I've talked before on this blog about things that you never want to hear as a mother, and this week I've added a new and exceptionally terrifying phrase to that lexicon. And it is the following:
"Uh, honey...have you seen Blue Bear?"
Yes, folks, our Snoodie has a lovey. His name is 'Blue Bear'. In case you have not been able to successfully deduce this on your own, he is a rather small yet very fluffly blue bear. He is very cuddly, and I have to say for the guy, he's also quite the trooper. Blue Bear was on the front lines for the "Great Stomach Flu of 2009" and required several trips through the washing machine by the time the puke quit flying. He's been dragged through the mud and peed upon more times than I can count, but through it all Snoodie's love for him seems only to grow.
At bedtime, Snoodie sees Blue Bear in my outstretched arms and immediately sticks one thumb resignedly in his mouth and trots off towards his crib, buddy in hand. Once there Snoodie lays down and tells Blue Bear all about his day. After chatting for a bit, Snoodie chews on Blue Bear's face and limbs for a while before drifting off to dreamland.
During the day while I work at my desk, Snoodie will often holler to me from the doorway of his room with a series of ever more urgent grunts:
Which loosely translates to:
"Hey, you! Lady who works for me! Blue Bear is stuck in my crib and I need you to come and retrieve him for me immediately!"
I get up, reunite the two pals, and Blue Bear and the Snood wile away the afternoon, hangin' in the playroom, romping in the backyard, and generally having a blast together.
Until yesterday morning, when suddenly - I COULDN'T FIND BLUE BEAR ANYWHERE!!!!!!
He was missing!
I clearly remember grabbing Blue Bear out of Snoodie's crib around 9:15am and I remember seeing them wandering around the house together shortly thereafter. But after that - NOTHING.
We misplaced Blue Bear once before. When we left for Florida at Christmastime, I realized that, in our rush to get out of the house, we'd completely forgotten him. We considered turning back, at risk of missing our plane, but then David remembered that we had an extra bear someone had given us in the back seat of the car. It was a Brown Bear, a bit on the small side and with a much smaller nose, but Snoodie seemed to take to him so we decided he'd do. Throughout the trip, Snoodie seemed to give his beloved Blue Bear nary a thought (causing David to surmise that our boy might just be the Tiger Woods of bears - with a new love around each corner).
So, when naptime came around yesterday with no sign of Snoodie's buddy, I hoped that maybe we could pull off another switcheroo. But, it appears that in the last month Snoodie's loyalites have sharpened. He rejected first a yellow duckie, then a tan Teddy, and finally his old favorite Winnie the Pooh that he used to love as a baby. Naptime was a thing of terror and by the afternoon the search for Blue Bear had turned truly desperate.
I pulled up couch cushions, emptied closets, and even pulled the fridge out from the wall to crawl behind it. David came home from work early to aid in the effort, but he too found himself stymied. The bear had simply disappeared.
By 8pm Snood was refusing to sleep at all and David and I were reduced to crawling around the house on hands and knees in the vague hope that being at Snoodie level might help unearth a stuffed animal we were only by then referring to only as (insert expletive) Bear. Due to the fact that we hadn't so much as stepped outside on account of the monsoon that is currently engulfing Los Angeles, I knew he HAD to be in the house. Considering the fact that we live in 1400 square foot home, it seemed impossible that we could not locate a foot-and-a-half high bear.
As 8pm loomed with our boy still refusing to head for bed alone, I finally turned to the Snood in desperation and said:
"WHERE DID YOU PUT BLUE BEAR???"
Snoodie stared back at me with an expression that said,
"Oh? That guy?"
...before marching into his room. In one corner, there was a child-sized suitcase shoved part-way under the crib. Snoodie promptly pulled out the case, opened it up, grabbed out Blue Bear, inserted his thumb in his mouth calmly, looked at me for perhaps the thousandth time like I might be a bit of a dummy, and then headed for his crib without further ado.
(the real Blue Bear emerges from his hiding spot)
David and I agreed that it was one of those nights where the only possible thing to do was to take to our bed (him with a large tumbler of scotch) and pray for the blissful release of sleep. BUT FIRST! We snuck into the sleeping Snoodie's room, grabbed the serial number off of old Blue Bear's tag, and headed off to the internet to order up six or seven duplicates of our boy's one true love.