Wednesday, November 29

Day twenty-nine: By George!

First I've got to tell you that a new post is up at Mommy Blogs Toronto and it's written by me, so get over there and have a read, I'll wait.

Thank you all so much for your get well soon wishes and my words would fail to describe the way I felt when I woke up to find my comments and inbox full of good vibes and my virus nearly gone. Let's just say it felt great.

I feel so much healthier than yesterday and to make me feel even better - something that we had given up hope in getting back, came back into our lives. Dear sweet George made his way home (our own little Incredible Journey if you please - okay, okay, it's nothing like that but indulge me please. Trust me,
many family members wept in the making of this story

George is Bumper's best friend. He is the first one she searches for each morning, the one she hugs whenever the nasty doctor prods her, he was her date to her first birthday party, her all around main man.

This past Monday after finding out at the doctors that I had to deprive my always hungry toddler of solids, I ran over to the store to stock up on juice to keep her hydrated. Of course George accompanied us to the doctors, so he tagged along to the store.

Somewhere between the tangerine juice and the checkout, George went MIA. I realized this out on the street, about two minutes after leaving the store. I initially panicked because George and I have a history (he's over twenty years old though you wouldn't think he was a day over five) and I always knew that I was taking a risk allowing Bumper to take him outside of home. I can't tell you how much I'm blushing right now by admitting that I actually cried over this incident but I did.

I've had George for so long that he was really part of the family. He had some fading but he has had a good life and never required repair. When Bumper first noticed George she was instantly entranced. I don't know if it was his eyes, his sexy red shirt or the shine of his wonderful fur but she was smitten from the get-go. I reluctantly let her play with him and watched their relationship blossom before my eyes. As soon as I saw the bond, I couldn't say no to their love. George had a new girlfriend and he couldn't have picked a better lady.

me and my shadow

So over the past few months I've become more lax in keeping George at home. It started with short walks in the summer, which morphed into errand runs, downtown excrusions and trips to visit the grandparents. George became part of the check-list: Bumper's bottle? check, changing stuff? check, snacks? check, George? check.

So you can imagine my sheer terror when I realized he was gone. I tried to appear calm because Bumper was on the verge of falling asleep but I needed to at least retrace my steps. I figured I'd turn a corner and there he would be, laying on the ground with that accusing and sad stare of "why did you leave me here?".

But that didn't happen. I started to panic when I got back to the last place I was in the store and I quickly ran to the customer service desk by the check-out. I asked as calmly as possible (as not to appear too deranged) and the woman gave me a shrug when she opened the empty lost and found drawer.

She must have heard something in my voice or maybe she looked at Bumper and saw her own child because she told me to call the store later in the day because someone might find it and sometimes it takes a while to make it to the desk. She wrote down the number and told me it was the direct line to the service desk. I thanked her and walked away, sad because I knew the chances were slim in getting such a fine looking monkey back.

I once again retraced my steps to no avail and dejectedly headed home with Bumper asleep and blissfully unaware of George's misadventure. I actually cried and called husband who tried to comfort me as best as he could. He was positive George would show up*.

So later in the day I called back. Nothing. Even later, I went back in person. Nothing. I went home and tried to convince myself that he was gone and there was nothing I could do. Get over it, he's just a stuffed animal. That night I came this close to posting about it, but it was too painful (I'm serious, just scrolling down and seeing his photo on Saturday's post just about killed me).

Tuesday I called as soon as the store opened and there was nothing. I was too sick to call back later and as I lay in bed I thought, he's gone and I'll pretend that I didn't see Bumper looking for him this morning because just trying to imagine what she was thinking would make me feel even worse. Why didn't I pay more attention? How could I miss something that large falling out of the stoller? It was horrible.

Today, feeling healthy enough to run to the store to restock, I thought I will try some other places along the way just in case someone picked him up outside. I was already designing missing posters in my head and husband was scouting out stores that might carry a similar guy.

I checked out two lost and founds with no results. So I went back to the grocery store and decided that standing in the long customer service line was worth the wait. As I got to the front of the line I started to think I might be overreacting, it's just a toy - why bother trying to find it. Bumper will forget about him and she will find something new. But I waited.

When I got to the front of the line I asked if any toys had been turned into the lost and found and she said yes a stuffed cat had been turned in. I said no, a monkey. She leaned over the drawer and rooted around. I can't tell you how fast my jaw hit the ground when she pulled George out. She told me the look on my face was priceless and she immediately knew how important this monkey meant to me. She waved George in Bumper's face and I wish I had the camera. Bumper grabbed him and hugged him tight. I thanked this woman profusely - short of hugging her (I didn't want to make her sick) and then tried to complete the grocery shopping.

Honestly, I was so so happy I couldn't concentrate on shopping. I had to phone the grandparents (who were devastated when I told them on Monday night) and I had to call husband (who was so freakin' happy I thought I heard him jump up at his desk). I'm lucky I picked up enough for dinner.

Just seeing Bumper hug him tight reminded me that you should never give up, even up on the "little" things.

* Husband admits he didn't think we would get George back but he wanted to be positive for us.


metro mama said...

Oh, the terror you must have felt! We've had a couple of close calls with dirty simon. Nothing this major though! So glad you got him back.

jen said...

woo...what a fright, huh? it's amazing all the things we learn that are really important as we continue this journey of being mother.

SO glad you found him. really.

MrsFortune said...

Ooooh!!! I'm so happy you got him back. That is such a sweet story. George is back where he belongs. I would have loved to have seen the look on her face.

crazymumma said...

I am so happy they are reunited! That bond is so real for them, and it becomes so for us. Biggirl once lost her little Grover in the lettuce at loblaws and it was miraculously found and returned by another customer. To this day she love to hear that story....

kittenpie said...

Oh, thank goodness! You know how overprepared and totally psycho I am?

That's why I have - count 'em - FIVE of Pumpkinpie's doggies. She usually has three in circulation at once, and two in a drawer. I rotate them so they all get loved up and broken in, and then I can wash them or have one left somewhere overnight without tears. Start breaking in a backup George or two now!

mamatulip said...

Aw, I'm SO GLAD that George was found! Both Julia and Oliver have certain stuffed animals that mean more to them than others and even though I don't have any big attachment to them I'd be quite distressed if one of them went missing. So glad this story had a happy ending!

And I'm very, very glad to hear you're feeling better. :)

Lisa b said...

Wow that is quite and adventure for George.
I wonder what he was doing all that time...

Mamalooper said...

George is the best! Glad he turned up. Monkeygirl has Gigi the giraffe who is her friend. I searched high and low all over TO for a back up Gigi and even called the manufacturer!

I am stressing a bit that we only have two - need at least one more "just in case".

ali said...

i'm glad that story had a happy ending.

my brother left his bear in a hotel in Israel...we never saw it again. he was DEVASTATED.

Bri said...

What a sweet story, glad that someone was good enough to return him to the lost and found. Actually last week when we were at the dr, she asked me if I had two or three of Samantha's fav lamb, and I never thought about looking for another one until now!

julia said...

Aw, what a lovely happy ending.

Jenifer said...

Whew, I know how relieved you must have felt!! My P has "kity-kat" (Marie from the Aristocrats that I bought her at Disney World) If we ever lost her.... OMG, I'd have to fly to Floridaand pay 50 bucks to get into Disney just to buy her another ridiculously priced one.