Hope for Finding Lost Loveys

Inside most kids’ diaper bags or atop most kids’ beds is the one thing that the child has chosen as his attachment object or “lovey”, the single item between him and an all-out, come-apart fit. Unlike most any other precious object you may treasure, this one is rarest of all because it is almost impossible to replace. The touch and even the smell may be thrown off by a decent washing, and how many of us have had to hustle a lovey through the spin cycle during a short nap?

There is no accounting for what item will reach lovey status. Your kid will not care about the price, pedigree, or tag on this item. It may not even be commercially available. The moment you think you have misplaced it is when you know the real, heart-thumping panic of losing something essential to peace in your home and quite possibly your own sanity. You will turn around and drive miles to look for it, incur overnight postage charges to have it shipped, and generally pay any ransom for its safe return.

So you can understand what a service Plush Memories Lost Toys is for desperate parents. The website is based in central Alabama and is free to anyone searching for a particular toy, plush, or blanket for a child who has lost their special one. You will relate so well to some of the posts – several have a cropped, magnified photo of a plush toy clutched by a tiny hand – and the sense of guilty self-blame in the pleading tone of some parents (“we were in a rush to leave and when we got home we couldn’t find it; we’ve looked everywhere”).

If you’re in a desperate search for an identical replacement lovey, you can use the site to post as much detail as you have in hopes of a possible source. You insurance company encourages you to catalogue the serial numbers on your electronics; you’ll see from this site that there may be merit to noting the manufacturer of your child’s lovey. Heaven help the parents in one post who cut the tags off a stuffed animal and now have no idea of its origin.

Since the site matches seekers with finders, you may also be able to help someone else as you’re clearing out the plushes and toys your kids don’t care for. Even a standard issue hospital blanket that you have ready for the giveaway bin could delight a young child. Some of the stories on the site are heartbreaking, such as those of kids battling health issues whose parents are trying to find once-loved objects that might be of comfort now.

We’ve experienced the panic of almost losing an essential doll and realized we had to find a replacement while one was still in production. Taffy II (pictured) is the replacement for Taffy I, who had already lost the ability to open one eye and was dangerously close to a catastrophic head loss.

True stories that may horrify parents of children with loveys: In college I roomed with a girl who still had her cotton blanky from when she was an infant. She kept it under her pillow and washed it carefully every week. It was so worn, it looked like a thin web of string hanging over the shower rod to dry. This was an outgoing, social girl who made excellent grades and was active in her sorority. Maybe the blanky wasn’t a bad idea. The last time I saw her she had twin boys, so if the blanky helped her cope, I’m sure it’s been needed nowadays more than ever. Bet her husband wouldn’t dare complain about that blanky!

Strangest of all, I once worked with a girl – make that a thirty-something woman – who kept her blanky in her cubicle storage tower. It was a small scandal when we realized she kept a blanky at work (apparently she swiped a touch from it periodically throughout the day).  I ultimately reasoned this was surely a better “habit” than something like smoking, especially if it helped her concentrate. I also vowed that Taffy II was not going to be college material just incase there was ever a thought of taking her off to the dorm.