We're in Houston for the weekend, and the unthinkable has happened. Bear Bear got left at home and David is without his best friend for three long nights.
All my kids have had one of the Lovies. They have the head and arms like a stuffed animal and the body is a blanket. All my kids have needed to sleep with Lovie. Kendra's was a pink lamb and it got so dilapidated that we had to buy her a replacement at age 2. She never accepted the new one and her mangled old lambie is still in use. She doesn't need it to fall asleep anymore, but her lambie still holds a place of honor at the foot of her bed. When Caelyn came along, we wised up and bought her two bunnies from the start. Of course, being a child, she knows the difference between "good bunny" and "the other bunny." Good Bunny doesn't have a shred of satin left on her. Once I asked Caelyn what she would do when Bunny completely fell apart, and Caelyn sweetly answered, "Just keep on loving her."
David has not one, not two, but three Bear Bears. Like Caelyn, he had designated one of them "the other Bear Bear." That one is sitting on a lonely shelf in his closet. But the other two Bear Bears are equally worn and equally dirty and equally loved. We keep them in rotation so I can sneak one into the washing machine when it gets too filthy. Having two is also helpful for those rare but horrible nights when David's gotten sick and befouled his beloved friend. David loves his Bear Bear so much that we just had pictures taken at Target with David holding his stuffed buddy.
Yesterday Bear Bear was all packed and ready to go. David took him out of the suitcase and put him in the car "in case he wanted to take a nap" on the drive. Then David brought Bear Bear back inside because "he needed snuggle time." I looped the blanket part of Bear through the handle on David's suitcase and told David to leave him alone, but apparently he disobeyed. Kevin came home, we frantically packed up the car, and hit the road for a three-hour-drive that took four hours this time.
Bedtime came and we realized Bear Bear was MIA. We searched the car and the suitcases, but our fears were confirmed. David remembered leaving Bear Bear in the shopping cart in the kitchen.
David went to bed without a fight, but he was far from sleepy. Part of the problem is that David only sucks his thumb when he's holding Bear Bear. That's a plus in my book, because when it comes time for him to stop thumb-sucking, we'll only have to take away his Bear Bear. But the little guy is only three and I'm not worried about that yet.
At 9:45 I heard rustling from David's room. I opened the door and found him sitting in the dark on the floor going through his little red suitcase. He was rummaging through everything as if Bear Bear would magically reappear. When he saw me, David started crying about how he "just wants Bear Bear when it gets late." David does not cry often and it just broke my heart to see him sobbing over his best friend. I put him back into bed, prayed over him, and told him what a big boy he was. He sniffled and eventually feel asleep around 10:30, we think. He was up at 3 a.m. and up again at 6, this time for good.
Today we've been to Home Depot (love their crafts on the first Saturday -- the kids each made a wooden art caddy), the park, the pool, and we're about to head out to a restaurant. I'm hoping and praying that tonight he'll be so exhausted that he'll drift off more easily. If not, we'll catch up on sleep starting Monday night when David is gloriously reunited with Bear Bear. In the meantime, pray for him!