Like A Surgeon…Saving “Rah”.

Today, our son’s much loved soft toy lion, “Rah”, ended up in the operating theatre with Dr Curtin on duty. Unfortunately for Rah, he got the wrong Dr Curtin. So, while he’s all stitched up and you can’t see the stitches through the fur, he’s not what he was. Not that he was what he was before I got to him. Indeed, when our son was three, he gave Rah a haircut and took off much of his mane. So, you could say, that Rah had lost his magic powers long ago. On the other hand, after being with us all this time, he’s gained a very different power… the power of love.

Sadly, when you’re an über-loved, scraggly soft toy, you don’t get your choice of surgeons when your stuffing pops out. Rather, “You get who you get and you don’t get upset.” Worse still, you’re told to be grateful. Unlike so many of your peers, you’re being stitched up. You’re not being thrown out. As for anaethesetic or fancy equipment, all you get is a needle and thread…nothing high tech. And, as for the surgeon, that’s a no brainer. It’s Mum. Mum who failed cross stitch class and could never turn her needlework over. Yes, Mum of “hack stitch” fame is sewing you up. Yet, all you can do is: “Keep calm and carry on”. Face your challenge like a lion. Be brave!!

So, there I was finally sewing Rah up. This wasn’t going to be easy. His front leg was split open with stuffing missing. There was a hole under his chin and another gaping wound on his hind leg. Many would’ve written him off, unceremoniously binning him while the child was at school.

However, I am not most people. I believe in history, stories, memories, friendship. So, when I was asked: “Can you fix it?” Of course, I answered: “Yes, I can!!”



There’s no way we’d ever throw Rah out. Indeed, I still have my childhood teddy which is probably little more than moth fodder by now, but I still remember my mother trying to patch her up as well. There was never a question of throwing her out either.  That’s because we need the old as well as the new. That, while time causes wear and tear, it also produces shared experiences, which ultimately develop into memories. Story stacked upon story, building fanciful tales.

By the way, the other thing I really like about my son’s attachment to Rah all these years, is that Rah was his choice. Our son chose Rah as his favourite toy and Rah is unique. He’s not a teddy, but a lion and I’m pretty sure he came from the op shop and wasn’t new. Our son also obviously named him “Rah”, making the roar himself for the lion which couldn’t make a sound.


Now, I’ll be interested to hear what the kids have to say about Rah’s surgery when they get home from school. While he’s now in one piece after having 4-5 holes stiched up, including a leg reconstruction, he’s obviously not in proportion. The stuffing had fallen out of his right leg and in order to give it added strength, I over-compensated and it now looks like it’s on steroids and his front legs are quite different. This could be considered “character”, but I have a feeling my daughter will struggle with the two legs looking quite different. However, it’s not her lion and unless she’s willing to fix it, she’ll have to let it be. As for our son, I think he’ll just smile at the latest Mummyism. After all, I do have my own unique way of doing things.

What are your views about fixing toys? Are they “trash” or “treasure”? I’d love to hear from you!

xx Rowena


19 thoughts on “Like A Surgeon…Saving “Rah”.

  1. Tails Around the Ranch

    With the alligator otherwise known as Elsa, I’ve had to stitch up all the dog toys. She goes for the tags, ears, noses, arms, anything that seems to stick out. The stuffies I made in February are so misshapen but she still seems to love them (here’s one of the recent stories about the carnage: I’m sure your son will be good with it knowing you did your best in a giant show of love. Happy weekend. ❤︎

  2. Rowena Post author

    Thanks very much, Monika. My son was thankful for my efforts. I think it took about an hour to stich them up and it ewas quite tricky sewing up under the arm pit. Quite proud of myself, actually. It was very tempting to file this in the too hard basket.
    I’m popping round now to read your post.
    Hope you have a great weekend.
    xx Rowena

