7 years ago life was full on with a little baby girl.
A little insomniac, colicky baby girl.
We named her Kiara, we had a few names to choose from, but when we uttered the name “Kiara” to her when she was freshly in our arms, she blinked.
To this day, and forever, we will tell her that she choose her name.
On one of the many days that I was pacing the house attempting to calm my little screaming, overtired, upset girl, I found myself whispering “come on Kiki, it is all ok”
By the time my husband returned home, the name Kiki had stuck, and from that day forward, our little girl had a nickname.
Sometimes I found myself calling her “Kiki Koala”, after all, the cuddly Koala is my all time favorite animal, and my little Kiki sure clung onto us like a Koala.
A friend overheard the new nickname and asked if I had heard of the Australian teddy, also named Kiki Koala.
I hadn’t, and as I was attempting to find something/ anything to help my now 6 month old sleep, and had also read that a baby can sometimes be comforted by their own teddy or blankie, I was desperate to see if I could find a said Kiki Koala in our town.
Turns out a soviner shop stocked them, and I raced in to purchase this beautiful, soft, pink Koala teddy.
I hoped and prayed it would help in some way with the sleeping of my little Kiki.
It really didn’t help in that department, (though you wouldn’t tell by the photo above!) but it was obvious that she liked this lovely new toy of hers.
She was hugged when Kiara felt sad, or tired, or hurt.
Before we knew it, Miss Kiara was a big sister to Noah, and Kiki Koala joined them on quiet movie days, or craft activities.
As Miss Kiara grew, Kiki Koala faded with the many washes, and sagged a little more as time wore on.
She joined us camping, and on many other adventures.
Everyone started calling Kiara “Kiki” too, friends, teachers, people who had just met her.
In fact, when a friend made her birthday cake, she didnt even ask, she just wrote “Kiki” on top.
Kiara seemed to love Kiki Koala more and more each day if that was possible.
If she could not find Kiki at bed time, she would not go to bed until house wide search had found her.
I love watching my big girl fast asleep cuddled up to her teddy.
She acts like she is all grown up, experimenting with jewelry and fashion, but I know she is still a little girl, my little girl who needs a teddy to hug up to at night, who will soothe her to sleep when she is tired, chase away those bad dreams and make her feel better when she is sick.
Kiki Koala was starting to look a bit old and tired.
I searched the internet to find a new one.
The toy maker had gone out of business, and the new ones cost a fortune.
I left it for now.
Then this weekend something amazing happened.
We used our family locals pass to go to the zoo.
We enjoyed looking at all the amazing wildlife, including my favorite, the Koala’s
Our Kiara had taken her wallet along with her, certain that there would be something in the zoo souvenir shop for her to spend the last of her birthday money on.
In we walked, and there we saw an amazing sight.
A Kiki Koala display, complete with various size and coloured teddies, books, pens, magnets, key rings, jewelry and more.
Squeals from my little girl left Japanese tourists looking around in alarm.
She took time to look at each item, smiling with excitement the entire time.
In the end she choose a smaller Kiki Koala than her original and a necklace, bracelet and ring set.
We knew where to come back for Christmas pressies.
Squeals and chatter of excitement came out of Kiara for the rest of the day. I knew she wasn’t just excited about finding a new “toy”. I know for her it was like finding a room filled with her old friend.
She even went to bed talking about how amazing it was to find a new Kiki Koala today.
I realized then that this little pink Koala has become so much more than a teddy over the past 7 years.
It has been worn out and faded, the old one is a lot more rougher than the nice smooth new one, but Kiki Koala has become a friend, and a part of our family.
Kiara got sauce on her new Kiki at lunch time, so she made her first trip to the wash and was still too wet at bedtime.
So old Kiki Koala took her routine spot, in her owners arms, ready to fight the nightmares, give the cuddles, and be there when my little girl wakes up in the morning, ready to face a new day.
Kiki Koala, I want to thank you.
For being more than a fluffy toy to my girl.
For filling her arms for years as she drifts to sleep.
For making her happy when she is sad.
For taking away the pain when she is hurt.
And most importantly, for being much more than any other teddy could be.
As I look through Kiaras photo albums, I see so many photos with you, this little pink Koala alongside her, facing life’s adventures together.
Thank you Kiki Koala for being one very special Koala, and most importantly, for being my little Kikis friend.