The Sister and I have taken to having late-night sleepover-type conversations.
“Look at the state of this Eeyore,” she said the other night as we were lying on my bed discussing The Future. She held up my bedraggled cuddly toy in some disgust.
“It’s fine,” I said somewhat defensively. “He’s seven years old and I’ve cuddled him every night of those seven years.”
“Hails,” said Sister sternly, “He has no hair, and his eyes are yellow.”
“I’m not washing him!” I exclaimed panickily. “Red put him in the washing machine once. I cried. I sat there for the entire duration of the wash, watching him go round and round, all scared and wet.”
“You should give him to Mum,” advised The Sister, seriously. “No, really,” she continued with great enthusiasm, “she’s magic. I don’t know what she does to them, but they come out looking better than brand new.”
I raised a suspicious eyebrow.
Sister was insistent. “I left Teddy there once,” she explained passionately. “He went in looking terrible. He didn’t even have both arms, and his fur was all matted. I came back the next day, and there he was, sitting on the sofa, upright and proud to be alive. Honestly, I don’t know how she did it. I think she even made him a new bib, but it looked exactly like the old one.”
“I don’t want Eeyore going in the washing machine!” I reiterated with some force. “He’ll fall to bits. He’s already lost his tail.”
“No, no,” said The Sister, eagerly, “you really can trust her. I mean, I had Teddy’s arm in a bag.”
“Good grief,” I murmured despairingly. Sister ignored me. “I’m telling you, they come out looking re-stuffed, fully-limbed, and completely re-fluffed! She’s, I dunno, some kind of teddy miracle worker.”
We pause for a moment in admiration of Mum.