How to make a new toy look old

A small tragedy has struck our house. Zebber has become the first casualty of our latest camping trip. Beaver’s most favourite toy in the whole, wide world. That she’s had since birth. Arghhh!

Third time lucky?

Beaver doesn’t know this but she’s actually lost Zebber before. When she was about 18 months old.

Luckily, we had a ‘spare’ under the sofa. Luckily, she was too young to notice the difference. Luckily, we got away with it.

This time? It’s going to take some creativity on our part.

Zebber Mark III.

Despite being out of stock everywhere, I’ve managed to locate another Zebber. In Nottingham.

He’s on his way as I type.

The problem is, I have no idea how to re-introduce him. I’ve thought about presenting him as a relative of Zebber’s. His cousin. Or long lost brother. Maybe his son?

But Beaver won’t go for this. She wants her Zebber. Or nothing.

So, I’ve only got one option.

Identity theft.

I have to ‘weather’ the new Zebber. To make him look like he’s been loved for years. To make him look exactly like old Zebber. Good grief.

I have no idea how to do this. I could stick him in the washing machine and say he just came out clean and fluffy. But Beaver knows my washing skills. That won’t wash. Pardon the pun.

And because this is the girl who could run rings around Miss Marple and Jessica Fletcher.

I’ve got to be smarter.

Doctor Google to the rescue (or not).

So I turn to Doctor Google. Of course.

Because kids lose their toys all the time, don’t they? Parents must be faced with this dilemma on a daily basis. Google will know the answer, I think.

So I type, ‘How to make a new toy look old.

And I get absolutely nothing. Zilch. Not a tip in sight.


You can’t be serious?

Eventually, I find an old Yahoo thread with some suggestions.

1. Soak the toy in tea or drip a used teabag over it. Mmmm Zebber never looked tea stained. Or smelt of Earl Grey. I’m not sure how this will help. Should I serve him with a slice of cake? It doesn’t say.

2. Use sandpaper. OK. This is more bizarre than the tea option. How do you go about sanding a fluffy toy?

Finally, my personal favourite.

3. Tie the toy to the back of your car and drive around the block a few times. Erm, this sounds like toy abuse to me. I’m sure the WWF would have something to say about me cruising the streets with a zebra tied to my exhaust. Not to mention the police. I wonder how many points you get for that, does anyone know?

Back to square one.

The last resort.

Daddy Pig says I should take new Zebber camping.

Back to the scene of the crime, is he mad? Imagine if we bumped into old Zebber. Talk about open a can of worms. Or zebras.

So, I’m left with this unimaginative idea.

I’m going to give new Zebber a bath. And leave him out to dry so he goes hard and crispy. I have no trouble doing this to my towels so a zebra shouldn’t be any different, right? I might also get The Boy with No Name to chew on him a bit. And get the cat to give him a cat’s lick.

And if he still doesn’t look old, I guess I’ll sand him within an inch of his life. Pour tea all over him. And take him for a joyride.

Desperate times and all that…

Has your child ever lost their favourite toy? Did you replace it? Got any tips for fooling a shrewd five year old… that don’t involve tea or toyslaughter? Let me know, please. Then join Surviving Life and Motherhood for more nonsense like this.

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