losing your securit blanket is a traumatic experience. seriously, all kinds of bad emotions rolled into one causing your to break down… and aina experienced it today.
the first time she lost snowy was sometime at the beginning of the year. she was carrying snowy and playing on the bench while i tried some shoes in a shoe store in ION. when we went to catch up with ari on another store, she didn’t bring the stuffed dog with her. it took about half an hour until ari noticed the missing dog. he asked aina where snowy was, aina’s face turned stiff. she didn’t know where she left the dog… thank god i remember and thank god the shopkeeper kept the dog with her. and thank god we were still in the same mall, on the same floor as the shoe store.
for the next three days, aina refused to bring snowy out of the house.
yesterday, however, was much more dramatic. we went halloween craft shopping at Plaza Singapura. we were there for 3.5 hours looking for things, going up and down the floors. around 5, we took a bus home… and in the bus, aina asked. “binggi, is snowy with you?”
“no… and she’s not with you?”
aina was quiet, her face turned stiff… a sign of panic.
i gasped, “oh no, where did you leave her!?”
of course she didn’t respond. she didn’t even remember. i called ari, telling him about what happened (losing snowy is a huge deal!). we were tired and needed an afternoon nap. should we skip the nap and look for the dog, or should we go home and call each store we visited and pick up the dog later?
we ended up getting off the bus, crossed the street and waited for another bus to go back to the mall. i was angry, yapping and babbling about how this should not happen, etc etc. aina was very quiet the whole time. her expression was tensed. she knew she was in a big trouble… between an angry mother and a missing comfort, it’s a big trouble indeed. the thing is, i don’t even remember where she possibly left snowy. i remember she was still holding the dog during the picture taking on the front plaza. but that’s about it. the rest of the 3 hours went blank.
i finally calmed down. during the wait for the bus, i gently asked her, “aina, we don’t know where you left snowy… but what would happen if we can’t find her?”
she tried to speak, but her voice was broken up, “snowy… i… can…”
the tensed face melted, her eyes started to brim with water, and the corner of the mouth started to pull down, “can i go and pick up snowy at the store where i left her?… is it okay?… HUAAAAAA!!!”
she broke down and cried. i picked her up and held her and she continued crying… really loud. but since we’re on the side of a busy road, no one can hear her crying. i kept telling her that we will go look for snowy and hopefully she can pick the dog up again… over and over again.
she finally lowered her crying voice when the bus arrived. she was still quietly crying all the way down to Plaza Singapura. her face was less tensed but instead, she looked very, very sad. i first thought that this should teach her a very good lesson of how to take care of her belonging. but then, the bus trip back to the mall seemed to take forever, i feel bad looking at aina’s devastated face and wishing hard that we could find snowy as soon as possible.
i guess, the god of stuffed animals heard us, and we found snowy on our first stop: the restaurant we had lunch today. i guess, snowy looked so filthy that no kids would try to claim it. thank god for filthy-looking snowy!
on the way back home, aina could smile again. she was rather quiet. i think, she was still trying to absorb all the experience.
the next day, surprisingly, she took snowy out. but this time, she brought a bag… so that during meal time, she can stuff the dog into her bag and hopefully, she won’t leave it by accident anymore. i guess she learned something yesterday. let’s just hope she doesn’t leave the bag, instead.