It’s the beloved teddy your child has had since he was born and the thing he loves more than ANYTHING in the world. So what happens when he says, ‘Mummy, I can’t find teddy … ‘.
Yep, it’s the parenting ‘rite of passage’ no mum wants to go through. But given your child insists on taking his favorite comforter everywhere he goes, it’s only a matter of time before you come home without it.
We’ve tracked the stages we go through as mums when our kids lose their favorite toys.
You don’t believe his teddy is missing
You’ve lost count of the number of times your child says he can’t find his teddy – only for it to be right next to him on the sofa.
Which means, at first, you’re not worried and tell him to keep looking.
Hmmm, might keep him quiet long enough for you to have a cup of tea.
You’re sure his comforter is in the house. Er, somewhere
You start turning the house upside down as you’re SURE his teddy must be here.
But after checking inside the dishwasher/ under the sofa/ behind the telly for the hundredth time it’s nowhere to be seen. Although you have found a bank card, £3 in change, a few squashed raisins and a million pieces of Lego …
You decide to ask your child where he last saw his toy
And then realize it’s pointless as he sends you on a wild goose chase by saying, ‘in nanny’s car.’ (It’s not.) Or, better yet, ‘in the spaceship’.
You search the house again
And seriously debate pulling up the floorboards.
Not too excessive, right?
You PANIC ...
OH MY GOD HE’S REALLY LOST HIS TEDDY!!!!!
And mentally kick yourself for not buying at least five identical replacement teddies for precisely this moment.
You try and retrace your steps
Then realize you can barely remember where you left the car keys, let alone where you were that morning. The park? Toddler group? The library?
It’s no use, you’ll have to revisit them all.
You make a ‘missing teddy’ picture on your phone
Then share on every local parenting Facebook group and WhatsApp group you can think of.
And check your bank balance to work out if you can offer a reward. (Probably not given you’re going to have to buy him LOADS of new toys to take his mind off his lost teddy.)
You realize it’s approaching bedtime …
… and you know your child is inseparable from his toy while he sleeps.
Cue more panic that he’ll be up all night until you find it.
You don't know what to say to your child
As your panic grows, so does his. And it’s not long before he’s in floods of tears, crying for his beloved toy.
How on earth do you explain loss to a toddler? Oh no, it’s worse than when the rabbit died …
You get no sleep
As bedtime arrives and still no teddy, you spend the night cuddling your child as he sobs.
You search eBay at 3 am
In the brief moment he nods off, you type ‘moth-eared teddy’ into eBay and hope you can find a replacement to fool your child with.
And when that doesn’t work you wonder if your child will suss if you buy a new toy and give it a ‘distressed’ look.
(In other words half pulling off one arm, chewing it’s ears and rubbing various breakfast cereals into its fur.)
You strongly suspect your OH blames you
He’d never say it, but you’re sure he thinks it’s your fault for not noticing your child had dropped his toy when you were out.
FFS, as if you didn’t feel guilty enough.
And you feel ridiculously emotional
The thought of your child’s favorite toy all alone in a park (or wherever the hell he dropped it) makes you feel strangely tearful.
You’ll never forgive yourself if you don’t find it.
You’re amazed at the kindness of strangers
You’re overwhelmed by the number of complete strangers sharing your posts on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.
And the kindness of the shop/ nursery/ library staff promising to have a good hunt for the teddy, when you call them.
Probably because everyone remembers how important their favorite childhood comforter was …
You'll never forget the moment your child is reunited with his toy
When you FINALLY find his toy you are in tears when you see how happy he is to be reunited.
And then you frantically scour the net for lookalike toys, JUST in case …