I don't know if you have noticed that Em's Lion has been in quite a few of the pictures I have posted this past week. Over the past few months, Lion and Piggy have mostly been hanging out in Em's bed. Here and there (mainly when she doesn't feel well), she'll cuddle with one of them but we have definitely seen a shift in her relationship with them.
That changed a bit after watching Toy Story. One night, she was very concerned with finding Lion at bedtime and she seems to be keeping him within reach at night now. I asked her if she was doing this because she had watched Toy Story and she said, "Yes." It is almost like she "got it."
So last Saturday I needed to go to the mall to return too big Safari clothing to Gymboree (before my 60 days were up) and to pick up some much needed items for myself at Macy's. I told Rich that I would take Anna and Em so that he could go for a run and get some stuff done. As we were getting ready to leave (which took 45 minutes longer than I wanted it to), Em asked, "Mommy, can I bring my Little Lion to the mall?"
The girls told me that they wanted to walk but I convinced them to ride in the double stroller with a promise to walk later. If I had had more time, they could have walked but they are soooooooo slow and it would have taken much too long. We arrived at the mall and I loaded them into the stroller without any fussing.
We quickly made our way to Gymboree. No line. Thankyouverymuch. "No, I don't need another size. I re-ordered the correct sizes on line." Thankyouverymuch. "Yes, I understand I'll lose those Gymbucks but I received more Gymbucks when I re-ordered the correct size clothing online." Thankyouverymuch.
I stopped on the way to Macy's and bought Anna and Emily each a sugar cookie with M&Ms. (Okay, who am I kidding? You know that I had to have a cookie too.) I figured that a cookie the size of their face would keep them occupied long enough for me to get what I needed in Macy's. I took Lion and smooshed him into Em's cupholder for safe keeping. As I was doing so, I noticed that there was a Silly Band in the bottom of the cupholder.
We arrive at Macy's and I'm patting myself on the back for a successful shopping trip. No one is fussing or acting crazy and Macy's is having a sale. About five minutes into looking for my size in a few items, Em and Anna decide that they are done with their cookies. Okay, okay. But then Em whispers those seven dreaded words. "I have to go to the potty." What? WHAT?
We still don't have a good routine down for public restrooms and because I had Anna and the double stroller, I opted to take her out to the van so that she could use the travel potty, which she is completely comfortable using. It was getting late but I decided to return to Macy's as I only needed about 10 minutes or so to finish shopping.
We were in and out of Macy's fairly quick and about halfway to the van when Anna dropped her sippy cup. As I leaned over to pick it up, Em dropped the Silly Band. I looked at Em's cupholder to see that Lion was missing. "Em, where is Lion?" She had no idea.
I couldn't remember if she had taken him in the van with her when she used the potty so I decided to continue on to the van in hopes that he would be there. He wasn't. I headed back inside the mall and called Rich to let him know that we would be late. He told me that Em would probably get over Lion if we couldn't find him. I didn't know if I would get over losing him. I've always imagined a day well into the future when I will pull Lion out of a memory box and say to a grown up Emily, "Remember this?"
We walk into Macy's, turn the corner and there by the Calvin Klein display is Lion, standing on all fours (which is near impossible when dropped from the stroller), facing the hallway almost as if he was waiting for us to return. Who believes in Toy Story now?
You should have seen Em's face when we found him.
To date, we have not had any lost lovies and I plan to keep it that way!