friendship

When a child loses a toy, it’s one of the most distressing moments ever.

High up on the list of things no one thought to warn me about before I had a baby is the extra child you will likely acquire when your kid hits about three years old.

I speak not of a best friend.

Nor do I speak of an imaginary friend.

In your house it might be an over loved comforter, or a teddy falling apart at the seams, or a baby blanket once fresh and soft, now a little bit brown and stained with strawberry jam.

In the case of my own household I speak of a grubby, stained, pudgy, pink, beloved little boy called George Pig.

Yes, the brother of child super star Peppa, George Pig came into my life about 18 months ago. I didn’t know what was coming. Well I mean, I ordered him from the ABC shop, so I knew he was coming.

The blessed pig in question. Image: Supplied.

I thought my son might be mildly amused by having a George toy, since he loved watching Peppa and George’s exploits so much. But I didn’t know that he would become the fifth member of our family.

And, as I am responsible for the whereabouts, care, love and general well being of my actual children, so too am I now responsible for the whereabouts of a creature I was fairly certain lived only in the television.

George comes with us everywhere. He goes to childcare to keep my son company -- just in case none of the other 159 kids don’t want to play with him. George comes to Nana and Grampie’s, because we can’t leave him at home alone for family dinner. George sleeps every night in my son’s bed.

George even came to the hairdresser to make sure my son would be alright getting his hair cut. At the end of it, I suspect the hairdresser was about three seconds away from also offering George a lolly pop for being so brave.

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But George doesn’t come to the park, at least, not after the incident.

I refer of course to the great kidnapping of George from the playground by the bad man. Why, didn’t you read about it in the newspaper? Didn’t you see it on the television? I’m fairly sure the Commissioner of Police himself visited to reassure my son that George would be found.

"The great kidnapping of George from the playground by the bad man." Image via iStock.

Just imagine, poor helpless George enjoying the swings with my son, only to be set down before he heads off to the slide (George doesn’t like the slide, you see). It wasn’t until bed time that we realised George was gone.

All hell broke loose. The house was in uproar. Cupboards were turned out, and boxes upended. My son was hysterical and the baby was wailing. My husband steadfastly promised, in a voice that reminded me strangely of Winston Churchill that no stone would be left unturned in the search for George.

Eventually, after a public appeal to the toys assembled for more information, more cuddles than you get in Cuddlestown and a stiff whiskey (the whiskey was for me, I assure you) my son was persuaded to go to bed with his baby sister’s Peppa toy.

(Mental note: have second Peppa Pig toy on hand for future disasters involving daughter.)

The bad man eventually relinquished George and left him where he had found him, on a rock next to the swings. No ransom was paid.

I’m left only to reflect on my shortcomings and my guilt at my appalling neglect of the third child I didn’t know I was going to have.

Has your child ever lost their favourite toy? What did you do?

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