"The one toy my child just won't let go of."

Jo with her son Phillip

I can’t believe I have a ten-year-old child. Where did the time go? From the moment I gave birth to him a decade ago I became capable of a kind of love I never knew existed. I named him Philip and swore to him that I would be the best mother ever.

I put hours of thought into every decision I made on his behalf to ensure he was happy, healthy and had an amazing life. And I sweated over every toy purchase I made. Is it for his age group? Is it educational? Does it have stimulating colours? Is it safe? Will the sounds it makes drive me absolutely mental?

Just as an FYI, you should know that this post is sponsored by Little Tikes. But all opinions expressed by the author are 100 per cent authentic and written in their own words.

I’ve spent thousands of dollars on toys for my kids and they have boxes and boxes full of them to show for it. But there’s one toy Philip always comes back to, even though he’s my big boy who is way to cool to play with it anymore. He’ll kill me for ‘outing him’ but really, every other toy is eventually abandoned except for this one. I watch him excitedly unwrap his gifts at each birthday party and at Christmas, knowing they’ll soon be forgotten. Some toys last a few weeks on his ‘favourites’ list but many only get a couple of days.

Except this – meet Kitty.

Kitty is the first stuffed toy I every bought for Philip. He was given plenty of them by friends and relatives but this was the one we chose together. She’s been the most special toy ever since.

Except Philip’s ten. He’s ultra-cool. He says things like, “What up, Mum” and “Hey, any good eats” just to reinforce to me how cool he is. I dressed him in the cutest black suit for his First Communion on Sunday and he took a look in the mirror and pointed to himself and said, “Player!”

So he doesn’t carry it around anywhere with him and he doesn’t bring it to friends houses or anything, but when he gets home each day he makes sure Kitty is somewhere safe and frantically looks for it when it is out of sight. It’s really cute and reassuring. He’s still my little boy.

So when I find Kitty sitting in Philip’s room surrounded by paper-craft, or in a city made of blocks, or even being rescued in a superhero game, I have to say I’m pretty pleased with that particular purchase. Kitty has been kidnapped, used as a football, and then at night, Philip still snuggles up with her. Nothing gets him to sleep faster.

Kitty is a little deflated. I offered to have her restuffed but Philip says things like, “No, I don’t really play with her much anymore” except he does. So I might just do it on the sly. Oh look, Kitty’s put on a bit of weight!

When it comes to choosing toys for my children I quickly learned that it’s about choosing quality toys that will last for years and all three of my children come back to the same handful of toys after the novelty of others wears off.

When I do my bi-annual clean out of all the toys while the kids are at school (DO NOT do it while they are home) I know I must never, ever, ever throw certain toys out and Kitty is on the top of that pile. But she’s lasted this long, so I know she’ll last much longer.

What are your children’s favourite toys that they always come back to?

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