Abi and her bobby are inseparable. From what I can remember, it all started when she was about a year old. The then new, pink blanket quickly became a favorite and although I tried many times to get her to leave it on her bed, she insisted on dragging it around the house...and church and, to my great chagrin, the market.
Washing bobby was always a challenge. I had to wait until she was occupied with something, quickly snatch it and throw it into the washer and press the "quick wash" button. Twenty-seven minutes. That was about as long as she could go without literally panicking.
One day I was caught in the act. She came to me, eyes full of excitement to tell me something wonderful, no doubt. Then she saw it. Bobby was swishing around in bubbles behind the glass door of the washing machine. I should mention at this point that Abi didn't particularly like the washing machine or the sounds it made as it washed, spun and pumped water out into our kitchen sink. As the sights and sounds registered, her eyes filled with tears and she gave me a look as if to say I knew I couldn't trust you! I tried to make my voice sound as reassuring as I could as I told her that bobby had gotten so dirty that it needed a bubble bath. She stood in silence, tears threatening to spill. She got close to the door and pressed her little nose up against the glass. With a sigh she asked me if I was sure the water wasn't too hot for bobby. I assured her that it was just right and that bobby was ok.
She stayed there, next to the washing machine in watchful silence until the cycle finished and the lock on the door clicked. I opened the door and we both pulled bobby out together. Daddy ironed it dry and with the traumatic incident behind us Abi and I (and bobby, of course) settled on the sofa for some much-needed cuddling. As I held her in my arms I whispered, "Do you know how much mommy loves you?" She looked up at me and I said, "More than you love bobby". I could see in her eyes that she immediately understood. Then that look was replaced by somewhat of an incredulous one and she said, "No way!"