Monday 10 October 2011


We experienced a trauma this weekend. Okay, I’m being dramatic, but at the time, trust me, it felt excruciatingly traumatic. People warned me it could happen, they said prepare yourself, stockpile, avert the dangers and do everything in your power to avoid the catastrophe. And yet, despite our best efforts our toddler...lost his favorite toy. I’m sorry, that is an understatement, it was not just his favorite toy, it was his elephant sleep blanket, his touchstone, his comfort of all comforts. There are a million terms for this security device that toddlers cling to: binkies, blanky, noo-noos…Ralph, in the case of my sister’s stuffed dog (that btw, she still has to this day). The list is long, but every parent knows the power of this small invaluable item.

You see, it’s not just a security thing for the King. This little elephant head with a blanket body is his best friend (aside from me of course). The site of him makes him do a little jig, he laughs, and he hides him, and then finds him just so he can taste the victory. It’s the first thing he wants to see in the morning and the last thing he wants to hold at night. It’s his comfort when he’s sick and hurt, and don’t you know that if it ever goes missing in the house (as he likes to hide him and fails to tell me where he is – obviously, the King can’t speak yet) the whole house goes into Top Level Panic Mode. It may sound silly to you non-kid folk, but you parents out there, you get it. Oh you GET it.

And any parent can attest, the thought of your child's comfort 'toy' going missing brings such a sense of dread that one's stomach turns inside out. Because in short, it will cause your child pain. And pain to your child is to be avoided at all costs. There have been a few close calls in the past where the King has hidden his elephant so well and I run around the house like an idiot yelling, "Ele!" (like it could answer me) and the look on the King’s face is something that is hard to put into words. All I know is, I try my best to avoid that look.

Anyway, after being warned by all my friends that I should buy two (or ten!) of the exact same animal/toy/blanket that I chose to give the King, I never managed to find another one. That was problem number one. Problem number two: he now likes to take him everywhere, something that drives me nuts (I never wanted the King to be one of those kids that clung to his snot ridden blanket as he played in the park). But the day in question we let him take Ele out because he was teething so badly and was in a very foul mood. Long story short, in the blink of an eye, Ele had jumped ship from the pram (or was chucked mercilessly by the King) and like Kaiser Soze, PFFFT, he was gone.

Can you say THREE ALARM FIRE? Armageddon, Chaos of the highest order?!!! Needless to say, my partner and I went into high alert (who am I kidding it was blind raging panic) when we realized that Ele was lost in London somewhere and he was not coming back. I actually became that teary-eyed, lunatic parent wandering the park looking between every blade of grass and under every rock, hoping this elephant would reappear, knowing that in a few short hours, the King would go looking for him around the house. The thought of his pain when he discovered he was nowhere to be found was enough to make me puke (yes, I realize that I have a long long road ahead of me, and I am definitely NOT prepared).

So there was my partner and I, he had run out to four different stores in sheer terror (as he was on duty when the elephant went missing, I'm pretty sure the terror was of me) and bought replacements that he thought would fool the king. One was a bear with a small, inadequate blanket body and the other was a bear he decided to dye the color of rust. Don’t ask. Our washing machine will never be the same. As the hours ticked by and I finally told myself to pull it together and my son would live through this, my partner went out unbeknownst to me, and started looking through the rubbish bins along the park. [Yes, he is a prince amongst princes]. Twenty minutes later, in he walked holding Ele. Well, what was left of Ele; he looked like a tramp that hadn't showered in 100 days, with a ripped arm and god knows what covering him (I actually truly do not want to know). But to heck with a little disease and filth, Ele had risen from the dead. I had never been so happy to see a stuffed toy in my entire natural born life. 

Do I know we as parents are a bit irrational? Of course. Do I probably need a bottle of valium? For sure. But that's parenting for you; we simply don't want to disappoint the royalty.
Copyright © 2014 Anthea Anka - Delighted And Disturbed