Roma is one of those children that loves cuddly toys, she is your typical child who has a whole array of them at the end of her bed and that I find littered around the house with the latest favourites being placed in all manner of scenarios, sat on the stairs as we arrive back in the door, wrapped in blankets having a sleep on the chair or being fed an apple at the table! This did come as a bit of a surprise after Eva showed pretty much no interest in such things at all other than 3 bedtime rabbits (you know the ones with only heads and a blanket as a body, strange things) don’t get me wrong she never ever slept without all three of them but they wouldn’t leave the bed and were mostly forgotten about come morning.
It became apparent quite quickly that Roma was very different and even as a baby she would hang on to the little Jelly Cat soft toys that I think pretty much every baby is gifted and very soon took a shine to the few we had kept from when Eva was little too. There was this one Teddy that Eva has been brought by a friend of Eddy’s and it was huge, probably at the time much bigger than Roma and she took a real liking for, which of course made Eva suddenly like it again too and it would be a tussle of who could get to it first or a swift “but it’s my Teddy” when Roma was inevitably running in the opposite direction with it clutched tightly to her chest. I must admit it was a beautiful teddy which was handmade, grey with a stunning flowery pattern.
Of course, as parents of two trying to keep the peace we were absolutely delighted to receive another one for Roma as a gift and oh my gosh does she love it. Neither of my girls are imaginative with names and so it is simply called “The Big Teddy” any suggestion or question as to its name is greeted by “Big Teddy” with the kind of look that questioned why it would be anything else, just like rabbit was rabbit and baby was baby, it was a given.
Anyway this week Roma has been poorly, she had a night where she was sick pretty much constantly and therefore every single piece of bedding we have, all her sheets, pillows, her pyjamas and mine were added to the ever growing pile by the washing machine. For days (thanks to the rain) I had a whole house covered in drying literally everywhere you looked. Along with her beloved grey jelly cat rabbit that I am in constant fear of losing, the big teddy suffered the same sick fate.
Due to it’s handmade nature I didn’t want to subject it to the washing machine with the risk it may not survive and would come out to look like my pillows which I think are pretty much ruined! So I carefully hand washed it and put a still dripping wet teddy in the airing cupboard and then dealt with the ” is the big teddy dry yet?” question every 5 minutes. Seriously I do not know how many times we made that journey up the stairs to open the airing cupboard and check on its dryness and welfare in the 24 hours it was away from her. The utter glee on her face though when it was in fact dry and back in her possession was pure magic, she gave it the biggest cuddle I think she ever has.
It is lovely, if not stressful for me, to see her attached to little things and I know that these are the ordinary moments I will want to remember and relay one day to her. She just adores it. That is until I suggest that maybe she would like to sit with it to take some photos whilst playing in the garden and suddenly she could not look like she cared less about this massive blue floppy teddy if she tried! I actually think the photo of the teddy sitting up makes it looks slightly sad and abandoned and then it falls and lies alone on the ground, maybe that is symbolic of years to come and how these things change, or maybe of how these children like to make us parents look like we are making it all up in the first place!
It really does make me laugh though and I can assure you that she does love that big teddy of hers, as I am writing this in my office it has catapulted back to much loved status and is currently tucked up in the room next door taking pride of place in Roma’s bed where it is having a much needed sleep….with the lamp on, because nothing is too much trouble for the Big Teddy….except a symbolic photo, or a name maybe!