!

Debra said...

Just adorable and I know of a sweet, tiny boy that would love this- how do I order one-can you help? Your baby picture is so very sweet.

Mardi @eatlivetravelwrite said...

You are adorable!!!

I always buy many Sophies for friends when I am in France because they are so much cheaper than here in North America!

giulia said...

Oh, I forgot about Sophie until a friend brought her little one back this summer with Sophie. I must try to get a picture before he gives it to their cute chien, Toffee.

So cute...this cheered me up.

xo

PS: Yes, you were adorable & I am sure you are now, too.

PPS: That Tacocito is a pistol! lol

corine said...

heh, heh.. i had one as well. I have to say the rubber doesn't last from one kid to the next (but my boys are six years apart.) also, my middle name is sophie, no relation.

Mary-Laure said...

DEBRA - Sophie is available on Amazon, for $16.40: http://www.amazon.com/Vulli-Sophie-Giraffe-Teether-Brown/dp/B000IDSLOG/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=toys-and-games&qid=1256607010&sr=8-1
(Shipping is free for orders over $25).
I may also bring back a few from Paris, though they are really not that much cheaper (around €10, or $15) there, because of the high Euro.

GIULIA - yes Taocito is a riot; he's my sister's dog!

Mardi @eatlivetravelwrite said...

Hmm yes - well last time I was buying Sophie, she was 8 euros and the exchange rate was much better....

Annie said...

What a darling baby you were! xoxo

drollgirl said...

this is adorable!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

thereddeer said...

Very cute pic - awwwww!

Laura in Paris said...

Sophie, what an international traveler!

Joyful said...

You and Sophie are simply adorable!

Sam said...

Oh bless you!!!!! SOOOO cute you little thing there staring at the camera with your wee little Sophia!!!! Thank you for telling me about Sophia - I'd never heard of her before. Love, love both photos but especially the one of you! Benji - haha! Cheeky boy!

abigail said...

I wonder if I knew some french kids when I was a baby, or if a french friend of my parents gave me a sophie as a gift because she looks soooo familiar.

and you look adorable in your baby picture!

Angie Muresan said...

Sophie is a cutie, but that baby picture of you is simply darling!

april in iowa said...

Love this photograph and the story behind Sophie. A chewable giraffe must drive Benji mad.

jean-louis said...

Je pense que tu as mille fois raison de tenir Sophie loin des crocs de Mr Benjy. Avec cet animal, on ne sait jamais en ce qui me concerne, a quel moment il va nous sauter dessus....Dad

Esti said...

que foto mas bonita!!

janis said...

You are such an alert and beautiful baby!

Sophie? This is new to me!

mansuetude said...

you beautiful!

do you remember holding it in memory; or just later?

TERI REES WANG said...

Viva La Girafe!..Viva Sophie!

So smart. So French. So chewy.

Are you teething?
Are you seething?
Are you sure?

Are you cooing?
Are you mooing?
Are you sure?

;P

J Elaine said...

That Benjy! Will he stop at nothing?!

Mary-Laure said...

MANSUETUDE - I don't have actual memories of teething with Sophie, but I've seen so many pictures, and I also suppose she was always present, if not among my toys, at least among the toys of other younger kids...
My sister claims she never had a Sophie but I find that difficult to believe!

TERI REES - your limerick made me laugh out loud!

J ELAINE - at NOTHING. Didn't you know that already?

miss cavendish said...

What a charming toy/teether!

Rebecca said...

Oh, how adorable! I've never heard of Sophie, but she sounds like a great toy. I really don't see what the big deal about the price is (like some of the people in that article), for something all-natural that seems like a quality item! I think people are just accustomed to buying lots of cheap junk.. :( This is totally going on my future-wishlist for hypothetical babies!

And you were just adorable!

Mary-Laure said...

REBECCA - yes, Sophie is quite affordable, but my guess is that she used to be more expensive.
Anyhow, I'd much rather buy something that's safe, made in a country where they don't have kids working in sweatshops (like France), even if it's more pricey.
I have a friend whose baby just turned 1 and who issued "guidelines" to his friends regarding the birthday presents - like, you know, no unnecessary plastic, made-in-China junk etc. Let's all remember that tainted made-in-China baby formula - literally a killer... The quest for cheap is really biting us back, what with all the food recalls, toxic plastics etc.
Anyhow, Sophie may be about $16 on Amazon, but she's for ever...

Joyce said...

Makes me want to have my own Sophie. A very neat story. I chuckled as I vision sweet Benjy wanting a piece of Sophie. Makes me think when our Kelly girl was younger she would go afer anything smaller than her. LOL... xoxo

Sherin said...

Awww, that picture is sooo adorable!!!

plaisirs simples said...

sofie the giraffe is the craziest phenomenon. i love it! you see it/her in EVERY baby stroller in NY.