How do I love thee? Let me count the ways:
1 rubber duckie
2 rubber duckies
3 rubber duckies
100 rubber duckies!
A couple weeks ago, I lost your duck. I knew it was your favorite toy in the car. You asked for it every time. I had to make you wait until I was finished buckling you in, though; your raised arms got in the way as you tried to balance it on your head, flashing a huge “look at me!” grin.
I don’t know exactly how we lost it, but I’ve been looking ever since. I’ve searched everywhere and can’t find the darn thing. I suspect it may have fallen on the ground. I particularly remember thinking that one time, but convincing myself otherwise because I was in a hurry and didn’t want to bother checking under any cars.
Yet even now, you ask for it every time.
“Duh!” Smiling excitedly and craning your neck to look for it.
“I’m sorry, sweetie, I don’t know where it is.”
“Duh!” Straining forward to find it as I try to lean you back so I can fasten your straps.
“I know it’s your favorite; I’m really sorry.”
“DUH!” Reaching for the blankets, where it often became tangled.
You are such an easygoing kid; you never cried or screamed about having to go without, but I feel like a bad mom for losing your favorite (car) toy. I know it’s not true; there is much evidence I’m a good mom. But it doesn’t stop me from feeling awful.
I was conflicted for a while, thinking perhaps I should just let it go, and eventually you would stop asking for it. You will have to learn that nothing lasts forever, anyway. But you found such joy in playing with that silly duck, and losing it was my fault. I decided to replace it for you. There will be plenty more opportunities to teach you about the transience of life.
Most rubber ducks (really plastic or vinyl) available in stores are considerably larger than what I was looking for; yours fit just right in your tiny hand. Searching online, I found I could get a dozen for $6 … or much larger quantities at much less per duck. Mama has an itch in situations like that – I’ll often go for the higher quantities with the higher total cost in order to get the lower cost each.
At least Munchkin can have her own now.