Only a parent can understand the sheer panic and distress when a beloved “lovie” has gone missing. Whether it’s a thread worn blanket, a cyclopsed bear, or a filthy dirty rag doll, that “lovie” often means sleep or no sleep, cry uncontrollably or peace and quiet, a glass of wine for Mommy at night or drinking straight out of the bottle when the kids aren’t looking. As a parent, part of our duty is going on frequent expeditions for that special friend. So when we lost my daughter’s significant other, I went all Code Red, Code Red this is not a drill. Repeat this is not a Drill.
“Baby” was dubbed with her unoriginal forename long before my girl could even scream at the top of her lungs “Where’s MY BABY?” Since she was a tiny peanut, she could only sleep if Baby was by her side, well to be more specific, Baby had to be across her face. When I would hear my infant fuss or cry in her crib, I would roll over to my snoring husband, shake him a few times, then jab him really hard in the ribs (you know, just to make sure he was up) and say “Go put Baby on her face.” Within seconds of Baby being applied to her face, silence. That silence was only broken by the other cry that meant “Where’s the boob at, Lady?”
Even now when I peak in at my slumbering gal, this is how we find her
There is a strict policy for all guests: if you are in her bed, you must have a Baby on your face too.
Baby must can also be worn in times of stress, anxiety, fear, anger, or just hanging out.
Learning from other mothers, I knew it was imperative to have backup Babies, but no matter how hard I tried, Baby 2 and Baby 3 never made the cut. Their fresh faces and pink dresses were turned away for the muted attire and reeking Baby she has grown to love.
Our nighttime ritual always includes bath, books, and a Baby search party. Usually my girl has no idea where she’s left her beloved and my patience runs thin as we all search for her. “Baby needs to stay in your bed,” I tell her “No more searching for Baby every night.” She nods and I nod, but we both know that tomorrow it will be more of the same.
So last week when Baby went missing, I assumed it was the usual game, but this time Baby was nowhere to be found. After tearing thorough every possible hiding space, we had to abandon our search for the night. I assured her that Baby 3 would suffice. With a little sob, she agreed and went to bed with Baby 3 on her face. Surely Baby would turn up tomorrow, but after four days and no Baby, I started to think she was a goner. Could I file a missing persons report for Baby? If the officer was a parent surely he would understand.
Slowly she was adjusting to Baby 3, but I was the one longing for the original Baby. Even though that toy smelled like old milk and dirt and I was afraid to wash her for fear of decapitation from lack of stuffing, it was my baby’s lovie and the one thing she cherished the most in this world. I envisioned someday sneaking Baby into her pillowcase when went to a sleepover with friends or Baby finding her way into dorm room when she heads off to college. I was CRUSHED but my daughter was dealing.
I couldn’t take it anymore. I needed to find Baby. The day she disappeared, we had a marathon day of errands so I called every place Baby had been. I grilled each person that answered the phone about Baby’s whereabouts. Nothing. In an act of desperation I searched the house high and low one more time. Nothing. Just before I gave up I remembered yelling at the kids for making their own bobsled team out of the old crib mattress and bed in the spare bedroom. I swung the door open and started searching the room. And there, wedged between the wall and the bed was Baby. Her half-smirk beckoning me to save her. I hugged that dirty little doll, tried not to vomit from her smell, and raced up the stairs to return her to her sleeping owner. I tucked Baby under my daughter’s arm and breathed a sigh of relief. Mommy:finder of all that once was lost.
The next morning my little girl came downstairs shaking Baby “Mommy! It’s Baby! She’s back!”
“I told you Mommy would find her! Oh God get her out of my face. I might puke, and this time I’m serious. If you lose her again, Mommy is not going to find her.”
I will ALWAYS find Baby for you, but for real, get her out of my face. She stinks.