Ladybird Love

We've only made it to a few op shops these holidays. The usual winter holiday bugs have been sticking close to us - meaning that just as one person recovers from some affliction, someone else goes down with the same thing, or something new. Either way, we've spent a lot of time at home. So on the rare clear days when everyone seems to be well, the cry has gone out: "Quick! Get in the car, we're going to an op shop!"

This announcement is always met with a mixture of happy and agonised groans, depending on who is currently addicted to Harry Potter and doesn't want to be disturbed, and who thinks all their toys are "boring" and is hoping for something wizz bang secondhand new.

Our best discovery was made last week, in a little op shop I visited with the two boys, while the girls were safely enconsed in holiday club #2. At first, it didn't appear promising. The clothes were scrappy and the toys were junky. Jesse had to repeatedly stop Arch from throwing used cricket and tennis balls down a small flight of stairs, which was not endearing us to the elderly volunteer staff. I was about to admit defeat (so galling!), gather the boys and make a hasty exit when I caught sight of a fat red and black object high up on a shelf.

"What is that?" I asked Jesse, pointing to the object.
"Dunno. I think it's a pillow pet." He added casually. "That's Mim's favourite toy, isn't it?"
Ha! This big brother doesn't miss much! As a tribute to watching way too much television this holidays, we'd all had to listen to Mim chanting as if on a loop: "Is it a pillow? Is it a pet? It's a pillow pet!"

I grabbed the ladybird from the top shelf. The price tag said $3. I checked him over, there was a small hole near the velcro tabs (that make it a pillow. Or is it a pet?..) but even I could sew that up. It was a no brainer. But still I hesitated. Did we really need another soft toy in our house?
Did I think Mim would love this toy?  Oh YES!
I grabbed it before I could think of more reasons for and against, but mostly against.

Was it worth it? Oh yes. Over the last two days, I have heard "I love you Mum."
"Thanks for buying me a pillow pet Mum."
"I love my pillow pet!" and "Has anyone seen my pillow pet?" more times than any of us could have thought possible.
I think I'm muttering "Is it a pillow? Is it a pet? It's a pillow pet!" in my sleep.

P.S. After checking the web, we realised our latest furry addition to the family is actually a fake. The real PP's have black eyes. Mim says she knew this straight away. But she's okay with it. She says her ladybird's eyes are more interesting, cause he's always looking up, and it makes her want to look up too.
Which kind of makes sense, because if I hadn't looked up, I never would have found him...
This one's the real deal ( but a tad more expensive than we paid.

T o o   c u t e .


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