It’s inevitable. The chances that your child’s cherished lovey will be lost, whether in your own house or in public places, is so likely that there are websites devoted to helping lost loveys find their way back home. Sites like The Teddy Bear Lost and Found or lostmylovey.com are bittersweet, but ever so helpful to the family in need. At quick glance I stumbled across images of a stuffed bunny in a pink dress, an orange dragon with red dots, a sleeping infant nuzzled against a "well loved Raffi,” and fuzzy blankets with satin edges. Each one with accompanying information about when and where it was lost. While my family has been lucky enough to have only needed to search our own home for lost loveys, I take comfort knowing these web-based classifieds exist. I don't need a single scientific study to support the fact that a lovey's power to comfort is commensurate with the amount of family frustration we feel when it's misplaced.
According to the Teddy Bear Lost and Found's Facebook page, the site was created in 2012 "to reunite 100's of lost and found teddy bears and cuddly toys in the UK and internationally." Internationally! Loveys are a universal truth, not just our own child's little piece of love and comfort from home.
People all over the world understand that a child's attachment to a transitional object can grow so great, that its misplacement or loss can become, well, epic. At least epic in our children's little lives, and, of course, in parent’s lives too when we're faced with a night of tears and sleeplessness.
I cringe when I think about the weekend my brother and his family hosted my daughters, and I forgot to pack my little one's soft blanket (turned rag). It was a night of tears, snuggles and comforting on the part of both my brother and sister-in-law. They even took out their own childhood loveys to display their love and empathy for their distraught niece. Though they and my daughter now acknowledge how positive the experience ultimately was for their relationship, our takeaway is this:
1. If your child is old enough, have them take responsibility for packing the lovey him or herself. 2. Have a back-up for the lovey— like a Pouchie Pal! The back-up lovey can even spend time with the "number one" lovey to absorb its smell and feel.
I know full well that these strategies aren't foolproof, but they are made with love and make a positive difference, just like Pouchie Pals. We pride ourselves on empowering independence, encouraging self-soothing and a giving slice of comfort in what can be a stress-ridden-world.
May your children’s loveys always find their way back home.