This little bear has been causing some big troubles around this house lately. First a little backstory. This bear first came into our lives when I was pregnant with Preston. A friend from my Lifegroup gave me the bear in a gift basket that she gave to me at my baby shower. Unfortunately, I don't even remember her name anymore, which drove Preston crazy as he was always asking who gave him the bear. (I finally just said that mommy and daddy gave it to him, and he seemed satisfied with that answer.) Probably about the time that Preston was around a year old we started encouraging Preston to sleep with the bear. It really wasn't until he was about two and half or three that he really embraced bear and he began to be a permanent fixture, especially at bedtime. We knew that Preston had fully accepted the bear as his own when he finally gave him a name - Bear. Yes, just Bear.
Now Bear did not always look like he does now. At one time he wore a really cute pale blue rabbit suit. Don't ask me why, it seemed to be some sort of pajamas or something. I think the species confusion bothered Preston and one day he just decided that Bear no longer needed to be a bear in a rabbit suit. Or perhaps he just prefers him naked.
In the last six months or so, Bear's role has changed somewhat. Where once Bear was only a consideration at bedtime, now I find Preston playing in his room with Bear, talking to him, or even insisting we take him on car rides. Bear has graduated from snuggly thing to playmate, Preston and he are rarely separated. Which leads me to the issue at hand.
It all started Sunday when Preston was getting ready for quiet time (aka naptime) and Bear was nowhere to be found. Generally, Bear can be found quite easily on the floor of the living room (although he is the same color as the carpet which has proven to be a challenge). However, on this day even after a full-on search by all parties, Bear was officially lost. Now we knew he was in the house, but he wasn't in any of his usual hiding places. Quiet time continued as planned, but Preston was none too happy about it. However, I had issues of my own. That evening Preston was going to his Nana's to spend the night and I knew that if Bear did not show up to go to Nana's, Nana was going to have a long night ahead of her. Quiet time is one thing, but bedtime without Bear could be... well a bear. Fortunately, on a whim I thought to look in a wicker basket sitting in the dining room and there Bear was. Nana's sanity is saved.
Tuesday Bear is missing again. And again it is just before quiet time. I am starting to get the feeling that maybe Bear is trying to tell us something. After searching all the usual places and the wicker basket, I call off the hunt and proceed to lecture a three year old about the benefits of keeping better track of your toys. (Yeah, that oughta work.) Several hours later, Phillip comes home from work and immediately finds Bear in our bedroom. Bedtime crisis averted once again. Or so we think.
However, that very same night just a couple of hours after Bear has been found, he's missing again. Maybe I should have had the talk with him? The search party is tired and fed up so we retreat. Bear must spend the night alone. Serves him right for sneaking off again.
Wednesday morning - no Bear.
Wednesday afternoon - no Bear.
Wednesday evening - no Bear.
Another bedtime and Bear is still missing. How long can a bear survive in these elements?
Thursday morning, it's a new day and determination sets in. We start the search again. If Bear is still alive out there, we'll find him. Our search does not take long as I catch a glimpse of something furry and brown in the distance. Could it be? Yes it is! Nestled among the blocks of Preston's marble run is the one and only Bear. Looking no worse for wear, Preston and Bear are reunited once again. It is now Thursday afternoon and my only hope is that he hasn't run off again. Bears (and boys) can be so mischeivous, but gosh if they aren't so cute!