16.10.14

The story of Catcher: when a bear is lost

a hug me better bear
My daughter has a bear. He is a special bear that she has had since she was small. He was bought for her by my parents. He has a tummy that you can heat in the microwave, so he can warm you with snuggles in winter. He is a Hug-me-Better Bear and for no reason I can ascertain, he is called Catcher.

Catcher lives on the bed with all the other bears and cuddly toys,  dd has never been one to carry a "snuggly" or a toy everywhere, but Catcher has pride of place, he is there at night always, he is special.

One early summer night dd called to me

"Mummy, where's Catcher?" A question to strike fear into many a parent, where is my special toy...

Catcher was lost.

We searched the bedroom, we talked about where she had seen him last, had he been to a sleepover? the grandma's house? Had he been downstairs? Or in the garden?

He was nowhere to be found. We read the lovely book 'Tatty ratty' a perfect and highly recommended read for anyone that has (or may in the future) lose a loved toy.

Tatty ratty has an adventure on his way home, Dd and I talked about what we though Catcher was up to, what was he doing.

I bought a second bear from the same range, I hid him and planned 'finding' him ... but in my heart I knew he was just different enough for her to notice. Eventually I introduced him as Catcher's cousin. He was named Snuggles, and we waited, but Catcher did not return.

Six months passed and Catcher was still missed. We found a third bear of the same type in a charity shop and a still sad DD insisted we 'save' him. He was named Padlock (after the bear in the Mr Gum and the Dancing Bear story by Andy Stanton) and now Snuggles and Padlock sat on the bed, sadly watching the door for the return of Catcher, but he didn't come back.

Then one day I saw a black version of the now much talked about bear! Neither of us had seen a black Hug-Me-Better bear before, he seemed very special, maybe he could heal some of the hurt that missing Catcher caused? And so he was bought and he came home too, Panther sat with the others, on a silent bear vigil.

Winter came. I went up to the loft to get down the winter weight duvet for DD...

And there, snuggled down in the middle of it was Catcher! He had hidden in the loft for a year. Now he is back on the bed. With his new crew. Like the A Team of bears.

Has your child ever lost a toy? What did you do to help them cope and did you ever find the toy again?

Some top tips for bear safety : 
  • Take a photo (a nice clear one from all sides) of your toy before it goes missing! You never know when you will need to tell someone what it looks like - store the pic online for easy access if away from home.
  • Label your bear in some way
  • If you lose your bear, use online services to help - something like LostTeddyBear