If toys had feelings.


Everyone; Meet Panda! 


This panda belongs to my little boy, and his name is...Panda (original, I know.) 

I first saw Panda when he was sat on a shelf in Oxfam and I was looking for some cuddly toys for our book corner. I noticed he was a Jellycat toy (if you've got kids then you will know that Jellycat is like the Chanel of cuddly toys- £££!!) so, I picked him up and when I noticed how soft and lovely he was, I paid for him and took him home to my son. 

Well, the bond between them was almost instant. Etienne took a real strong liking to Panda and pretty much discarded every other cuddly toy in the house. I don't know why, but I believe it had something to do with the fact that babies respond well to light and dark contrasting colours, as they captivate and hold the baby's attention better than less striking colour contrasts. There has been lots of research into this and here's the general understanding:

"An adult retina can distinguish many different shades of light and color, but a newborn retina can only detect large contrasts between light and dark, or black and white.Research has proven that black and white contrasts register powerfully on baby’s retina and send the strongest visual signals to baby’s brain. Stronger signals mean more brain growth and faster visual development. Surround a baby with soft pastel colors, and you might as well be blindfolding him. Surround your baby with black and white or light and dark pictures, and watch your baby’s eyes light up."


So, with Panda being black and white, I guess Etienne's instant fascination and love of him supports this research! Interesting, isn't it? Well, I thought so, anyway!

So, since day 1, their bond has been..well....beautiful. I don't know how else to put it, but if you're a parent of a child who has a comforter, you will just get it.

They are the best of friends. Panda is Etienne's biggest comfort, he is his go-to when he is sad, tired, or hurt. He takes him absolutely everywhere. They are totally inseparable and, along the way, I've grown hugely attached to Panda,too. Honestly, I'm 25 years old and I live in fear of losing a black and white cuddly toy. What is that all about? We once lost him, whilst on holiday in Cornwall, and I (alongside Etienne and the rest of my family members) had REAL tears in my eyes. I'm not even kidding. Thankfully, we quickly found him again but it felt like I had lost my child. It was a few minutes of utter PANIC.  

[[The day Panda got left in a shop doorway in the rain. Sad, sad times!]]

A thought which crosses my mind daily is:
"What the hell would I ever do if we properly lost Panda?"

Anyway, whilst watching Toy Story the other day with Etienne (we've all seen Toy Story, right? If not, I suggest you leave right away and watch it because you cannot go through life without having seen it- it is, quite possibly, the greatest animation of all time) I suddenly thought to myself:

 "what if toys really do have feelings?"

And with that thought, I saw Panda. 

Now, Panda is CLEARLY well loved. He is so well loved in fact, that he has lost most of the stuffing from his neck area because he has been hugged so tightly by Etienne. He has barely had a wash, because I cannot find even five minutes when he is not by Etienne's side and.....once, Etienne saw Panda going round and round in the washing machine and he was traumatized so, I wouldn't like to mentally scar him for life. Hence why, understandably, he smells pretty bad but, to Etienne; he's perfect! 

 If Panda has feelings then I am sure that he feels very loved and cared for but...what the hell else must he be thinking?! I hate to think, since he is also Etienne's "stress ball" when he is angry or having one of his two year old meltdowns. When things don't quite go his way; Panda gets it! Much like how a husband tends to be on the receiving end of his wife's angry outbursts, I suppose. It's true that we take our anger out on those who are closest to us and for Etienne; that person is definitely Panda.

So, for your entertainment, and whilst feeling terribly sorry for Panda in many ways I've put myself in his shoes for a moment and I've compiled a list of thoughts he might have throughout a typical day with Etienne:

1) OUCH! Hug me, but not like that. That hurts.

2)God, I smell. Why won't they wash me??? It's been about 6 months since my last bath.This is neglect, where the hell is social services when you need them?!

3) What the F is that on my leg? Spag bol? Brilliant.

4)These people are stupid, of course I don't eat Cheerios! Who do they think I am?

5) Wish he would stop blaming me for having a ''stinky bum'' when everyone knows it's his nappy that needs seeing to!

6)STOP shoving your plastic play food in my mouth, I only eat bamboo! Don't you people know anything about my species?

7) Uh oh, I'm in trouble!

8)WOAH, he's launched me across the room again- what did I do this time?! 

9) I think I might be suffering from concussion.

10) I wish he'd stop taking his frustration out on me, all I ever did was sit here all cute and cuddly.

11) ANNNNDDDDD I'm hanging out the buggy again, is anyone gonna notice before I land in yet another puddle??? OR WORSE.

12) Yes, random old lady in Tesco- I am a nice Panda! What do you mean I am looking "well loved"? Is that another way of saying I look old and haggard?? Well, as it happens- you're not looking so youthful yourself!

13) WHAT are you doing?? No, no, not the talc again! Great, covered in baby powder and STILL not offered a bath. Hospitality sucks around here.

14) NO PANDA DOES NOT WANT SOME MILK. Oh god someone save me!

15) Am I famous? Why does everyone ask about me?! Who are these looneys?

16) JEEZ, you humans really are dopey. If I'm such a "stinky Panda" then WASH ME, like I've asked!

17)PLEASE.STOP. BITING .MY .NOSE. How would you like it if I bit yours?!

18) What's with the tail flicking, kid? I get that it brings you comfort but I'm a little worried my tail might fall off at this rate and...I kinda need it!

19)Oh, so you're tired now- does that mean you'll stop flinging me around? I feel a bit sea sick.

20)Ahhh, that's better- a nice cuddle. Oh NO, he's dribbling again. CAN SOMEONE GET THIS CHILD A BIB???

21) A little more room in the bed would be nice, and I'd rather not be used as a pillow.

22) Oh god. Can't breathe! Somebody? Anybody? I CANT BREATHE UNDER HERE

23) Phew, it's all gone quiet, finally- some alone time!

24) Wait? Where's that dribbly little blonde boy gone? I miss him. I think he loves me. I think I love him, too.