Wednesday, December 14, 2016

In which Hobbes goes missing, amidst general panic.

It finally happened. After 2.5 years, we couldn't find Hobbes at naptime. Hobbes, you may recall, is Calvin's stuffed animal lovey, a stuffed tiger that he sleeps with and cuddles when he's feeling a need for snuggles or encouragement. This tiger is precious to Calvin, and thus to us, because Calvin does NOT go to sleep without his Hobbes and we very much like it as parents when he gets a good amount of sleep. This Hobbes does not leave the house except in extreme conditions, because it is irreplaceable (moreso than we had originally thought, as you will see).

The scene: Calvin's bedroom, 1pm, cuddled up under his blankets in the dark, having just had me read a book to him (four times, once forwards, once backwards, and then forwards and backwards again.), with his music on a timer and the shades drawn. He was ready to sleep. He wanted to sleep. And then.
And then.
He sat up.
"Oh! Where Hobbes?!"

Where was Hobbes indeed? Hobbes wasn't in the bed, under the blankets, or squashed between the bed and the wall. Hobbes wasn't stuffed into a bureau drawer, or under the armchair, or tucked into the closet. Hobbes wasn't in the bedroom.
So I promised I'd be right back with Hobbes and dashed out to tear apart MY bedroom (terrorizing Butterscotch the Scaredycat who desperately tried to find new hiding spaces ahead of my frantic search, sorry kitty), to tear apart the whole upstairs, and then to search downstairs. Hobbes was nowhere to be found. I ran upstairs in defeat with a different version of a stuffed Hobbes, not wanting Calvin to grow suspicious that I might not come back in my promised timely manner and come searching. I could hear him singing to himself through the door, and he was thrilled to have Hobbes... until he realized it was Not The Right One and tossed it to the ground with a "No Mommy, wrong Hobbes."

Out I went again. Where could Hobbes be? Did I remember Calvin carrying Hobbes downstairs that morning? No, but I'm not exactly a detail oriented person in the morning.

This was okay. We had trained for this. We had a BACKUP HOBBES, which we had acquired at great personal cost. (By which I mean that Calvin's beloved Hobbes is discontinued, and goes for about $95 online as of writing this, since the creator of the comic Calvin & Hobbes refuses to allow licensed trademarked merchandise after a terrible falling out with his publisher, and this generic stuffed tiger looked quite a bit like Hobbes. Three out of the four backups we purchased online were mislabled or mismeasured as the incorrect larger sized stuffed tiger, which did not have the same details as Calvin's particular lovey and were thus rejected.) I pulled the brand new stuffed Hobbes out of its packaging and brought it up to Calvin.
"Mummy found Hobbes, Calvin!" I found Calvin curled up in his armchair, trying to cuddle Not the Right Hobbes but looking very uncomfortable. He was very pleased at first, until he held New Hobbes and a distrustful and betrayed look came over his face.
"...different Hobbes." New Hobbes was dropped onto the floor, rejected. I felt like a fool. Of course. New Hobbes had fresh and fluffy stuffing evenly distributed through his squashy body. New Hobbes felt completely different from The Right Hobbes, who has had his stuffing settled and squashed into a floppy pleasing shape. We had failed. Oh, we had failed. In our arrogance as parents, we did not consider that we ought to have swapped the two stuffed animals out periodically so they would wear evenly. Oh what fools we were.

So I left Calvin in his room as I trudged downstairs to look again. At this point it had been about 45 minutes since his nap was supposed to start, and I could still hear him singing quietly to himself over the baby monitor. He was not napping. This evening would be difficult. I needed a break from Mom'ing before I went in to work a holiday retail shift at the Bookstore, and here I was searching for a stuffed toy.

I did find it, eventually, a stuffed paw spotted out of the corner of my eye as I passed the cats' scratching post/climbing tree. Hobbes was stuffed into the cats' carpeted tunnel hideyhole at the bottom of the tree. Calvin was silent and asleep on the monitor within two minutes of receiving him. ("Hobbes! T'nk you, Mommy.")
Well-loved-Hobbes on the left, Fresh-Hobbes on the right.

Let this be a lesson to you. Acquire several copies of your child's beloved sleep lovey, and wear them out evenly.

In other news, Elisabeth has decided to fully embrace her label as being a wimp, after literally fainting (whacked into the wall on her way down to the floor, threw up, the whole 9 yards) while watching a clip from a horror movie. Being scared was never an enjoyable experience for her, anyway.

Oh, and we're having a second baby. Wheeeee!