Thursday, 14 February 2008

The war of the ducks

As I watch Betty and her duck get closer by the day, I become increasingly panicked. She loves that duck, and I actually do believe that if she had to choose between me and that duck, the duck would win hands down. Tom against the duck would be a harder one to predict. However, I’m not sure how much more constant chewing and sucking a duck can withstand, and I fear that his demise may be imminent.

For the last month I have been logging onto eBay every day and scouring the site for look-a-like ducks. Tom says that this shows that I don’t have enough to do with my time. Tom doesn’t realise the seriousness of the situation. Even the postman is in the know, and each time he knocks on the door, clutching a parcel and needing a signature, he chuckles and says: ‘Another duck for the little ‘un then?’ And each time, I laugh nervously, then hurriedly open the package, before the postman has even made it to the garden gate. I either laugh or cry, depending on what mood I’m in, at the horror of ducks that I see before me. Our house is now full of random, singing, dancing, talking, quacking, wiggling duck nightmares, none of which compare in any way to the original.

I have been on the phone to the H&M (which is where the duck was naively purchased) customer services in Sweden several times, spouting off duck product codes to them and pleading with them to start making them again, or demanding that they search their warehouse for a leftover rogue duck that may have escaped before making it to the shop floor. I have even thought about asking them to put up posters in their shop window saying ‘Have you seen this duck? - if so please contact … etc’. The best that Hennes could offer was a dog made from the same material, and of a similar weight. In desperation I bought this stuffed puppy, held it in front of Betty and made quacking noises. Betty remained unmoved, though perhaps slightly angry.

In a last ditch attempt to keep my daughter sweet, and myself sane, I decided to try to make a copy of the duck myself. I spent hours sourcing materials that closely matched, and then got to work on my sewing machine. After about five attempts and some odd-looking fleecy matter, I finally managed to produce something that loosely resembled the real thing.

The following morning I casually left the fake on the window sill to see how Betty would react. At first glance, and from a distance, she got very excited and I think was tricked into thinking that it was the real thing. When I handed it to her saying: ‘Look, it’s your duck,’ she inspected it for about half a second and then callously threw it as far away from her as possible. And as if that wasn’t enough, she then proceeded to run her Wheely Bug backwards and forwards over it.

14 comments:

Jen said...

Maybe it shouldn't be, but this is HILARIOUS! I am picturing your home taken over by the imitation ducks.

She's like the wind said...

I admire you Elsie, making ducks, I know how desperate you are, I understand you're at the last hope of ever finding a matching duck, but did you really think you would get away with it? Do you really think Betty will be fooled by any other duck. We will all keep trying to find a matching duck, perhaps you could share with us the full details of the duck and we can all keep searching. x

Musical Midnight said...

I had to laugh when I read this. One of my friends has a large collection of toy ducks, rubber ducks, ducks-on-a-necklace at his house...though he only has himself to blame. Anyone who uses "Admiral Donald Ducksworth" as a Faire name is just asking to be inundated with ducks! (Most of them are given as gag gifts.)

I will keep my eyes open for a similar duck--my mother remembers all too well the agony I put her through with a similar toy fascination. I no longer remember what toy it was...but she has put the Mother's Curse on me so many times that I'll probably be reminded of that if/when children of my own decide to be.

Iota said...

I wouldn't worry too much about scraggy or dirty - just so long as the duck is never LOST. Never never take it out of the house...

Lijy said...

i cant stop laughing, but i really understand what u r going through. wish u all the best for finding the duck.
p.s: the one u made is not that bad.

Crystal Jigsaw said...

I'm sure she will grow out of the duck, but in the meantime, put it in the wash and it might not taste as nice once it's been drenched in fabric conditioner.

Quack, quack.

Crystal xx

Louise said...

I love this post. It has made me laugh out loud several times! I love the image of Betty running over the 'fake' duck with her wheely bug! She is far too clever to be tricked!

Pig in the Kitchen said...

you are too funny! I also think you're trying too hard...what about picking up the new duck and saying quietly but in earshot of Betty...oh this duck is rubbish, i think i'll put it in the bin. Then very slowly (and in sight of Betty) put the duck in a (clean) bin so that Betty can reach it. Then walk away.
If it doesn't work, have loud conversations about the rubbish new duck with Tom...Tom must get very cross that you have thrown the duck away, you could even have a mock fight as he tries to get the duck out of the bin and you desperately try to stop him. You face each other, chests heaving, hair dishevelled...'the duck stays in the BIN' you scream.
At this point Tom breaks down and starts to sob bitterly...you stalk away like a bitch.
10 quid says Betty gives Tom the new duck.
Sorted.
Pigx

Pig in the Kitchen said...

...and of course the duck will now be elevated in Betty's affections becoz Tom loves it, and it will be a new tool in her ongoing war against Mum.
Not sure that last bit is really the desired outcome, but hey, if it means she loves the duck and you don't have to stress anymore...?
It's a win-win.

Beccers said...

I think I'[ve spotted the problem... you didn't give the new duck legs! That's not going ot fool Betty!

Potty Mummy said...

Am extremely impressed that you even had a go at replicating the duck!

Manic Mother Of Five said...

Oh I so know what you are going through here. Number 2 son had a large, very fluffy duck as his favourite cuddly and used to spend hours plucking the bloody thing leaving a trail of yellow fibres in his wake.... Of course the bloody thing got lost following a shopping trip miles away. You can imagine the ensuing tears....

I learned from that mistake and as soon as the daughter showed an inclination to a particular toy I duplicated it, well triplicated it actually. Happy hunting!

Shellie said...

Oh, how funny! Discouraging but funny when she ran over the impostor. I had the same issue with a little silky pillow that had baby embroidered on it. Someone gave it to us for baby #2. He never gave it the time of day, but baby #3 loved it to death. Just when I was about to give it up and toss it out, I serendipitously walked into a store I rarely go to, looking for something totally different, and there, right before my eyes was the exact same pillow!!! I hope you meet with similar luck soon! If it totally falls apart, maybe you could just undo the seams and use them as a pattern.

GTR said...

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