It’s hard to know what toy your kid will latch onto, what will become the irreplaceable lovey or important, gotta-take-it-everywhere trinket. My older daughter never really did that with much of anything, but it’s a whole new world with daughter number two.
This is her first year in preschool, and after the random bear I sent with her for naps didn’t come home one day, I carefully labeled a soft, sweet giraffe lovey with her name to be sure it would always be returned to her. That worked for the first semester, but sometime after Christmas, as she neared her third birthday, the giraffe lovey no longer cut it.
She cycled through various stuffed animals and somehow settled on “Bunny Bunny,” a small, stuffed pink rabbit from Hobby Lobby. I don’t remember buying it, but my best guess is someone sent it to us in an Easter care package. It never dawned on me to label the bunny (or even really look at it carefully) until he went missing!
Three of the four girls in my daughter’s small preschool class have rabbit toys they bring to school for naps. So what’s really the surprise is that a mix up didn’t happen sooner. But one day, our Bunny Bunny did go missing! I didn’t realize it until bedtime, so I didn’t sound the alarm until the next day at drop off (somehow we appeased my daughter with other toys and the promise that we’d look for Bunny Bunny tomorrow).
Although Bunny Bunny had become important, I didn’t actually have a photo of it and had to rely on my faulty memory and imprecise spatial awareness to describe it–light pink or medium pink? Six inches or eight inches? Who knows?!
After some sleuthing on her teacher’s part, we were able to determine that Bunny Bunny went home with another student, but it didn’t automatically come back (since I hadn’t labeled it, the kids had taken it out of the bag and Bunny Bunny is so small, it’s easy to get lost in the shuffle). Luckily, it was found, we got a “proof of life” photo the next morning, and our teacher brought Bunny Bunny home, much to the relief of my daughter. She thought it was funny that Bunny Bunny got to spend time at her friend’s house, and I wished I were friends with that mom to ask her for photos of Bunny Bunny having a fun adventure!
NOW that Bunny Bunny is home, we have photos taken for later reference should it go missing again, and the small tag (that let me know it was originally from Hobby Lobby), now also bears my daughter’s first name. Let’s hope it never goes missing again–at least not until after she has moved on to the next irreplaceable toy, which may be sooner than I expect.