Your child loses their best friend. And it’s on you.
It was a parenting moment I’d been dreading and one I thought we’d managed to avoid. The toy, the one particular toy my son had become fiercely attached to had gone missing. Vanished. Out of all of the stuffed animals, teddy bears and assorted blankets he’d been bought or given, it was a nondescript, fluffy rabbit known as “Bunny” (I know, how meta) that had become The Chosen One.
Bunny, loyal companion that she was (I’m sad even writing that in the past tense) had been everywhere with my son and, as you can imagine, played a starring role in his bedtime routine.
Last week, just before bed, my son appeared at the top of the stairs, his face full of confusion. "Mummy, where's Bunny?" He asked, his lip wobbling. "I think I've lost-ed it." We searched under the bed, in his toy boxes, under the sofa. Nothing. Bunny had gone AWOL. She was, indeed lost-ed.
"But I can't sleep without Bunny," my son told me, completely matter of fact. "Oh lord," my husband whispered as he continued the search. "He may never sleep again." Of course, Bunny went missing the night our washing machine (after ten years of good service) decided it was time to retire, in spectacular, mid-cycle fashion. With water gushing everywhere, mop in hand and grabbing every towel in the house, my husband and I got to work as our living room flooded.
"Bunny! Bunny! I want Buuuunnny." My son, wailed continuously. “Sorry buddy, mummy's a little busy right now," I said to him as I skated across the floor on a sodden towel. "I'll help you find him in a second. I promise.” It's hard to describe the look on his little, tear-streaked face but if I had to, I'd say it was a solid cross between pure disbelief and utter betrayal. "How could you leave me alone with these two crazy people, my fluffy friend?" It said. "How could you?!" Needless to say, Bunny didn’t turn up and oh boy did it take a while to get my distraught little one to sleep.
“Mummy,” my son said to me as I dropped him at preschool the next morning. “Can you please find Bunny for me today? I miss her. She’s my best friend.” Oh god. The pressure. The pressure! I ransacked the house. Turned it upside down. I managed to find $9 in loose change and a missing ballet flat squashed behind the bookcase. But no rabbit.