Lovey

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!

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13 thoughts on “Lovey

  1. So glad things have sorta worked out with the ‘lovey’ situation. Now the big question is: when she is older, maybee even as an adult, will you tell her the story of the ‘true’ lovey?
    😉

  2. Hailey hasn’t been herself since Lovey #1 went AWOL. Hopefully now she can begin to move on with her life and Lovey #2 can be some consolation to her. ???Perhaps Lovey #1 is in a better place, and sent Lovey #2 to help fill the void??? RIP Lovey #1

  3. Honestly, Nathan, I’m surprised you haven’t written about it before now either. Just too painful I suppose. Oh, Lovey…how we miss you!

    I thought Lovey was a little kitty not tiger. But it has been tough since that Wednesday she went AWOL. It’s been hard on all of us. I admit I’ve cried. Even last week when I made another trip to the mall and I looked and asked around again when I got in the van I cried on the way home. (Those people know me at the mall now.) I don’t know if I’ll ever stop looking for her!

    Madelyn has even prayed and cried for her and Hailey the past few weeks. She told me that God would help “those people at the mall find her”. It was precious this afternoon at lunch she prayed in her sweet voice, “God thank you for helping those people find Hailey’s new Lovey, but Hailey’s first one is at the mall.” It still made me tear up! I never thought I would be so attached!

    When we went to pick Hailey’s new Lovey up at the post office yesterday I told the girls what we were going to do because they kept asking. Hailey called for her all the way there. I braced myself for a bad reaction from Hailey. I was afraid it would be different enough that she would reject it. She didn’t! She was so happy. She even said, “Happy, happy!” after I buckled her in her car seat. She has a habit of doing that when she is in fact happy…it’s sweet. She talked to it on the way home; for example, “Lovey, (followed by jibberish), then Hug? ‘K’ ” and then she would hug her. I watched in the review mirror. Anyway, Madelyn noticed the slight differences; if nothing else the new one is definitely cleaner! (Lovey the first was well loved!) Madelyn asked, “Did Hailey just get a new one?” Madelyn is wanting a lovey or something new now too. I told Nathan that from here on and I would like for our girls to have 2 or 3 “lovies” that they enjoy and are attached too. That way when I wash one or misplace something, etc. it isn’t so hard. I think we plan on letting the girls do a Build-a-Bear or something soon. They both have a bear that Nathan and I made before each was born but I think they would enjoy going through the process now that they’re getting older.

    The 2nd Lovey is so very similar (minus the dirt stains, slobbery spots, and threads that had been pulled out of Lovey’s nose) and that’s comforting but I have felt bad for the old one as silly as it sounds. Nathan you should put a picture of the first one on here in rememberence. Thankfully, we do have plenty of pictures and home videos of the original. And this new one is already finding a place in my heart, mostly because Hailey is so pleased. I thought that after 3 weeks the memory would have begun to fade for Hailey but it never did.

    Yes, Matt, I will tell Hailey of her first Lovey. I’ll show her pictures and video and tell her the story. But she does have this one to console her and she’s already bonded (and started breaking her in) and that eases the heartache. And thanks Leslie, I like to think Lovey the original is brightening some other sweet child’s life the way she did Hailey’s. And it’s a comforting thought to think that Lovey #1 sent Lovey#2 to us…And who knows, maybe like some child’s book, Lovey the first will find her way back to us (doubtful) but if not we have plenty of warm memories!

  4. I’m a sap. I didn’t get halfway through that story before I was typing “pink fleece blanket with satin trim” into yahoo and ebay seeing what I could find. I never realized how many places you can get personalized pink fleece blankets with satin trim.

  5. No, it isn’t. I misread the blog the first time. I thought I read “I’m not sure where the name came from…” or something like that. The trademarked name is “Lovie.” There are several different types of Lovies (different animals), interestingly enough I couldn’t find a tiger “Lovie.” It is probably from a company that ran with the similar idea (I have a Stevie’s Square, or something like that, instead of a Rubik’s Cube…seriously).

    Nathan or Lauren, if you could remember any company logos on tags or anything, that would clearly be your starting point. You could actually find a picture of Lovey and post it. Then have everybody try to find it. Then, Nathan could give a shoutout to the winner the next time he plays at Incahoots or something!

    And for the record, I think the Build-A-Bear idea with the girls is a good idea. Hailey is too young to really mess with it, but Madelyn is the perfect age to get interested in it. That is one of those things that can help out if you (Lauren) ever feel Madelyn is getting a bit jealous of any extra attention or care Hailey needs. She would get a kick out of that if it is something she gets to do on her own. She could even help build one for Hailey. (Of course, the sibling jealousy issue is probably not so bad with their age seperation. I’m guessing it would be a bit more of a challenge if she was 4 or 5 years older than her.)

  6. yeah, we couldn’t remember the exact name on the tag. We found another “lovey” that we think was made by the same company, but we’ve still had no luck finding the one Hailey had.

    Soon as I get a chance though, I’ll post a picture of the original. We still wouldn’t mind finding another one, even though Hailey seems fine with this one.

    And thanks for all the concern! It sounds kind of silly to get so worked up about a little toy… until you have kids. It all makes sense then… 🙂

  7. Embarrassed to admitt this, but… The first few times I read this post and the comments I was reading Leslie’s ‘name’ as “lovely looker”. I just thought she had high selfesteem. Yesterday morning it occured to me that I was just an idiot.

  8. Yes…I have been hearing ALL ABOUT lovey from Lauren, but she forgot to tell me about the new replacement that Hailey has accepted! YAY!

    We have a beanie mokey that Anna Beth is attached to. It started when we put him in the hospital crib under the Jaundice lights with her when she was born…..so VERY important to us. Anna Beth even named him, herself. She calls him “Dee Dee”.

    Needless to say…..when I heard about Lovey…..we went out and bought Dee Dee #2. He is in her closet, ready to be pulled out in an emergency. Isn’t it so cute how they get attached to stuff??

  9. Hi there,

    I’m a health writer for msnbc.com, and I’m working on a story for our Kids & Parenting section I think you could help me with. It’s about kids & their favorite blanket or toy — and the lengths to which parents will go to replace their child’s favorite thing if it is lost.

    Sounds like this has happened to you! I’d love to hear about your experience. If you’re interested, shoot me an e-mail at melissa.dahl@msnbc.com, and we’ll set up a time to chat over the phone. (It should only take 10-15 minutes, and it’s sure to be a fun conversation!)

    Thank you so much,
    Melissa Dahl
    Health editor/writer, msnbc.com
    melissa.dahl@msnbc.com
    (425) 421-1433

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