So, it’s been 18 and a half months since I was lovingly handed over to a brand new baby girl.

She had been born the previous evening and I had arrived along with her grandparents to say hello. I discovered she was called Sophie and when her parents unwrapped me, they both commented on how soft my fur was.

I was placed in Sophie’s little hospital newborn cot and ever since then I’ve been by her side.

Here’s my account of the amazing adventure it has been.

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Meeting

My first thought was “Wow, how small is she?”. I think I was actually bigger than her, believe it or not. Sophie, of course, had no idea I was even there! When the photographer came the following day, I moved Mr Bump out of the way and took pride of place next to my tiny and ever-so-cute new owner. She was lovely!

For the next few months, my job was to be ferried around by Sophie’s parents and plonked inside various prams, travel cots and Moses baskets. Not too early mind – I didn’t want to get in the way of her sleeping when she was only very little.

I lived in and out of her changing bag too, initially sharing my life with a couple of sterilised bottles, three milk stained muslins and a garish Lamaze toy. I became firm friends with a bird who squeaked and flapped its wings. Oh, the things you meet.

After a while, Sophie began to recognise me. When I was handed to her, she would cuddle me tightly and perhaps nibble on my soft fur. It was nice to feel loved and wanted. I went with her when she had her first night away at her grandparents and on holiday to Sibford and Tenby. By this time, she could pick me up of her own accord and, even though she didn’t always want to play with me, it was great to be there for her. There were a few rival soft toys out there though – I needed to see them off!

Bow and Dolly were worthy competitors but they couldn't last

Bow and Dolly were worthy competitors but they couldn’t last

Come Christmas time and Sophie’s Mummy and Daddy were using me as a toy to play Peekaboo with. I’m not great at that game to be honest, mainly because I can’t put my fingers over my eyes and there’s only so many times you can stare at someone’s back before you get bored. Sophie seemed to like it though. She was developing more teeth by now too, so the little nibble was becoming more of a gnawing.

Not sure about that!

Still, it could be worse. I don’t get to be in Sophie’s cot when she’s asleep but I know her snuggle blanket is very well used while she is sleeping. I’m quite happy to help in the daytime!

Standard sleeping position

Standard sleeping position

The worst time was when I was lost. Sophie had taken me to the football museum but in her sleepy post-lunch state, she dropped me and left me behind. I was by myself on the floor of the museum for a good hour before Sophie’s Daddy arrived back to rescue me. He looked as stressed as I felt!

On her first day at nursery, I was there alongside her as “her bunny”. It was amazing to watch her settle in so quickly although they soon realised that the snuggle blanket was a better proposition for helping her at nursery. I was delighted to be a key part of a new game, “Where’s Flopsy?” where I would be hidden and Sophie would toddle over to find me. Special.

Having been a buggy toy for so long, I got to experience being pushed around by Sophie herself! She had her own buggy to help her walk and I got transported everywhere for about a month. I wasn’t too keen on being dropped on my head, but it was nice to be near her.

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And so, as we reach the 18 and a half month mark, I’ve been eaten, gnawed, tossed aside, scratched, stood on and forgotten about. I’ve been put on my head and abandoned. But, and way more importantly, I’ve also been cuddled, loved, adored and cherished.

And that, is as much as any cuddly toy could wish for.