How do you find a lost toy?

"Bunny" has been with us almost since the beginning. He arrived in an Easter care package from D's great-grandmother three months after he was born, and has been a crib (and now toddler-bed) companion ever since.

Bunny has never wanted for company, because Grover is also a near-constant companion. When D imprinted on Grover so early on, we bought a backup, who now lives at daycare so that we don't lose the lovable furry old monster going back and forth. But Bunny is one-of-a-kind. 

Bunny and Grover,  being best friends .

Bunny and Grover, being best friends.

A few months ago, inevitably, we played out a live version of Mo Willems' Knuffle Bunny. After a lazy Sunday brunch, we went to a bookstore to browse decorating books for our upcoming move. We hadn't actually been to that bookstore since D was born, instead making good use of our local libraries, so we were surprised to find more toys than books in the children's section. And a train table. 

D and I recently ceased walking to the great toy store down the street because he's getting too strong to be safely pried from their train table. So our previously relaxed, brunch-and-brainstorming filled day took a dark turn when we had to leave the train table. It took a darker turn when we realized Bunny hadn't come home with us. 

D asked for Bunny at naptime. I told him that I thought we had left Bunny at the bookstore, and asked him if he could be brave and go to sleep without him. He sniffed, but assented, probably tired from all the waffles and train-based screaming from the morning. 

During naptime I called the bookstore and asked if anyone had turned in a stuffed bunny. The man on the other end told me that there wasn't a bunny yet, but that it was "such a mess" upstairs that one old toy could easily be missing among the new toys. [Remember, this is a book store.] He advised me to call back in the morning after they'd had a chance to clean up. 

That night, D's dad left for a week-long work trip, and I steeled myself for a rough weaning from Bunny for both of us. I imagined Bunny under a car in the bookstore parking lot, facedown and partially frozen in a slushy puddle. I imagined Bunny, mistaken for trash, hauled out to a dumpster at the restaurant. 

The next morning came with more requests for Bunny, and three hours to go before the bookstore opened. I gave them a half-hour after opening to call, figuring that if they were going to find Bunny, they'd find him by then. 

Yes, hello. Yesterday I think my son left a stuffed bunny at your store. Someone told me to call back today to find him?
Let me take a look.
[an eternity passes]
It's a tan and white bunny--
With a carrot?
Yes! D, they have Bunny!
 [loud squeals and a dresser drawer opening]

That was the fastest D has ever gotten ready to leave the house. Within minutes we were on a "Bunny Rescue Mission." I was so proud to watch D walk up to Customer Service, and thankful for the employee who kneeled down so that D could ask for Bunny. Because he'd gone nearly 24 hours without food or drink, our rescued Bunny needed a snack and a drink.

A recently-rescued bunny gets a drink and a snack.

A recently-rescued bunny gets a drink and a snack.

Then, of course, D had to re-acquaint Bunny with the train table. 

After two days taking advantage of the trains, I didn't want to leave without a purchase, so we picked up a new book. By Mo Willems, of course.