I am sad to report that "Operation Replicate Blue Bear" is off to a rocky start.
After our day long search for Snoodie's beloved BFF last week, I became convinced that we could avert future catastrophe by purchasing several duplicate Blue Bears.
My determination was partially informed by observing my two nieces, now pre-teens, and their love for the beloved companions of their youth: "Monkey" (Niece #1) and "Squiddy" (Niece #2) (what can I say - creative stuffed animal monikers are not my family's forte). These furry friends were received by each girl at birth (much like Snoodie's Blue Bear) and went on to accompany my nieces EVERYWHERE for the next decade.
Niece #1 was about five when Monkey's head fell off for the first time.
Her Grandmother (by luck, a trained physician) was able to reattach it, but the operation proved to be no more than a stopgap measure. A year later the head was off again, this time followed shortly by his left leg.
I'll spare you the grim details of monkey's ongoing deterioration over the ensuing years, as I believe the photo below will suffice:
(Monkey and Squiddy photographed January 2010. Monkey's tie added to lend him an air of dignity he sorely lacks in that he is, at present, merely a mangy monkey head and two ragged monkey arms grafted onto onto a child's onesie stuffed with foam)
As you can see, Squiddy has fared a bit better through the years, having needed only a few minor repairs. But, this is not to say that Squiddy has not presented problems of his own.
Once, on a road trip across to Chicago from New York, when Niece #2 was about six, the family pulled off for lunch at a highway rest stop before getting back on the road. It wasn't until about 100 miles down the road that my sister-in-law looked around the car only to realize that Squiddy had been.............................LEFT BEHIND!
Faced with the choice between driving three-hours round trip to pick up the errant cephalopod OR explaining to their inconsolable daughter that she would see her boon companion no more, they pulled a resigned U-turn and headed back to retrieve him.
But, I decided, no such fate for me!! I would take action, so that I might never be a slave to the lovey! The plan seemed foolproof. I would create my very own ARMY of well-worn Blue Bears, one of whom would always be at the ready to soothe the Snood!
I pulled Blue Bear's given name off his tag ("Mr. Beeps", for those of you who are curious), then I took to The Google and I FOUND HIM! For $15.99 a piece I could have as many Blue Bear replicates as my little heart desired! I originally considered buying a few dozen, loosely calculating that we could probably manage to misplace 8 or 9 bears a month, but David rightly convinced me that we could never keep that many similarly worn bears in the rotation, and I settled for two.
As I clicked SEND on my order I turned to David and announced proudly,
"I am a GENIUS! This plan is foolproof!"
Four days later a box arrived at my doorstep. Our new Blue Bears were ready to be introduced! David and I opened the packaged excitedly only to find...
...two pink bears. Pink, it would appear, is Mr. Beep's new signature color.
So, "Operation Replicate Blue Bear" starts again in earnest next week, as I take to eBay in search of more duplicate bears.
Until then, I'm watching the original like a hawk.