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Dublin: 9 °C Wednesday 24 April, 2019
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In defence of sleeping with a Barney teddy at the ripe old age of 23

My mother likes to refer to him as ‘that purple bastard’.

BARNEY THE DINOSAUR doesn’t exactly have the greatest image depending on who you ask. For example, if you ask my mother, she will tell you that theme song of Barney and Friends was the bane of her existence for the first three to five years that I was around.

It’s hard to blame her tbh, it was awful.

In my defence, I was aged between three and five so it’s not like I had taste. Anyway, my obsession with the big purple dinosaur led to my relatives buying me a fair amount of Barney-related-gifts. Most of these have been lost to time but one still remains.

It is, of course, my 21-year-old Barney teddy.

Barney was given to me by my aunt when I was two years old and just getting into the frenzied fan phase of my obsession. While he did on occasion keep me quiet, he also became a problem for my parents as I insisted on bringing him EVERYWHERE which led to some issues.

One time while flying back from Heathrow Airport, I somehow managed to lose Barney and refused to get on the plane. Instead of just making me get on the plane, my mother raced back to Duty-Free where she found the ‘purple bastard’ nestled neatly between two large bottles of vodka.

I think we can take two things from that story; my mother loves me very, very much and a parent is willing to do nearly anything to prevent having to take a screaming child onto a plane.

Barney’s had a hard life. He’s had numerous holes that have been stitched up and his eyes are shattered making him look more like a serial killer than a children’s TV character. That being said, he’s still a great companion to have as my dog Lulu will testify to.

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Best buds #Barney #dog #cute

A post shared by Rachel O'Neill (@ronronzo) on

All joking aside, at 23 years old a good few of you might be questioning why I still keep the teddy of a TV show that I long ago stopped watching on my bed? It’s a fair question and one which I’ve had to answer once or twice from people I’ve invited to share the bed with.

The simple answer is that he brings me comfort. I’ve suffered from anxiety for as long as I can remember. I’m someone who finds it difficult to sleep at the best of times and gets a good few nightmares when I do manage it. Sometimes these nightmares are just horrible and I grab the nearest thing to bring me comfort which is my Barney teddy.

Am I a big child who should be able to handle her problems? No, I’m a big child who most of the time can handle her problems but when I can’t, it’s nice to be able to regress to something which brings me as much comfort now as it did when I was two years old.

Given he’s survived me moving out from my childhood home and in with my boyfriend, he’s probably going to be hanging around for a good bit longer.

I wouldn’t have it any other way.

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Rachel O'Neill

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