As I mentioned previously, Curly couldn't find her Baby Bear when we were in the Lake Geneva hotel. This little tidbit failed to raise any red flags for me. I assumed it had been left behind in the car. Because our room was a disaster with so many bodies, duffel bags, sleeping bags, and snacks strewn everywhere, I assumed it would turn up. I was too tired to put forth any energy to organize a Baby Bear search party.
Before we headed home the next day, we stopped in the popular little downtown area of Lake Geneva. We bought everyone ice-cream in a cute little shop. I was slightly disappointed that this place didn't have a list of ice-cream that was gluten free. What is this, 1980? I'm quick enough to know that since being diagnosed with Celiac Disease two years ago, I need to skip on flavors like cookies and cream. The praline and cream bucket called out to me though. The staff couldn't guarantee if the nuts had been dusted with a gluten based coating. Ouch. I settled for mint chocolate chip.
Perhaps the thrill of ordering non-McDonald's ice-cream distracted Curly from checking under seats for her Baby Bear. The topic didn't come up again until that night when she was going to bed.
Before bed, we managed to watch a movie that everyone enjoyed. I rented a stack of movies from the library during break. Renting movies from the library was once a very regular routine for me. A few years ago when we didn't have direct TV, the library was a cheap solution for finding something the kids could watch for 'movie night.'
Recently I started with my library movie-habit again because it saves time when the kids are begging for something to watch. If I rent stuff that is acceptable, I cross my fingers that it cuts down on arguments or lengthy searches. Besides, what's worse than finding the perfect flick only to realize that it is half way over?
We watched Undefeated. It's a documentary about a football team with many challenges. My kids were able to watch it because their mother swears like a sailor, so the occasional cussing didn't scar them. (See how I did that? I turned my bad habit into a positive).
Anyway, after the movie Curly went to bed. She appeared a minute later to remind me that Baby Bear hadn't surfaced. Ugh! It was late. I asked her if she had bothered to look in the car. She claimed she didn't see it in there on the way home. That didn't sound to me like a legitimate search. I sent her to bed and promised we'd look in the morning.
When she was out of sight, I told Coach I was surprised that Baby Bear hadn't turned up yet. He went out to look in the minivan. No luck.
I questioned the older brothers who were still awake. One in particular enjoys tormenting her. Both swore they had nothing to do with the unexplained disappearance of Baby Bear.
I called the hotel and was transferred to security or something. The man took down all of my information. I described Curly's lovey, but managed not to reveal that she is 9 years old. I'm guessing he assumed she was a toddler. I ended with, 'We call it Baby Bear, but you can call it whatever you want.' I didn't even remember which animal head was attached to the blanket body. Turns out Curly's Baby Bear is actually a lamb. Because it was almost 10:00, he agreed to have the room checked in the morning and let me know.
|Curly ripping open the plastic Baby Bear was wrapped in while Coach supplied a desperate-sounding, 'I can't breathe' fake voice.|
The next morning the hotel called to say that housekeeping found it. Coach and I both felt deprived when the hotel didn't tell us where specifically in the room it was discovered. They agreed to ship it to us using the same credit card that we had just used during our stay.
Baby Bear arrived the next day in a box on our doorstep. Curly was thrilled. When we prepared to go to Iowa for the night later in the week to visit Laddie at school, I instructed Curly to leave Baby Bear at home. Baby steps.