When The Boy was a month or so old, I bought him a bear. We were walking around Adams, me with £2.20 in my pocket, he asleep. We passed a basket full of sale items, and on top was a pink, flat bear. She was the shape of a star, flat, extremely pink, with the word “Bear” embroidered on her chest within an oval. She caught my eye, and as I picked her up, The Boy stirred, gurgled, smiled, and reached for her. It was natural for her to become the fourth member of Wiltshire Towers (along with our cat, Bod, The Boy and myself). She was the first toy The Boy expressed any interest in. She was a pound well spent, and a member of our little family.
As The Boy grew, Mrs Bear developed her own back story. It was decided that, between myself and my friends, that Mrs Bear was a woman with a past. She had a courful sexual history, was a madam bear at a brothel, and worked shifts at a cab firm controlling the desk once she’d retired from the industry. She had a song that she sang to The Boy (who always knew that it was me singing it, as he would look at me like I was an idiot and fondly shake his head). One day, when The Boy was two and a half and after he hadn’t spoken a word for over a year, he started to hum the Mrs Bear song. He sang it most of the way through. It was the longest thing he “said” for the next 18 months. Every silly, silly word was perfect.
Mrs Bear has been everywhere with us. When The Boy was in PICU at St Marys, Mrs Bear slept with him every day and night. When he was forced to go to the Contact Centre to see his biological father, she went with him to help get him through. When he started pre school, she went with him and then snuck into my bag to come home again. She met him every day afterwards. She travelled with us on trips, and once got lost. We joked that a blue plaque should be erected in her honour where she was found. In short, she was his first friend that expected nothing back, took him for exactly who he was, and she never, ever received any of the violent behaviour the rest of us did.
As he grew older, Mrs Bear was not required so much. She became less of a constant companion, and more of a comfort bear, a nightime cuddle to help him get to sleep. He would put her over his face to help him drop off, and she comforted him during the longs hours he was awake. If she was there, he would be safe, and she was there, always.
Yesterday, we had an appointment at the doctors. We had had a chat, and The Boy told me that his inability to sleep, how agitated it was making him, was making him very sad, and we wanted to find a way to help him settle more easily. It would mean a referral to the mental health service for behavioural support, and an attempt to get him a precription for melatonin. He was also said that his ears had been buzzing, so they would need to be checked. He asked for Mrs Bear to come with him, as he was nervous about having his ears checked (he has particularly acute sensory issues with his ears), and the agreement was that he would speak to the doctor about what was concerning him. He held her as he spoke, as she gave him confidence and courage. She was with us then, and he was cuddling her as we left the doctors.
Mrs Bear came with us, but she didn’t come back.
Somewhere between Stanhope Surgery in Waltham Cross and our house, she has gone astray. The Boy is devastated, as am I. We searched yesterday for hours, have started to make posters (some shops have been kind enough to put handwritten ones up already), and have checked everywhere. I went out and checked during the night, I have been back around the shops to see if I can find her, but to all intents and purposes, we know, deep in our hearts, that she is gone.
He is being furiously brave, he has told me that she has gone to play with her bear friends. He said that maybe she is looking for her lost underwear, as per that song we sang so long ago. He wants her and is terribly upset.
So I would ask that, if anyone in the Waltham Cross area reads this blog, they look out for a careworn, flat bear, whose stuffing only rests in parts of her from constant cuddling, who was once pink but is now a dirty “put in the wash” colour, who was made by Adams and is no longer stocked (made by Little Bundle), if anyone can find her or help me *find* her, I would be more grateful than I could ever, ever express.
Oh, Mrs Bear – please come home. We miss you.
*She looks like this one, but is flatter from cuddling, and is now a pink washed out colour. Please help!
Does your child have an item that the have connected to like Mrs Bear?