I’m writing this post just as the week from hell is about to close. Hell as in my kind of hell, no deaths, destruction (of sorts) or even power cuts. This was the week the shit decided to fly at the fan. We’ve had lost toys, replacement toys lost, courier mix-ups, new dining tables not delivered, paying through the nose for further deliveries, rude tweeple and learning how NOT to promote ANYTHING you EVER do on TWITTER. If I had the world’s biggest hood, I would happily wrap myself up in it and hibernate until at least September.
Whilst I’m not expecting a call from the Red Cross ‘Peachy Aid – Dining Table Crisis Fund’ anytime soon, it has certainly been one of the first weeks in a very long time, that I have moped. And boy, have I moped long and hard. What started with a lost bunny rabbit in town, became a fiasco in which I felt physically cheated out of £7.50 by an anonymous playgroup bully.
I don’t often write about Little D on this blog. But I will say this – for all of the 15 months she has been alive on this planet, she has been a total joy. She is a happy, lovely little girl who shrugs her shoulders like my Great Grandmother did and waves at invisible people in my kitchen. She’s well behaved, funny and going on about 12 already. So, when one of her beloved Jelly Cat Bunnies finally took a tumble into the lost world of town, I wanted to treat her to a replacement. The replacement, to my surprise, was an even smaller Jelly Cat kitten that she appeared to fall in love with whilst I was faffing about with a magenta bunny in the shop. At £7.50, he was a bargain compared to his Jelly Cat posh friends, so we bought him, took him home and for three glorious days, he didn’t leave D’s side.
Thursday morning came and went with the usual chaos of singing group and the laughably named
‘Carnage’ ‘Chill Out’ playgroup session, that I barely recognised the absence of ‘Little Kitten’, until we were halfway out the door and D was halfway to Nod Land. A few firm promises from the (it should be said ‘very helpful’) volunteers from playgroup later, I returned home with a snoring child and a seething attitude.
It wasn’t until later that I actually started thinking about what value I had placed on this little ball of synthetic fluff. More to the point, who was I really upset for? I mean, sure, Jelly Kitten filled a fluffy void for a bit, he wasn’t cheap, but the little girl he belonged to didn’t seem to have a care in the world. I was being materialistic. Perhaps Jelly Kitten hadn’t indeed fallen into the hands of a playgroup terror, or been prised from D’s unsuspecting baby-grasp by a big bully three times her size. Perhaps he was found abandoned on the floor, discarded for lunch or something new to play with, by a lovely little girl who thought she could offer him a new and loving home. Either way, we are talking about D, a baby whose favourite toy to cuddle up with, is a battered, old cuddly cow who can be seen photobombing pictures of MY birth in 1984. Buying a replacement stuffed kitten didn’t make her any happier, or even more aware of the sad passing of Little Bun. She awoke later that day, completely unphased by the whole thing, ready to face an afternoon of pretending to read old Ladybird books, trying to grab at remote controls and other things she generally isn’t allowed near and singing along with those dreadful Pajanimals; ‘I could learn a lot from this child,’ I thought, as she collapsed in a heap of laughter, whilst trying to talk through a toilet roll.
And I think I’m right. The more that time passes on this Frugally Fabulous Year, the more I am really learning about what I place my value on and just how it affects me. Long gone are the days of replacement clothing and shopping sprees to fill the void. I needed to learn that if I was willing to risk £7.50 in the first place then I had to be willing to let it go. Peachy, thought I, you are failing at this bloody task, steering clear of the High Street is one thing, teaching your daughter all manner of pinning value on a teeny stuff animal just because he was NEW, is NOT!
So, there was no replacement toy mark II (though I’m still hopeful of finding Jelly Kitten amongst all the other old, stained playgroup toy boxes next week). Instead, I took D out to the back garden and watched her gleefully water
her shoes the plants and pull out all subsequent plant labels. And you know what? That memory will absolutely last a lifetime, no £7.50 cost incurred!