Once upon a time there was a little girl. This little girl was happy, smiley and cheerful (most of the time) and so she had lots of friends.
She loved spending time with her friends, playing with them, cuddling them, looking after them, even having sleepovers with a select special few.
But as with all friendships, there was one that was just that tiny little bit more special than the rest. Everyone needs that one friend- that one that they turn to when they are sad, that one who will wipe away the tears when they are falling down your face. That one that makes you smile from ear to ear just by coming into the room. That one that just makes you feel safe when you are feeling unsure.
That little girl was called LL.
And LL had a very special friend called Baa.
On the day Mads was born, Mr E went home for a little while after visiting times finished. On his return back to the hospital a little later he brought with him a large present wrapped up with a bow. Being that Mads was born on Christmas Eve, I didn’t think this was that peculiar. But it turns out this present was for his newborn baby girl and on the tag there were the words ‘To my Baby Girl. The first of many presents from your Daddy.’ Of course, being only a few hours old, she needed a little help unwrapping it but it turns out that inside there was a gorgeously soft pink bunny with long ears and a floppy tail. It made my already hormonal over emotional mind turn into mush and I thought it was so thoughtful and sweet that Mr E had wanted to buy the first present for his little girl. This pink bunny sat watching her from a shelf as she grew from a baby to a toddler and then when she was old enough he was one of the select few that made it into the sacred place- her bed.
When LL was born, Mr E was there again with a large wrapped present- of course he wanted to do the same for this other daughter. Inside was another rabbit, this time a cream one, and yet again this rabbit sits on the shelf and keeps an eye on her. When Mr E bought them, I had visions of these cuddly toys being their chosen ‘special’ ones- just like I had a rabbit that was mine when I was little.
But of course like with anything to do with small people, you can’t predict what they will like and you certainly can’t make them like something. Although both rabbits are very much loved- they aren’t the ‘chosen one.’ No no, out of all the gorgeous handmade, sentimental and gloriously soft cuddly toys my children have, they both have chosen two really rather ordinary toys as their favourites. Mads has ‘Pongo’- a 101 Dalmation that my Mum got her last minute one Christmas and popped in her stocking because she had a current obssesion with the film- since then I don’t think we have watched the movie once, but for some reason he is her special one. She isn’t ridiculously attached to him, but she does always make sure he is in bed at night with her and picks him up and cuddles him as she goes to sleep.
And then there is Baa. Baa is a small, scruffy sheep that we got free on a large Kinder Egg last Easter. Of all the stuffed toys that LL has, he for some reason has captured her heart. But it’s completely different to Mads and Pongo- LL is obsessed with Baa. If she is tired she shouts for Baa, if she is sad she cries for Baa, if she is scared she looks for Baa. Baa is her comfort, her companion and is never far from her side. I didn’t realise just how how much he is there until our recently holiday. Everywhere we went, Baa came too, and we were constantly panicking about losing him somewhere while we were out and about. It got me thinking and looking back on photos, it’s scary to see just how much Baa is present, even just in the background. In fact Baa is pretty well travelled for a cuddly sheep, he’s been out and about on many adventures in the short time he has been with us.
It’s a really lovely thing to witness- the way her eyes light up when you hand him to her at night, the way she offers him to people she trusts for a cuddle as long as you give him straight back, and the way he is somehow just always there, like a fifth member of the family. It really reminds me of ‘Rabbit’ (original names in this house!) and how much comfort he provided me over the years. The times he was there when I was poorly and I unfortunately covered him in sick, the times when I sat patiently watching him whirl round the washing machine having a clean, the times I cuddled him when I was somewhere without my Mum and Dad, and even as I got older the times I remember crying into him when I broke up with my first boyfriend at school.
I love watching LL and Baa’s very special friendship and how besotted she is with her best friend. I just only hope we never lose him!
Lots of memories with Baa.