back in the day, some four years ago, we had a couple of gift registries for red butterfly silver dragon. on one of those gift registries was this ty pluffies panda.
ain’t it cute? knowing that our lifestyle requires a lot of travel and transition we thought a sweet bedtime (only) companion would be a good way to help our lil’ sprout adjust. of course, it helped that this particular companion is a symbol of national pride. we also liked that it was a “ty” product meaning it could be bought at a later date if say our original ever needed to be replaced due to wear and tear or if lost. i especially liked that it was a “pluffies” product as they are much softer than the original beanie babies. did i mention, they are machine washable!?! thanks to our good friends dustin and elizabeth we received 2 originals… which is usually a good starting number when toddlers are involved! besides, we had been advised to always rotate our child’s companion just in case some kind of catastrophe did befall it – that way they wouldn’t view #2 as an imposter!
although all ty pluffies come pre-named we decided our sprout’s companions needed something a little more original… and “local.” since in our corner of the world people speak with what we call “r hua” – meaning they add an “r” sound to the end of a lot of local words we thought it fitting to add an “r” sound to the english word as well. (we chose not to name the it “panda” in the local language since we already had a dog named that!) so that’s the story of how munches became a part of our family and was subsequently renamed pandar.
it didn’t take long after discovering i was pregnant that we did the math and realized that more than likely we’d be delivering baby sprout in t-land. so before we left the states we had to make the very important decision as to what baby sprout’s bedtime companion would be. not knowing the gender wasn’t a huge factor at the time ’cause i figured we’d go with the tradition of choosing a companion the same way we chose the first one, we needed a stuffed animal that was cute, but also a symbol of national pride. and knowing that the elephant is t-land’s equivalent of the big c’s panda made the decision pretty simple. keeping the decision making process even simpler we followed our original decision and went with the ty pluffies version.
i think it’s pretty cute too! in fact, i think it’s even cuter in person as the pink color is more dramatic than what the picture portrays. again we wanted baby sprout’s companion to have an original, not just-off-the-shelf name but had a little bit of a harder time deciding what that name should be. that is until i had the idea of naming it what the t-land locals call it. of course, i wasn’t exactly sure what that was, but i figured we could make it work one way or the other even if it wasn’t something i could pronounce easily or accurately. after arriving in t-land in prep for liberty’s arrival i asked a couple of people (you can never be too sure when people are answering you in a second language) what they call an elephant. at first i was confused because they told me the word i had seen on many beer advertisements. soon enough i discovered that the national beer brand is also called chang – elephant. interesting. still, it didn’t deter me. i figured if nothing else, our daughter would at least know one t-land word. after all, it is the place where she was born!
what i didn’t foresee was sterling’s love for liberty’s elephant. we had been forewarned: you can’t predict what your child will attach to. but still, i thought i could stack the odds in pandar’s favor simply by making pandar sterling’s only bedtime companion (apart from a blanket). and though sterling came to appreciate the predictable placement of pandar he never really longed for pandar. actually, i don’t think he’s really totally attached to anything – though he attached to us very quickly. however, when chang joined our family sterling’s new love for elephants, thanks to the movie horton hears a who, made me a bit nervous as i feared him taking over adopting what we had chosen as liberty’s special bedtime companion. sadly it does appear that he is more interested in chang than pandar but to my surprise he seems to understand that it is hers and is even eager to give it to her. it’s so sweet to see our lil’ sprout at the age of two making such a huge sacrifice for his little sister!
here they are… our sprouts and their bedtime companions. currently sterling loves to watch liberty… even when she’s sleeping, or in this case, stretching.
even though he’s clinging to pandar pretty tightly you can see his piqued interest in chang.
maybe one day she’ll care ½ as much about chang as he does!