Once upon a time JJ was a baby. He got very attached to a toy duck with a rattle inside. This is what it looked like.
It became his lovey. On the advice of a friend who was a seasoned parent, I bought two spare ducks. One spare started rotating with the original until they were equally worn and loved, thus enabling me to wash it without JJ freaking out (or realizing there were two identical ones). The other was kept in its pristine condition in the cupboard as an emergency back-up duck.
JJ found the back-up the other day in a box in Abby's room.
"Is this my ducky?" he asked quizzically.
"Well, it isn't your ducky JJ. It's what your ducky used to look like."
"It rattles like my ducky!"
But there the resemblance ends. For this is what JJ's ducky looks like after 4 years of being chewed, thrown, rubbed, dropped, twisted, sat on, slept with, barfed on, washed, stroked and loved.
Notice the cherry Tylenol stain on the left wing that won't come off. The frayed beak looks almost painful! The fur is no longer fluffy and yellow, but grey and matted. All in all, it's a sorry-looking specimen.
The side by side comparison is not for the weak of stomach. Quick, someone call PETA!
But you know what? There are so many memories I associate with the duck on the right. It smells like JJ, even after washing. You can keep your brand new clean duck. JJ and I will take the manky, smelly old duck anytime. :)