Lost and found, or the tale of Mickey Mouse and the mum guilt

August 14, 2014

Toy Mickey Mouse

Lost: one toy Mickey, also goes by the name of Minnie. Lives in London, last seen in Sheffield. Help!

Does your child have a favourite toy? If so, make them hold it tight and never let it out of your sight. Sounds obvious, but it’s a lesson we’ve just learned.

Having toy favourites is a relatively new development in our house though. For nearly two years, despite being the owner of various teddies, soft toys and blankets, Eliza democratically refused to show a preference. We used to joke that the boob was her comfort blanket, which was probably true.

Then not long after moving from a cot to a bed, she suddenly seized two of her toys – Mickey and a turtle – and declared they would be sleeping with her. Since then, they’ve all been inseparable bedfellows. She has favourites for the day  – Robot and her Toy Story toys – but she’ll only sleep if Mickey and the turtle are around. She makes up imaginary games with them, and comes running into our room clutching them each morning.

So when we went up to Sheffield to visit the grandparents recently, they both came up with us. But alas, only one came back.

And as I packed the bag to it was all my fault.

I realised when we got home, and could only find the turtle and not his mousey partner-in-crime. A cold weight of dread and fear hovered in the air and settled in my stomach.

So I did what any normal person would do in these circumstances; panicked, then desperately searched online for where we could buy another one. But it seems this is a freakishly unusual breed of mouse, and could not find this particular one anywhere.

Luckily, E fell asleep pretty much straightaway the next night and didn’t notice. Until she woke at 2am having a nightmare. “Where’s Mickey?” she cried. What had I done?

And found: the wanderer returns

Luckily, this tale has a happy ending. Mickey came back to us yesterday, having had a long extended sleep at Grannie and Grandad’s house.  Eliza was beyond thrilled. “Mummy, it’s Mickey!” she kept saying, over and over. “He’s back from his holiday.”

So the moral of the story is a) make sure you count them out *and* in b) try and make  your child pick a generic toy you’d easily be able to replace and c) yes, the holiday excuse seemed to work OK…no idea what you’d do if they go on a holiday with a one way ticket though.

I try not to subscribe to the theory of mum guilt, as I think if you’re doing your best, you shouldn’t feel guilty about it. Apart from where swimming is concerned, clearly. However, the guilt. And did I mention it was all my fault?


  • Julia Charles

    August 14, 2014 at 3:30 pm

    My advice would be to always buy 2 of the same toy. My 20 month old son loves his little Winnie The Pooh toy so we recently went out & brought a second one exactly the same as his bed time one. One Winnie stays in the car, the other stays in our flat x

  • Polly

    August 15, 2014 at 8:42 am

    so glad this had a happy ending!! I’ve done the same thing before… now I double check all teddies come back with us!

  • Kathryn (@KatGotTheCream)

    August 15, 2014 at 9:39 am

    Oh no, we have failed miserably because our third child Bea has (unlike the other two) developed a deep attachment to one particular, irreplaceable toy. She pines for him every day and can’t settle without her lion. God help us if we ever lose that toy. He is already balding in the mane dept because he’s been loved so much 🙂

  • fritha

    August 15, 2014 at 12:11 pm

    For this exact reason we made sure that Wilf’s favourite softie was from IKEA! (we even have two spares just incase) although it does freak him out a bit to see them all there at the store. x

  • Jess @ Along Came Cherry

    August 15, 2014 at 3:52 pm

    Tiger is totally attached to a little zebra, the thought of losing it terrifies me as I honestly don’t think he would sleep without it!! So glad this had a happy ending! x

  • Laura

    August 18, 2014 at 9:53 pm

    Oh this is too sweet – my son flicks from one toy to another and he has a few favourites, sometimes when we try to do a clean out he will realise weeks or month down the line something has gone and it a huge drama every time as I have to pretend the “night fairies” must be playing with it and will bring it back soon. I am so so happy to hear that Mickey was found and returned though – what a relief especially since it helps here sleep 🙂

    Laura x

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