I don’t know why it didn’t strike me to write about this earlier. Ryley’s comment on my last post made me think about it.
My youngest daughter, Hailey, absolutely fell in love with one of the toys she was given at birth. I’m not sure what to call it, exactly, although we always referred to it as “Lovey.” It was a pink fleece blanket with satin trim, and in the middle of the blanket, it had the head and paws of a little plush tiger. Her name had been embroidered on it, as well as a picture of the little tiger. It was really cute, and Hailey never went anywhere without it.
A few weeks ago, my wife had gone to the mall with her sister, Leslie, and had taken the girls along. When they were loading everyone back into the car, one of our worst fears was realized: Leslie put Hailey in the car seat and noticed that Lovey was missing. They checked the strollers and bags, but couldn’t find it, so Leslie went back into the mall.
We’re thinking that Hailey either dropped or threw Lovey at some point in the mall, but even though Leslie backtracked to every place they had been, she couldn’t find it. We spend the next few days calling (and visiting) every store, customer service kiosk, and security station we could find in search of Lovey. My father-in-law even asked every janitor he ran into to see if any of them had seen it.
Lovey’s just gone.
But that’s been hard for us to accept. Obviously, Hailey’s been upset. She’s cried and asked for Lovey many times, and putting her to bed has been much more difficult than normal. The rest of us were sad too. Lauren and I had gotten attached to Lovey also; it’s one of those things from your kid’s childhood that you always plan to hang onto. Even Madelyn, who’s three and a half, has been upset about it.
We’ve also been searching the internet to try to find a replacement. But this toy was bought a good 2 years ago, and we haven’t been able to find the same one anywhere. The lady that got it for Hailey went back to the store she had gotten it from, but had no luck. The internet has plenty of toys like this, but none are close enough to even mildly resemble Lovey.
We ended up getting a similar toy that has a monkey on it. Hailey tolerates it, but it was almost like seeing it only reminded her of Lovey, which really just made her sad.
Finally, last week, I ran across an ebay auction with only 10 hours left in it that had something almost identical to Lovey (you can see the picture here). There are some subtle differences, but it’s stil amazingly close to our original Lovey.
Yesterday, it finally came in. We were pretty anxious to see if Hailey would like it or not, and Lauren even felt a little like she was “betraying” the original Lovey. When they opened the package, Hailey cried out, “Lovey!” and pulled it to her tiny chest. She looked at it for just a second as though something seemed different, but I guess she wanted to believe badly enough that she gave in to the illusion. Lauren said she held it, hugged it, talked to it, sang to it, for a very long time yesterday (I was at work and didn’t get to see it). And she went to sleep with no problems at all, both for her nap and at bedtime.
We still hope to find the original Lovey one day. We hope that someone will finally run across it at the mall, or maybe some kid picked it up and the parent will return it to mall security. But we don’t really expect to have any luck there.
If your child has his or her own “Lovey,” I recommend memorizing (and photographing) every detail of that thing. Get a replacement early on, if you can (just in case). And definitely put some kind of contact information on it. There’s some other great information about them at articles like this one.
Oh, and if you’re ever at the Riverchase Galleria, and you see a little pink “lovey” with “Hailey” monogrammed on it, please let me know!