Toasty, a Nemo-like stuffed fish from the grocery store toy aisle, has been an influential member of our family for the last six months or so. Kate immediately named Toasty after we bought him and if you recall, there was a significant period of time when she would only refer to herself as "Toaster Garland" (in honor of the stuffed fish).
Toasty is almost always with Kate. He sleeps, rides in the car, runs errands, and plays with her on a daily basis. When Toasty gets stinky from being excessively chewed on, Kate directs him to "swim like a real fish" in the washing machine. Then when he is squeaky clean and warm from the dryer, she squeals in delight and tells him in a baby voice, "There's my clean little fishie!"
Unfortunately, Toasty has been manhandled a little too roughly. Between the playing, chewing, cuddling, washing, and oh... that time Kate threw him on an open flame, Toasty has about seen his last day. He's burnt, holey, perpetually stinky regardless of a regular bathing routine, and has almost paper thin skin.
I have been dreading the day Toasty becomes a "dud." This morning Kate saw a new hole in his fin and said "Aw man. Toasty's got a boo boo." I asked her if she would like me to make her a new Toasty, thinking she would surely say no.
Thankfully, I was wrong.
She thought about it for a second and said, "Yep. A pink Toasty. Me need a pink Toasty." So we went to Hobby Lobby and for $2.57, she picked out an interesting furry pink and leopard combination for her new friend, "Toasty Too." I think Toasty Too looks more like a stripper than a regular old fish, but Kate's happy. She told me Toasty Too should look "sassy." Mission accomplished.
For your viewing pleasure, please compare the original Toasty and with his alter ego, Toasty Too: