“Attention shoppers, there is a small boy who has lost his stuffed puppy. If you see this small, light brown dog, can you please advise a clerk immediately,” blasted the announcement on the store’s loud speakers.
When did I become this woman? I am frantically and meticulously retracing every step I took through a huge warehouse store searching for my son’s favorite toy, Coco. Alex doesn’t even realize Coco is missing – yet. But, he will later tonight when he tries to fall asleep, and this little ragged animal is no where to be found. Given the possibility of even more lost sleep on my end as I worry about how I’ll try to explain to Alex that Coco “went away to some place safe,” I think I’d rather lose my wallet. Credit cards are replaceable. Coco is not. You can negotiate with the bank. You cannot with your kid.
Traveling with children means lugging half the toy box too, keeping a careful inventory of what’s they’ve stocked for the trip, and most importantly, never, ever losing sight of that special toy. A few holidays back, before I had my own kid, my nephew’s favorite GI Joe was chewed to pieces by a family dog. It totally ruined the day. I didn’t quite “get” how devastating it was to lose an $8 toy, but today as I raced up-and-down the aisles all I could think about was putting a dog tag on that little puppy with a plea to be called if found. Big Reward!