Does your child have a special comforter? A toy, dummy, blanket? You know, the thing they take EVERYWHERE. To the shops, to nursery, to the park, to bed. They drag (sometimes literally) wherever they go. It is the thing they need to get them to sleep. They turn to it when they are tired. It comforts them when they fall, or are upset. It gets their unconditional love. They are priceless, for all the reasons I have just mentioned. But they are also the millstone around the neck of every parent. More so when it is a specific toy or blanket that the child has taken a shine to. One that is now worn and faded. Falling apart from endless stroking, suckling and general wear and tear. For each parent lives in constant fear that the comforter will one day get lost.
When I was little I had a yellow blanket. It had been handmade by my great auntie Margaret. I used drag mine around, sleep with it. Or and I used to suck it! My mum eventually had to cut it into four pieces so she had a rotation of spare, clean blankets instead of one, manky smelling rag. Eventually they disintegrated when I was about six or seven.
Dylan, our eldest rainbow, has one. Timmy the Turtle. Timmy is well known around these parts. He is a regular companion when we go out and about and tends to make an appearance in most photographs. Dylan took a shine to Timmy when he was about 15 months old and despite now being 3 and a half, Dylan shows no sign of cutting ties with him.
Timmy got lost last summer. On my watch too! I went to pick Dylan up from nursery. I remember collecting Timmy from the nursery staff (he was kept in a special cupboard with all the other special toys). At bedtime, Adam popped his head out of Dylan’s door and shouted down for Timmy. Usually a common occurrence. My brain started racing, scanning for the last memory of Timmy. I couldn’t remember seeing him since nursery. I frantically searched the house, the car…. nothing! I ran upstairs and Adam could tell by the wild panic in my eyes that Timmy was nowhere. I can’t remember the tale he spun Dylan, I think it was something along the lines of Timmy having a bath. Whatever it was, it worked for the time being and he managed to get Dylan to sleep with some extra soothing. I ducked out of the house, and drove back to nursery and then to the supermarket where we had stopped off on the way home. Again I drew a blank. In desperation I sent a message on Facebook to the nursery owner. Could she have a look when they opened up first thing in the morning and let us know if we had dropped him in the playground or if he had been handed in? Bless her she actually drove down to nursery that night to see if she could find anything. Still nothing!
We never found the original Timmy. Adam had initially bought him (of course he is a ‘he’ and not an ‘it’) from Alton Towers so it wasn’t a quick jaunt back to the shop. Luckily he found a replacement though the power of the Internet. We paid extra for next day delivery (money was absolutely no object) and we managed to spin lie upon lie to keep Dylan from uncovering the truth. There were a couple of hairy (and upset) times, in the interim, but brand new New Timmy arrived soon enough, all spick and span. Dylan looked slightly suspicious. We made a big song and dance about how clean he looked after his long bath and just about managed to get away with it. I think Dylan was so happy to have him back, he didn’t care.
Fast forward to yesterday. I took the boys to the park and of course Timmy came with us. Dylan was giving Timmy his usual tough love. Throwing him down the slide and from the top of the climbing frame. I’ve lost count of the amount of times I’ve said ‘poor Timmy’ over the last couple of years because of the rough treatment he gets. When we got home, Adam was back from work so I nipped out to the supermarket. The second I stepped back through the door, Dylan appeared at the top of the stairs (we live in a townhouse) and said ‘Mummy, where’s Timmy’ with just a hint of concern in his voice. My heart pumped that little bit faster. Not again, surely not! We went through the house, looking under the sofa, outside, in the bedrooms. No Timmy! I donned my trainers and ran down to the park. More frantic searching. Another call into the local supermarket where we had stopped off. No luck. Walking back, I sent Adam a text with the bad news and said I didn’t want to come home. We had just about managed to get through it last time, but it was obvious he was lost this time and we couldn’t pull the wool over his eyes again. My mouth was dry. I felt sick. Dylan didn’t see me at first, but then clocked me and looked expectantly.
I was just about to deliver the bad news, when I saw a flash of dark green in Jude’s ball pool. There he was buried under a tonne of brightly coloured balls.
I was too relieved and delighted to be cross. We dodged another bullet! Timmy was alive and kicking and we all lived to fight another day. Dylan went to bed happy … with Timmy.
I spent last night on the internet searching for microchips for toys. They don’t exist … yet. An idea for Dragon’s Den maybe?
Do you have any similar toy horror stories? It can’t just be me.