Mom takes daughter’s stuffed teddy bear on trip so he can ‘see the world’, tweet quickly goes viral
When MSNBC anchor Katie Phang landed in New York City for a quick work trip from her home in Miami on Friday, she had a furry critter hidden in her suitcase: “Frankie,” her daughter’s beloved stuffed bear.
She put him in the suitcase and I literally forgot about him until I got to the hotel,” the 47-year-old Katie Phang Show host told Yahoo Lifestyle with a laugh, explaining that her 8-year-old daughter Charlotte asked her to take the creature with her to the Big Apple so it could “see the world “.
“‘He never left the apartment,’ ‘He never left the house,'” Penn recalls Charlotte saying. “I said, ‘Well, you can take them to Publix. If you really want them to go somewhere, you can take them to the supermarket,’ and then she looked at me, rolled her eyes and said, ‘The supermarket is not New York City. “
Can’t argue with that, joked Phang, who agreed to take Franky.
The owner had 24 hours to show him as many sights as possible. She also made sure to film every step of Franky’s adventure – from the set at MSNBC headquarters to a long scenic walk along Sixth Avenue and a short coffee break near St. Patrick’s Cathedral.
“My youngest daughter asked me to take her stuffed animal Frankie to New York because ‘he’s never been out of our house before and needs to see the world,'” Penn tweeted with a photo of the pink stuffed animal toy. The hotel bed. “Please say hello to Frankie!”
Franky’s adventures immediately garnered Twitter attention with over 1 million views and nearly 50,000 likes and retweets. The images inspired others to share photos of their own stuffed animals and share sweet anecdotes about how they helped them get through tough times.
“About 12 years ago, my mom (who now has dementia) put Bun Bun and Quackdoodle in my husband and I’s Easter basket,” one commenter wrote alongside a photo of a stuffed duck and stuffed bunny. “Since then, they’ve traveled with us wherever we’ve gone.”
“Greetings from Dottie,” added one follower next to a photo of their stuffed animal toys.
“So cute!!!” Another interjected. “#Lego for the same reason Chefie is traveling with me.”
Charlotte, who owns “dozens” of stuffed animals, is not surprised by Frankie’s viral success.
“She’s so excited that people love Franky,” Phang says. “It fits what it’s about, right? She really wanted to show him what the world was like. I asked her, ‘Well, now that he’s seen it, what do you think?’ She said, ‘Well, now he can tell me.'”
Franky had another purpose, Phang added, saying that leaving Charlotte could be tough on the family. Making sure Franky had the trip of a lifetime was an intimate experience for them both.
“This is the first time in eight years she’s asked me to bring a stuffed jar. It was kind of like a little proxy for her,” Phang says. “So when it’s with me, [it’s] like she’s with me.”
For cable news hosts, it’s also refreshing to see people from different backgrounds come together online to celebrate Frankie, especially now when there’s such “talk” around the world.
“It’s a terrible world these days,” she said. “It’s such a tough world, and no matter who you’re politically connected to, no matter how old you are, no matter where you live or what your background is, I think certain things are uniform” – including “children” and “pets. ” and “pets.”
“Anywhere you go you’re reminded that we have arguments all the time,” she said. “It’s nice that we get to see some inanimate object – even though in my daughter’s mind, he’s not; he means something to her. Her love for Frankie keeps you somewhat grounded. She entrusted him to me to make sure he had a positive experience, and that was uplifting for him. If you think about it, it’s a really generous thing to do.”
“It made me realize, well, this is what the Internet is supposed to do for us,” she says. “Sometimes it’s supposed to be provocative, but I also think it’s supposed to unite us with people who aren’t next door, in other parts of the world. It helps us find some common ground.”
“The way children see the world is pure,” she notes. “If my youngest daughter’s stifling heat can make someone feel good and remember their childhood, or anything that reminds them of warmth and friendliness, that’s great. It’s a gentle reminder to all of us that there are commonalities. There are things that bring us together and things that unite us because of the polarization in the world today.”
And, for those who are wondering: Frankie’s adventure is far from over.
“Charlotte and I are going to create an Instagram account called ‘The Adventures of Frankie and Friends,'” Penn revealed. “Then, Frankie can bring a friend. I’m going to LA for work next week, so I’m taking Frankie and a friend to LA.”
We’ll be sure to stay tuned.