Sometimes things are not as they seem.
This is Pandy.
Pandy looks appealing. He comes, as far as the Minx is concerned, in the colours of appeal – that is the trusty black/white combo.
Black and white toys, as anyone involved in selling childcare products will tell you, are vital for stimulating the visual perception of babies. Little people reflexively prefer to look at high-contrast edges and patterns. Of course, some of us Generation X vintage parents had absolutely no choice but to look at black and white patterns – our parents couldn’t afford colour tellies until the Seventies. When I watched the moon landings on TV (after Andy Pandy) the whole thing looked looked a bit like this:
Since I was a small person at the time, to this day I am convinced that Apollo 11 actually landed on this wee, small, hollow plane right here nourished by Blue String Pudding:
So it wasn’t too hard for me to believe that NASA did in fact fake the moon landings with the help of Oliver Postgate and The Clangers team.
In fact, I am still more excited by the possibility that Buzz Aldren might have met the Soup Dragon than by the alleged moon landings themselves. Such is the power of black and white on young children.
It is just this magic that I relied on to perform a swift and really not very nice sleight of hand on my poor, wee unsuspecting Minx. He may look cute but Pandy is, in fact, baby bondage.
His cute little paws circle my daughter’s chest in not-so-cleverly-concealed plastic harness clips. Once on his tail, much longer than the tail of any ring-tailed lemur let alone a panda, becomes a leash or a tether rope. In other words Pandy is… a set of child reins. In one fell swoop I have turned my daughter into a pony for a cuddly panda.
For many years I vowed that I would not put child reins on my child. I watched a grandfather take his six grandchildren for a walk, tethered together like sheep with a clothes line and shuddered. Thank goodness, I thought, that I don’t have to inflict that torture on my child. This was before the aforesaid child exhibited the ability to end up in the middle of a dual carriageway in the time that it takes to scream STOOOOOOOP.
To get over the guilt of pulling a fast one on my daughter I feed her chocolate to stop her screaming while I strap her into her Panda prison.
Meantime, on the shoe front I found myself wearing what appear, prima facie, to be bondage gladiator sandals styled on those worn by the lovely Rihanna
But as with Evil Panda, my sandals are not what they seem and, in fact, have an nefarious purpose. Whereas the Givenchy sandals when viewed in profile have a dangerous, spiky heel:
Despite their nefarious purpose (enabling me to walk) the sandals are otherwise a good sort and I am happy to have them in my home and on my feet.
The Panda, on the other hand, is probably going to spend the night in the freezer in the garage. Just in case.
If you have never watched the Clangers, get yourself over here and watch it forthwith.