The invasion started innocently enough with a brightly coloured toy clown. It was given to DD1 shortly after her birth by I-can’t-remember-who, and featured quite prominently in her first year of life. It seems hard to believe that for almost a year that clown was the only soft toy in the house.
But then, for her second Christmas, we bought her a huge, soft reindeer. I don’t know what we were thinking; it wasn’t a soft toy that a 1 year old would be attracted to and she ignored it for years. It did make a good pillow for the dog though.
With the arrival of DD2, the flood gates opened and I can remember we acquired, among other things, an enormous clown fish that terrified both the girls and the entire cast of the teletubbies.
It seems hard to believe that we lived without soft toys for so long, but they are part of our lives now. They accompany our children on outings, take part in role playing games and adventures and comfort them to sleep at night.
Soft toys sit in every room of this house. They are on beds, in toy boxes, on shelves and the sofa; their beady eyes watch our every move.
One or two of them are firm favourites and have a special meaning. The rest were presents, spur of the moment acquisitions fuelled by popular TV shows and films and mementos of overpriced days out. Some are ‘life like’, others are just badly made.
They come in all the colours of the rainbow, the more garish the better apparently. They are made in countries in the far east, like China and Taiwan. Labour is cheap there, as are some of the materials used; this makes it especially galling when we estimate how many pounds we’ve spent on soft toys over the years.
And they multiply like rabbits. They might even breed faster.
This morning I instructed the kids to bring out ALL their soft toys and pile them in the lounge. Then I took a photo of the pile, with the kids on top.
They were allowed to retrieve their favourites; I envisioned them having 2-3 favourites but was negotiated up to 5. Then DD3 couldn’t choose and ended crying, so I let her rescue 10. I don’t mind. There is still a good big pile of soft toys on the way out of our house. I’m going to freecycle them; at this time of the year someone will want them for their school fair.
I must remember to bag them all up and put the bags out of sight before the kids get home from school!
And in the meantime I need to come up with a plan to stop the mountain regrowing. Has anyone got any ideas?