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AIBU to be heartbroken the cleaner ruined my platypus?

170 replies

RightYesButNo · 26/07/2021 22:45

I have a few painful autoimmune conditions, so we have a cleaner once a week. Currently, I’m in a very bad flare, sleeping through the pain, etc. I asked if she could change the bed and I’d just stay in the living room until she was done. I fell asleep on the sofa in just a few minutes and then I awakened when she was kindly telling me I could get back in bed. Already embarrassing.

I sleep with a stuffed platypus every night. My condition causes really painful trouble breathing so hugging him makes it a bit better. He’s just the right size, etc. He’s been on countless hospital visits, hospitalizations, even a few surgeries with me.

I didn’t notice until the cleaner left and I found him drying on top of the hanging sheets that were also drying. I’m ashamed but I cried; his fur is a bit ruined, his insides are all balled and smell wrong; I think it may be time for him to go to the “beloved stuffed friends retirement shelf” with DH’s one-eyed childhood teddy.

But I can’t believe how upset I am. I feel just so sad. I know this is definitely some HUGE hospital PTSD, and fear of facing more pain without a comfort object. Erm… AIBU to ask if anyone has a stuffed friend who helps your fears at the age of mumble mumble over 30? And if you might cry (a lot) if they were semi-destroyed?

OP posts:

Am I being unreasonable?

471 votes. Final results.

You are being unreasonable
You are NOT being unreasonable
Blankspace4 · 26/07/2021 22:47

Aww, I’m so sorry. I have a couple of ‘comfort items’ that I don’t sleep with every night but are there if I need them (feeling unwell, lonely etc). They are from childhood so quite precious and I’d be devastated if anything happened to them.

Snuggle him back up in bed with you tonight and he’ll soon be back to his old self Smile

Next time put him away in a wardrobe safe!

ReturnfromtheStars · 26/07/2021 22:48

The fur can be combed & insides reshaped. I don't think he's dead yet. Hope you feel better soon Flowers

AmyDudley · 26/07/2021 22:49

I had a similar disaster with DS's favourite stuffed toy when I washed it while he was at school.
I salvaged it by carefully unpicking a bit of one of the seams taking out all the balled up stuffing and restuffing it with new stuffing. It worked a treat - so you could maybe try this - you don't need to be a wizard at sewing because it is mainly showing new stuffing in. Make sure the fur 'skin' is thoroughly dry before you put the new stuffing in. Then give his fur a good brush and he may well be fine (if a little battered!)

Atalune · 26/07/2021 22:50

I’m so sorry you have lots such a beloved item.

Is it really busted up? Can he be lovingly restored?

I bet a mumsnetter might be able to help!

LegoCaltrops · 26/07/2021 22:50

So she put it in the washing machine? Without checking? I'd be pretty pissed off TBH, she was supposed to change the sheets. Doesn't everyone know that many soft toys aren't machine washable!?

ErrolTheDragon · 26/07/2021 22:50

Thankspoor you and poor platypus.

7wondersofthewold · 26/07/2021 22:51

If he is a comfort to you, you can send him to a toy hospital to be rehabilitated. They can restuff and repair. Some people use them for antiques and heirlooms and other people for well-loved 'normal' toys.

AlCalavicci · 26/07/2021 22:52

Oh I really feel for you , i was given a stuffed dog when I was christened 40 mumble years ago . I took it to bed very night but now the poor thing is bald and his arm is handing off so I can't sleep with him any more but he lives on my dresser to he can see me sleeping .

I would be upset if someone , even with good intentions a heart , ruined it

carrieeee · 26/07/2021 22:52


So she put it in the washing machine? Without checking? I'd be pretty pissed off TBH, she was supposed to change the sheets. Doesn't everyone know that many soft toys aren't machine washable!?

Maybe it just got wrapped up in the sheets and she didn't realise
AtomHeartMotherOfGod · 26/07/2021 22:52

No, but then I don't have an autoimmune problem Sad

Can you go to IKEA or something and see if they have a suitable alternative? You could try flumphing it up in the tumble dryer...

RedHelenB · 26/07/2021 22:54

YABU but understandably so. Are you sure that once it's fully dried it won't be back to normal but smelling a lot cleaner!

AntiSocialDistancer · 26/07/2021 22:54

I'd do toy hospital, that sort of sensory comforting feedback is important. A little brushing with a soft bristle pet hair brush and a warm hairdryer will help.

PragmaticWench · 26/07/2021 22:57

It sounds as though he's now been through a trauma like you have. He needs new stuffing, a gentle brush and some tlc.

WeatherwaxLives · 26/07/2021 23:01

I've passed my 'best friend' doll to DD (4yo). Sometimes she gives her to me to hold during a game, and I'm right back in my childhood.

