Like many children, Cheeky Chap has a soft toy that he adores, a Jellycat elephant named Ernie. Ernie was given to Cheeky Chap on the day he was born and has spent every night with him since.
Despite many attempts over the last seven and a half years, I have been unable to track down a ‘back up’. I could find different Jellycat elephants, different soft elephants, but never THE elephant. I could never find Ernie. As such Ernie is rarely allowed to leave home. The only times he has been taken out of our home has been when we have stayed somewhere. Very occasionally Cheeky Chap will take Ernie to the park or similar but we all spend our time hyper-aware, worried that he will get lost.
Recently the inevitable happened.
One night before bed, we couldn’t find Ernie.
Cheeky Chap and I searched everywhere. I opened suitcases and bags. We looked in bookshelves and toy boxes and cupboards. I checked my car. He was nowhere to be found and that night, Cheeky Chap went to bed rather sad.
The following day the husband searched the entire flat. He checked his car.
My sister’s fiancé searched their house, as that was the only place we had stayed recently, and couldn’t find him.
I quizzed Cheeky Chap, asking him if he was absolutely sure he hadn’t snuck him out to the park or to a neighbour’s house without me knowing. I assured him he wouldn’t be in trouble but I just needed to know. He was adamant he hadn’t taken him anywhere.
I had to face facts. Ernie was lost and gone for good.
In a stroke of luck, there happened to be the exact one on eBay. I set a notification to watch the item and 10 days later, I bought it. A site like Bidkit would also be useful here as you can check for eBay listings with spelling mistakes or that have no bids.
He was a lot cleaner, softer and newer than the Ernie we had lost but for the first time in weeks, Cheeky Chap went to bed happy and fell asleep quickly. He knew that he wasn’t THE Ernie but it made a huge difference all the same. Cheeky Chap hadn’t been himself for a few weeks since losing Ernie but the arrival of the replacement put a big smile on his face.
Then, last week, my sister’s fiancé found him! The original Ernie was found between the slats of a bed. I showed Cheeky Chap the picture that was sent to me and he literally jumped up and down with excitement. He couldn’t believe that his Ernie had been found after all. Or that he now has two.