Everything comes to an end. Movies, fitting into your skinny jeans, and the bottom of a fondant au chocolat. Some things are good to lose: a lousy boyfriend, a dated accessory such as bandanas, and those 10 pounds of post-baby sag. But some things are never good to lose. Like, ever. Pretty basic, right?
Last night, every toddler’s worst nightmare came to pass at our home. We lost two of them. Yes, that’s right. We lost 2 loveys or doudous or whatever you call them. All you mamas out there with kids with loveys or doudous just shuddered. I bet you even went to check where your kid’s is. I know. I know. It raises the hair on my arm just thinking about it. Whatever you may call it you all know what I’m talking about, right? It’s that one soft toy or raggedy cloth or heavily stained dog who only has one ear that your child is simply obsessed with and cannot sleep without. They are essentially a part of your family.
So, when you actually lose one and when this nightmare becomes reality, you go to the scene of the loss and search. Well, our loss was the airport. All 40,000 square feet of it. Airports are chaotic spaces at the best of times; filled with mixed emotions, a smorgasbord of stale food offerings, less than pristine bathrooms… and I’ve always loved them … ummm, mostly alone. But factor in my three year old whose bladder is the size of a pea, my one year old who’s barely walking but thinks he can walk much better than he can, 7 bags, and my own tiny bladder thanks to my 6-month bump…. somewhere in that mix we lost our toddler’s bag. And no, not just any bag. Her pink and red ladybug bag with Soso and Khadija inside.
My three year old was fazed … heartbroken really, but not as much as me as I clutched my belly and wondered if this was a premonition that I would somehow misplace my third (and yet unborn) child. My husband kept murmuring to me to calm down as he called the airport again and enunciated, “LADY BUG BAG…no no, not bird…LADY BUG…no, not FROZEN-themed. BUG.” We were in shock. Thank God we weren’t mourning the loss of a family member. Except we were.
My daughter had slept with the pair of them since the day she was born. Her brother knew not to touch them and we knew to kiss them goodnight and adjust their headphones when in flight. They were part of our every morning and every night, until now. I silently sobbed and wiped my tears while she assured me, “But they’re coming back tomorrow, right?”
My husband was a bit more practical, “No baby because when we lose things it means they’re lost and we can’t find them or touch them or have them anymore. Except weight. Like I’ve lost 5 kilos this summer but mommy is happy.” I wiped my tears and blew my nose and ushered her into my room for some “girl time, big girl talk.”
She looked at me like I was crazy.
So I cleared my throat to get really to tell her something deep and insightful and was still looking for the right words. I was interrupted by my husband who was deep in action mode and began plotting how to get a replacement Khadija and reorder Soso. How many days or weeks would that take? We researched painfully and then realized it wouldn’t be the same. Although occasionally washed, Soso smelt like us. She had been used as a weapon and flung at me in protest every time I insisted it was bedtime. Soso was a tissue for tears and runny boogers and to wipe tomato bolognaise sauce from her mouth. She was a twirling baton to accentuate dance moves and had been airborne more than grounded. But, she was always there. Now she wasn’t.
Adriana didn’t sleep at all that night, but outwardly remained calm. I guess I was more visibly shaken. Did this mean that I had reached yet another milestone without realizing that it was in fact a milestone? Why didn’t my pediatrician tell me that at around 3 years of age your toddler will lose a precious item of hers and be totally okay with it because she is growing up and peeing alone and knows how to brush her teeth and asks for privacy when making a poopoo?
Where had the days gone? Damn you, Soso and Khadija for making me believe my little bambina was still a little baby who needed you when in fact she was more grown up than me and realized that sometimes we just have to let lost things go and say good-bye.