If something happened to dolly I would be devastated. DP knows not to do anything stupid like wash her or let DD take her out of the house.

Giving her the benefit of the doubt, do you think he might have accidentally been tangled in the sheets and she didn't mean to wash him? I'm just thinking, if she knew you were getting straight back in bed, and he was in there, it's pretty obvious you'd want him when you got back in?

I second what PP said about brushing bringing back the fluff of the fur. And restuffing isn't very hard, but you do need lots more stuffing than you think! You really have to squish in as much as you possibly can fit, especially in bits like his beak.

NoSquirrels · 26/07/2021 23:03


It sounds as though he's now been through a trauma like you have. He needs new stuffing, a gentle brush and some tlc.

This was my thought too. I expect he needs a hospital trip for a little surgery (unpick stitching and restuff filling).

Poor you, poor platypus and poor cleaner - it sounds like an accident and I bet she’d be mortified.

(And maybe I have some cuddly friends who’ve been a comfort who I would be absolutely devastated to lose- and maybe I’m at least a decade older than mumble mumble 30-something Smile)
CarnationCat · 26/07/2021 23:04

I wouldn't worry about the platypus being destroyed. See what he's like when he's dry. Puff the material up a bit. If he is still in a state, teddies can be repaired. He can be unsewn and restuffed by you or someone else.

Snaketime · 26/07/2021 23:05

He doesn't need retiring op, he will be fine after a few cuddles. I have a ragdoll that I have had since I was a little girl.

BillMasheen · 26/07/2021 23:08


I'd do toy hospital, that sort of sensory comforting feedback is important. A little brushing with a soft bristle pet hair brush and a warm hairdryer will help.

Yes. This.

And despite my hardnosed persona I would absolutely be in bits if this happened to my comfort objects.

If anything says anything then yes, it is comforting sensory feedback that helps you process trauma. Only you need know it’s because he is real and has feelings too.

In a month or so, it will just be another thing you love him for. He survived a wash, and had reconstructive surgery. And now he’s better.
BillMasheen · 26/07/2021 23:10

And yeah, I’m … definitely 30 with 20+ years of experience

FrankButchersDickieBow · 26/07/2021 23:12

Aww OP. Poor platypus.

You can definitely restuff!!! We recently done this with dd's Ted.

He is the other member of our family and comes on every holiday, sleepover etc.

Dd is nearly 13 and think Ted may be slightly older as her Grandma bought it for her before she was even born!

She has been suffering with her mental health for the last year or so and Ted is a great source of comfort.

You can buy the stuffing and the little tool from amazon, really cheap.

Don't give up on old platypus! There is definitely life in him yet!

MrsPelligrinoPetrichor · 26/07/2021 23:15

My most independent,glamorous, most capable friend was nearly in years while telling me her childhood teddy that she sleeps with every night accidentally got thrown away. I think more people than you realise know how you feel OP.

I'd be pissed off she didn't ask before washing!

Cuddlyrottweiler · 26/07/2021 23:15

There are people you can send them to that fix them up. I watch one woman's videos on Facebook, it's awesome.

SisterMonicaJoansHabit · 26/07/2021 23:15

I also vote for accidental entanglement with the sheets. I've done it.

I'm 39 soon and I have particular bears I cannot sleep without at least one of.

I'm autistic and the sensory feedback is very, very important as part of my self regulation. Even as an adult I have to 'huff' my stuffed toy, or my vile manky pillow.

Two and a half years ago, the one item I slept with absolute came apart irreparably. I knew it was going to happen and spent the six months running up to then, sleeping with the thing wrapped round a new bear.

It was a lot to get used to, but it worked. Took a further six months for the bear to be right.

If it's just the smell and the fur, those things can be remedied at home with brushing and with sleeping with it a few nights hugged up to you as normal.

If the inside is all wrong then toy hospital, you'll want to be able to describe how he was before.

My very very first ever teddy went to a menders early this year and now has a body for the first time in about 15 years.

I really understand, and have cried when similar has happened to my comfort items. I had a special shirt I wore over the top of my t shirts for years, through my mid to late teens, or 21, and it sort of worked similarly for when I was out. Then it had a horrid accident in the wash, and it was all wrong.

ToastandPeanutButter · 26/07/2021 23:20

Oh love. I can’t offer any better advice than what has already been offered but I want to send a hug.

I haven’t been through what you have, but am a poor sleeper and rely on certain things to help. I really hope you get it sorted, but in the meantime I hope you’re ok x

SwanShaped · 26/07/2021 23:20

Don’t retire him! You can fix him. Or someone else can.

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