Lou Lou is not her real name, but somehow it has stuck. 

Sometimes we call her Woo woo, or shorten it to plain old Woo.

I’m not sure of the reasons behind these pet names but I guess that when you love something so much you tend to collect these different affectionate words that all mean the same thing.

It’s like a secret language shared by those lucky enough to feel the same love and these words fill your world with joy.

From this came the earworm of the old KLF and Tammy Wynette song, Justified and Ancient, and the title of my blog from the lyric “all bound for Mu Mu land.” Lazy weekend conversations with Lou Lou’s sister led to us riffing on the Lou Lou land theme.

Lou Lou land in our fabled account is not only where Lou Lou comes from, but where she goes to every night.

When she wakes at 3am, that’s where she wheels off to, quite often accompanied by her school friends.

Mummy is invited but, being the early hours, I tend to decline.

Big sister would love to go but she is always asleep.

However, that doesn’t stop her imagination running riot and Lou Lou land has become a fairytale land.

According to big sister’s musings, Lou Lou land is under the sea, Lou Lou and her friends are sometimes mermaids and they dance with Jolly Olly the octopus. (I guess that’s one way to get around any inconvenient wheelchair access issues!)

Lou Lou land also has an abundance of her favourite foods: custard, cake and custard, custard doughnuts! We have drawings and pages of stories set in this magical world.

One of these stories in particular broke my heart.

It began with Emily feeling sad because she can’t stand up.

I felt my eyes fill with tears but then I caught my breath, put on a brave face and started to explain that Lou Lou wasn’t really sad about this and it didn’t make her upset.

Her response? “I know Mummy, it’s just a story!!” I don’t know how much we should encourage (or discourage) talk of Lou Lou land but for now I’ll just confess that there are many, many times I’ve wished Lou Lou land was real.

And I’ll leave you with the story so you may understand why.

“The First Time Lou Lou standed up. One day we went on the beach and Lou Lou sat down. I standed up. Lou Lou showed a frown. “Why are you frowning?” I said. “Because you can stand up and I cannot” she said sadly. I put her in her chair and took her home to bed.

She looked very quiet. I told Mummy the next morning. She said “There is a magic wand that makes you stand up. You have to get it! It’s her birthday tomorrow, it can be her present.” I went to the shops and bought it. 

Then the next day it was Lou Lou’s birthday. She opened the presents and saw the wand. “Wow!” she said. She waited a second. She standed up and giggled. The End.”

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