A child’s toy – specifically their favourite cuddly ones – must be treated with both care and respect.
On many occasions, I have received a stern warning for mistreatment of little, but inanimate, friends. Apparently, when dolly needs to be put away, it is unacceptable to go for the long shot, pro-basketball style, and hurl dolly the length of the room. I also note there is no kudos given for making the shot and slotting Missy’s floppy friend, bang into the toy box.
Children, well Missy at least, can get particularly attached to a toy. It becomes their friend, and they can get quite irate or even mournful if it isn’t in sight at all times.
That in itself creates issues. Missy has a bunny, “Monsieur Lapin”. Mr. Bunny is by far her favourite thing in the world. Sure, she had the standard dozen fluffy toys that get rotated in and out of her bed on some secret schedule only she understands, but Mr. Bunny is always there. He goes to School with her, he comes on picnics, he has meals with us, and he travels in the car. Mr. Bunny must also be the most well journeyed rabbit on the planet; I should get him a frequent flyer card.
But all this travelling and playing makes Mr. Bunny quite dirty. So here it is. Missy barely lets him out of her sight, and villainously flinging him in into the washing machine would cause a riot at our house.
Of course, Mum had the answer and came swiftly to the rescue. Mr. Bunny is a popular make of toy, and so with a simple visit to the shops, Mr Bunny had a stunt double. When washing was needed, in an operation so swift and decisive you would need a super slow motion camera to properly see it, Mr. Rabbit was replaced by…Mr. Rabbit.
Well, it did work like that for quite a while until an unforeseen event occurred: ie I got involved. Missy was unexpectedly and scandalously exposed to both Monsieur Lapin and his stunt double, at the same time. Stunt double is now known as Madame Lapine.
I must say, it was quite the shock for her at first, but she soon coped with the discovery Mr. Bunny was secretly married quite well. The funny thing is she can tell these fluffy toys apart, despite the fact they are mass-produced. I was putting her to bed one night, when she announced that Madame Lapine was in attendance, when she wanted Monsieur Lapin. I, of course, tried to convince her that it was Mr Bunny, and no way was it Mrs. Bunny.
”No, silly Daddy, Mr. Bunny has a mark in his head.”
I found the other bunny, thankfully washed and dried, and on close inspection, there it was. There was a slight, almost imperceptible, stitching anomaly on the head.
She can tell them apart – oh dear.