Most special toys seems to have been owned from birth, not so ‘Leopard’, the imaginatively-named BFF of my number one son Jack. I do remember the pre-leopard year, when Jack made no particular connection to anything fluffy or cuddly. He had just taken to a floppy lion, and brought him with us to Scotland, when POW, my Auntie gives him a new, spotty friend, and the love-affair starts.
Floppy lion was unceremoniously dumped in favour of the spotty wonder. He was named ‘Leopard’ straight away. I always thought he may develop a real name as the years went by, but apart from the ‘Munnee’ phase (no idea, don’t ask), he has always been known by this simple moniker. Within a few days we realised, horror of horrors, that leopard was, in fact, a Cheetah! There was no way the name ‘Leopard’ was going anywhere by this time, so it stuck. Leopard has been part of the family ever since. He used to come EVERYWHERE with us. I know what you’re thinking, what if the worst ever happened and Leopard went walkabout? Well we thought that too, as soon as we realised how special he was to Jack. After searching high & low there was no identical leopards/cheetah’s to be found, except in the USA via Ebay for silly money. Jack was given various ‘relatives’ for leopard, which had spots, but were not the same, just in case the main guy ever got lost.
Luckily for us the only time our precious Leopard ever got lost was when he was left at the doctor’s surgery. We retrieved him, and had the talk about not taking him everywhere. I guess he outings have reduced now, 8 years later, but he is still a permanent fixture when Jack is at home. There is no way he can ever be replaced. Gone are the days when I could safely scrub him with antibacterial soap & a nail brush, his fur has gone to nothing on his back. He’s had so many repairs that his waist is tiny and he has no stuffing in his middle, making him a Leopard of two halves. We’re beyond any chance of extra fur or repairs being made, as then Leopard would not be Leopard. So, the solution has been a thick sock, made into a polo-necked jumper for the poor floppy beast!
Leopard has a very distinct personality (and smell), and I hope he survives for many more years. He features in many pictures, as he’s always around!
If you have, or remember a special toy, or your child does, why not write a little about them and enter this competition? http://tattooedmummy.blogspot.co.uk/2013/11/a-special-toy-blog-competition.html
The prize is a stunning Hide-Away Rabbit puppet with mini-beast friends from http://www.onestopbugshop.co.uk. You have until 9pm on 30th November to get your entries in!