He's there in my tags: Oliver Monkey.
This is him…
He's called Oliver after the character on Baby TV. The Boy was obsessed with the tv character until about four months ago but Oliver will always hold a special place in his heart, despite not having him until he was 18 months old. I've even got a video of him opening the present containing him, and the first moment he saw him he knew he was Oliver. This monkey has been everywhere with us, on every holiday since he arrived, on every hospital trip, and shopping (although he stays in the car). He's been in the washing machine, hung from the line and cuddled beyond compare.
Oliver has always been The Boy's favourite toy, he's smooth and soft, shaped so he can hold him with one hand, and he had a fold of ribbon on the top of his head (his hair) that The Boy fiddles with when he's first woken up. I've had to stitch his tummy shut, his right arm back on and repair a small lesion on his head. He is loved.
… is not Oliver. This is a cousin, a spare, a replacement, in case (God forbid) we ever lose Oliver. They don't cross paths, Mr. TBaM is too worried about it destroying the universe in some sort of temporal anomaly. Occasionally he's been called into play when the true Oliver is being washed, but it's done in the dark so that The Boy doesn't spot the visual differences. He can feel them, but I tell him Oliver is fluffy from having been washed. I don't know why we don't tell him there are two, but he's not to know. It just feels wrong!
So imagine my distress earlier when The Boy followed me into the forbidden spare room. It's used as a dumping ground, but it's also where spare Oliver lives. Safely, so there are never any crossovers. Until today. Because The Boy was holding the real Oliver when he spotted the spare Oliver. I tried to back him up but it was too late, "There's a new Oliver mummy!" "No no," says I, "You're imagining it, you're holding the only Oliver!" while reaching around and flinging the new Oliver into the depths of the boxes. The Boy stood there looking at the space, looking at Oliver in his hand and turned around and walked out.
Am I an awful mother?