This is a post I never wanted to write. It’s an appeal for help.
Remember Bert from Sesame Street? Yellow headed, monobrowed half of Sesame Street’s favourite comedy duo?
For a long time now, Orange has lived life alongside Bert. Bert is Orange’s best friend. His comfort toy. His sleep companion. In the absence of language, Orange has used Bert as a means of understanding life and communicating with the people around him.
Bert settles him to sleep, comforts him when he wakes in the night, watches him eat, acts as a trusty companion at nursery and hospital appointments, and is his constant in what can be, for Orange, a very confusing world.
On Sunday afternoon, Bert went missing in Selfridges, Oxford Street. A parent’s nightmare, losing a toddler’s favourite toy in a busy department store. Gone in a flash. In the seconds between checking his little yellow head was still there, alongside Orange in the buggy, he was gone. Dropped, picked up by another little pair of hands, kicked aside by passing people traffic, taken out of his hands, we don’t know…
I will refrain from actually naming the parent on whose watch Bert disappeared, but you can take it from this that it wasn’t me. The fact it was in the technology suite on the lower ground floor should clear up any final doubts… 😉
An hour of searching and hounding the store’s staff (and some wifely hissing and shouting, just in case you still weren’t sure which parent was to blame…), with still no sign, we cut our losses and left. Without Bert.
Later that day, we embarked on a solemn trip home to Cornwall leaving Bert somewhere, on the loose, in London.
A transatlantic hunt for a replacement began. We will, perhaps, end up with an army of Berts as a result. But none of them will be the original, best-loved, slightly chewed and most definitely dog-eared Bert.
In an attempt to squash my own melodrama about the whole incident, I’m trying to un-learn what I know about the scientific evidence for children preferring their own cherished comfort items over identical replacements.
It’s kind of ridiculous I know… I mean it’s not a missing person, or a family pet, but we have no way of explaining to Orange what has happened. He is upstairs in his bed shouting for him right now, unable to sleep.
I’m hoping on a wing and a prayer that social media can help us reunite Orange with his best pal Bert. Were you in Selfridges on Oxford Street on Sunday afternoon? Did you see this Bert? #findbert