Gina Dah joined our family when Eve was two weeks old. She was Georgina the Grasshopper then and she was bright and soft and Eve was just the littlest bit scared of her. She took up residence at the end of Eve’s moses basket and later her cot. When Eve was about twelve weeks old I crept into her room one day to check if she was still asleep and found Eve smiling the biggest, sweetest smile, not for me but for Gina. That was the day I think Eve decided Gina was her best friend and they have been inseparable ever since.
We have had a few close shaves. Gina was once dropped on the road and we had to retrace our steps in the dark to find her later. One day last July Eve left her in the toyshop. She was inconsolable and couldn’t sleep and David and I spent an anxious Saturday night fretting about whether we’d ever see her again. We were waiting outside the toyshop before it opened and we were all ecstatic when we found her on the counter. Gina’s adventures in the toyshop are one of Eve’s favourite stories.
Gina has been on all of our holidays and trips and was there to help Eve settle in at nursery. On Christmas morning Eve refused to open her presents until Gina joined her. She is as essential to our bedtime routine as warm milk and one of the sweetest moments of my day is going into the girls’ room before I go to bed and seeing Gina tucked beneath Eve’s chin, her antennae wrapped in Eve’s hand.
Gina is a very old lady now and I have long since stopped putting her in the washing machine. When she needs a clean she has the gentlest of hand washes in soap flakes and is wrapped in a towel like a newborn. Gina’s antennae are almost loved off and all of the stuffing has left her neck. The delicate procedure of a stuffing transfusion and antennae graft will be needed soon.
As you can see from the first photo Gina has a twin, Bluebell, who was a present for Leah. Whatever alchemy that takes place to make a baby fall in love with a toy never happened with Bluebell and she remains a pristine Dorian Gray in the toy box.