Think word association. Say the word ‘stuffie‘ to a Brit and I am willing to bet they will want to say…. ‘nose.’ Because noses get stuffy. And there are some stuffy people about too. But American term ‘stuffie’, is not an adjective. It’s a noun. A thing. Child 3 has still has one, even though she’s nearly nine. She has had it since forever. It has been lost and found and loved and mended. In fact the original was eaten by the dogs when they were puppies so thank goodness we had a back-up who now looks just as terrible and scrubby as Ellie 1 did just before she was (and I quote) ‘killed’ by the dogs. Because a ‘stuffie‘ is what I would call a cuddly toy.

Here are two stuffies that used to be very important in our household. The elephant, as I have already revealed, died horribly in the slavering jaws of two hounds. But what about the bear? Where is the bear?

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The fate of the bear is unknown. But he did have a chequered past. Toby (real name Jahobee – don’t ask) was once dropped from the pushchair by a careless Child 2 but a kind passerby popped him up on a hedge so that half an hour later when we dashed back to find him (leaving the front door wide open – oh the joys of parenting 3 children under 5) he was found safe and sound.

And that’s not all.

Once upon a dark and dreary night, Toby was kidnapped. He had been left (oh, careless Child 2) in the car overnight which would have been dandy if the car had not been nicked off the drive in the night. It turned up two days later in a less than salubrious part of Manchester with nothing in it (nothing – no seats, no dash, no steering wheel, nothing) except three kid’s car seats and one quiet bear. He was pretty subdued after that – who knows what an innocent young bear might have seen in those missing hours – yet still he travelled the Atlantic with us and two years later moved from Canada to the States. But that’s where the trail goes cold. Toby has not been seen for years now even though Child 2 was far to old to have taken him out of the house by the time he vanished.

It’s a spooky stuffie mystery. Woooooooo (that’s a ghostly noise btw).

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