When Emily was about 2 years old we spent Thanksgiving up in New York, and for some reason that I can no longer remember we went to FAO Schwartz with her. We spent some time perusing the (expensive!) cute toys and even though we swore to each other we wouldn’t spend any money, it soon became clear to Emily’s papa that I wasn’t going to keep my end of the bargain. There were just too many cute things that she was captivated by, and at 2 years old and my first child I was still firmly wrapped around her tiny finger. What we left with was a Gund kitty cat that I thought was pretty cute and she would not let go of once she had it. Her papa grumbled over the $20 price (he had nooooooo clue back then……) but he bought it anyway because clearly Emily was in love.
All the way back to my in – laws’ place I kept asking Emily what her new kitty’s name was. She kept shrugging. I would offer suggestions but most of them she rejected. We had just seen Austin Powers so I asked her if she’d like to call her kitty “Mr. Bigglesworth”. She didn’t seem overly excited about it, but since she offered no other names (and for some reason I really felt she needed a name for her fake cat) we began to refer to it as such.
Now, the thing about a 2 year old Emily calling her cat “Mr. Bigglesworth” lay in the pronunciation. Specifically, that she could not pronounce it correctly, but like everything else, added her own twist to it (kind of like how frappuccinos became crap-uccinos) and what she called it sounded much closer to “Mr. Bagel-horse”. And as sometimes happens, we began to call him “Bagel – horse” as well.
Bagel – horse was her best friend. He slept with her at bedtime, he sat with her at mealtime, he came with us wherever we traveled to. When she started daycare, he was her take along companion.
Emily, papa and Bagel horse
Now flash forward to Neve. Emily was 4 when Neve was born, and she was (and still is) Neve’s idol. As soon as she could crawl and walk, she followed Emily. Unfortunately, she also loved Emily’s possessions. Most troublesome was her attachment to Emily’s Bagel horse. By this time he wasn’t Emily’s accessory anymore, but he held (and still does today) the honored spot on her pillow. Emily therefore did not take too kindly to “sharing” him. So imagine my delight when I found an exact replica while shopping for christmas gifts that year at a local toy store. The same Gund kitty, called “Bootsie”. I snatched it up and Neve gleefully hugged him to herself christmas morning. All was well with the world, there was Bagel horse 1 and Bagel horse 2 (yes, that was what we named him). Best of all, they were very easy to tell apart; Emily’s Bagel horse was very clearly well loved. He was not the fluffy clean toy that Neve had. His fur was matted and worn down and his stuffing was uneven. Amazingly, that made Emily love him all the more.
Now that we have Oona I have been thinking about Bagel horse 3. I’m pretty sure the toy store still carries them (good thing Gund hasn’t discontinued it!). Neve doesn’t love hers in the same way that Emily did, and I wonder what Oona will find that will be her lovey. Either way, there’s a Bagel horse for all.