  3. Mabel Kwong

    Rah looks so cute and I think you did a great job! Was he a Lion King toy? He does look like Simba… I am definitely, definitely for fixing toys especially if it’s a toy that you’ve had had for a long time. Think of it as a toy aging with you – we all will change in terms of looks and appearances as we live on, and we will have battle scars and are stronger for it. I have a few stuffed monkeys that are pretty battered – had them for years and it’s a matter of time something falls off. I hope your kids liked what you did to Rah 🙂

  4. Life In Camelot

    I am pleased to hear that you have extended Rah’s life expenctancy Rowena, as is the duty of every Mum.
    My daughter (now 20) still has Coco, her stuffed dog, that she purchased herself with her father’s American Express card when she was just 6 (there is a blog post in that one day…).
    We have taken Coco away on numerous holidays and it is a miracle that time, and our real dog, haven’t beaten Coco up so she hasn’t had to endure any operations, yet.
    Here is a little story I wrote about Coco, a few years ago now:

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  6. Rowena Post author

    My son was really pleased and I was thrilled our daughter’s said nothing about his front legs being different and how that challenges her sense of order. That’s an encouraging sign.
    It’s interesting because you don’t always know what a soft toy will mean to a teenaged boy. However, it seems Rah sneaks through all of that and is still what he’d always been to him…a private source of comfort, reassurance and friendship.
    Indeed, it was interesting tonight because he found a special badge he’d been awarded and he pinned that onto Rah’s right leg. Tht’s right. The one I repaired. A badge of honour.
    I hadn’t connected Rah to the Lion King until I read one of the responses to this post. I think I mentioned that I’d found him at the op shop and I hadn’t made the connection. I did a Google search and sure enough, there he was. He could well be Musafa. He used to have quite a mane before my son cut it off!
    In like the sound of your toy monkeys. I should do a blog share post about childhood toys. It would be really fun.
    xx Rowena
    PS I thought you might like to be part of this:

  7. Mabel Kwong

    Haha, I didn’t realise your son actually cut off quite a bit of Rah’s mane. I thought it looked completely natural, so maybe your son might have some hidden sewing talent 😀

    Thank you so much for sharing the link. It sounds like a wonderful get together 🙂

  8. New Journey

    I still have my sons teddy bear that has been to El Salvador 5 times when he was young, took a trip to Alaska to visit family too!! Is pretty sad, but still in one piece packed in a bin…LOL love Rah….xxkat

  9. Rowena Post author

    That teddy is very well travelled. El salvador’s an intriguing destination. I don’t think I’ve met anyone who has been there before. What;s it like? I remember that you lived in Alaska for a bit.
    Rah does have something about him, thich is very appealing. He looks very wise like he know the meaning of life. If only he could talk…
    xx Ro

  10. Rowena Post author

    It was good to be part of this UK event all the way from here and get other people around the world involved. Living in Australia, can feel quite isolated at times…both in good and bad ways. I just love being able to connect around the world through blogging. It’s been fantastic.

  11. New Journey

    He does look wise….teddy is just a happy go lucky little guy….he is in a tote in Santa Rosa on a much needed rest….I never made it to El Salvador, but my X took our son there 5 times….the pictures I have from there is very tropical beautiful sunsets and beaches….never had the desire to go there as it was and still is a very dangerous place….xxkat

  12. Rowena Post author

    Hi Kat,
    I did a Google search on El Salvador and it looks really interesting and authentic. I don’t hear of people around here visiting Central America, although I’d like to visit Cuba.
    Anyway, my search took me to this Church with the most ethereal rainbow light shining through an austere concrete fascade. Here’s a link:
    I’d love to go there and experience that incredible light!
    xx Rowena

  13. New Journey

    it is beautiful….My Uncle lives in Caracas, Venezuela and with all the turmoil in that country and what I know about El Salvador, I doubt I ever make it to those countries…however I do know they are beautiful countries just in turmoil…Cuba sounds like a fun place to go…..xxkat

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