Once upon a time there was Goldilocks and the Three Bears.
Er, actually there was RedCurlyLocks and just one bear. One bear named YaYa. Here's the story:
Once upon a time there was a little baby girl named ChellBell with the most wonderful Red Curly Hair a girl could ever wish to have.
ChellBell was determined from an early age that she needed to talk and would constantly put together sounds that kinda-sorta sounded like words.
One day ChellBell received a gift from a family friend. A big white box with a pink ribbon on it. ChellBell squealed with delight and tore open the box. With both hands, she pulled from the bottom of the box a fuzzy, quirky, cute, stuffed brown bear.
"YA YA!" she screamed.
And the name stuck. And has been sticking for almost 7 years. (Though YaYa has been a "he" some of the time and a "she" some of the time, the name has never changed).
Remember when you had a stuffed animal that was literally your best friend? Yep, that's ChellBell's YaYa. There isn't much that happens around our house without him. He's a member of the family.
I do remember the episode where YaYa was forgotten at school and left overnight. Hysterical crying at our house, wondering if YaYa was safe, and would he be scared, and would he ever forgive us for leaving him in a lonely place. And, as you guessed, there was not a wink of sleep at our house that night. (Fortunately, he was fine when we found him the next morning, though he had a crick in his neck and a little chip on his shoulder, but nothing a few hugs couldn't take care of).
In the past few years, ChellBell's collection of what we call "soft babies" has grown immensely because of Webkinz and gifts from friends. She has American Girl dolls and 23 Barbies. But nothing trendy will ever trump her YaYa. He always has a place right next to her watching all the action (this picture is from picking blackberries -- he kept eating them, and we had to make him stop).
YaYa's fur isn't quite what it used to be. He's a little more worn in his face from all the kisses, and his paws are starting to lose fur from being dragged around so much. His face, though, has gotten a little bit smarter, his eyes a bit shinier and his smile a little bigger. Because this bear has known more love than most people ever will in a lifetime. This bear has a true blue friend in his RedCurlyLocks.
"Real isn't how you are made," said the Skin Horse. "It's a thing that happens to you. When a child loves you for a long, long time, not just to play with, but REALLY loves you, then you become Real." -The Velveteen Rabbit
Tell me about a soft baby that you have loved until it was "Real"...
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