One of the things my sister and I have inherited from our mother is a wonderful collection of feather duvets, or ‘downies’ as she always called them. We always slept under feather downies, whether we were living in Zambia or Scotland. We literally have chests full of them and the collection ranges from single light-weight duvets to a king-size, double-stuffed monster that helped my parents survive freezing Scottish winters in an unheated manse (well, the bedrooms were always unheated).
We also have a baby cot-size duvet with the original green striped cover that has been saved for all these years, to be finally handed on to us and used by baby Daniel. So far it is the only thing he has shown any attachment to and is now essential for when we put him to bed. He cuddles it up against his cheek and runs his hand over it as he falls asleep. If he does not want to go to sleep in the cot, he stands up, gathers the whole thing up in his arms and says, ‘up, up’. If he wakes up at night or in the morning, he is often sitting-down, rooting around under his blankets, saying: ‘ebey, ebey’. For some reason that is the word he has invented for it: ‘ebey’. I’m sure my mother would love to know that Daniel is making up words and that one of her precious feather downies is being loved by her grandson.