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Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Pepe the Penguin

Last year, during one of our trips home, my brother Chris gifted me a big fluffy penguin stuffed animal.

Little did I know that a) this was actually called a ZooPurrPet, one of the many knock-offs of Pillow Pets a phenomenon that has apparently taken kids by storm, or b) what a staple this little guy was going to have in our lives in the year(s) to come.

I began my relationship with this penguin on the plane ride back to Buenos Aires, where he rode in my lap, with my baby daughter, because a pillow takes up quite a bit of valuable smuggling space in a suitcase.  Once we got Gretchen to sleep, I proceeded to use the penguin to have one of the best night's sleep on an airplane that I've ever had without the assistance of sleepy-time pills.  He's so soft.  He's so plush.  He's a pretty great plane-companion.

After this flight, we started calling him Pepe.  I have no idea why, but it stuck.  Now he is our little buddy Pepe, and he's a constant fixture in our living room.

You may remember Pepe from such milestone moments as Gretchen's first tooth:
Gretchen lovin' on Pepe
He was present at her 7-month photo shoot.  Here she is using him for support as she sits up.  Also, I found it hilarious that in this particular photo, Pepe is the one in focus, whereas Gretchen is a bit in the background.

He also attended her 1st birthday party, right in the middle of all of the action:

He has serves as a nursing pillow, a sleeping pillow, a teething ring and a comfort object.  When Gretchen falls or gets hurt, we don't run to the pacifier, we run to Pepe.  When she's tired, she throws him on the floor and lays across his belly.  We have a couple of late-night flight trips coming up and you can be sure that if there is space, Pepe will be along for the ride.

Great gift!  When Gretchen's older we hope that she will associate this penguin with her south-pole-faring Uncle Chris - but until then, Pepe is a key member of Gretchen's preferred toy collection.

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