Once upon a time, a blue donkey named Eeyore arrived from Shanghai. I don’t know how well you can see his tag, but it’s written in Mandarin. That’s how we know for sure that he’s the original. He also looks a little smaller and scruffier compared to the other Eeyores.
There are now six Eeyores in our house. Four of them are hidden. Two of them are in circulation. First Eeyore and New Eeyore.
Why are there so many Eeyores? Because when Eeyore didn’t come back home with us after an afternoon of running errands, Drex couldn’t handle it. He didn’t know what to do. After we checked at the grocery store and the pharmacy without success, he even suggested printing flyers like you would for a missing pet.
Sonya was distraught. She kept wandering the house before bedtime, calling out, “Eeyore! Come OUT! Where you hiding Eeyore? Where you ARE?” Even though she’d eventually curl up in bed, there were three sad pathetic nights when she bolted awake around 2 a.m. and called out, “EEYORE! Where Eeyore? I need Eeyore!”
We tried to explain that Eeyore had gotten lost.
“Eeyore coming back soon?” Sonya asked day after day and night after night.
We kept hedging our answers, hoping that Eeyore would turn up. Some kindly neighbor would bring him to our doorstep or we’d spot him having a coffee with Christopher Robin at a local cafe. But no such luck.
“Eeyore coming back soon?” Sonya kept asking us. It was difficult to give her a straight answer, because she asks the same question every time Daddy leaves for work in the morning or drops her off at daycare once a week. “Daddy coming back soon?”
It’s her way of seeking reassurance. If Daddy is coming back soon, then there’s nothing to worry about. “Soon” could be a few minutes or a few days. As long as the answer is yes, it means that Sonya doesn’t have to worry, that eventually, no matter how many times she has to close her eyes and fall asleep without her Daddy there, he’s going to come back to her, because he always always does.
What would it mean about her beautiful world if Eeyore didn’t come back? What might it imply about other people she loved going away from her presence and getting lost forever?
The next day at work, Drex cracked.
He dropped everything around 3 in the afternoon and went on a city-wide hunt for an Eeyore. He searched here and there, until finally, at a store called Zellers, he found it. Not just any Eeyore. THE Eeyore that Auntie Melissa had sent! Wearing his pink pajamas!
He bought one and came home. He played it off like Eeyore had been in his office the whole time getting work done.
Sonya was so so so happy. It was like Daddy coming home after a long conference. She acted like she’d expected Eeyore home all along. She scolded Eeyore a little bit for being away and making her worry, but then lead him to the toy room and it was as if they’d never been apart.
Then a couple days later, we went to the local hardware store, because I wanted to get a peg board to hang my craft supplies. And you know who’d been there the whole week helping at the lumber yard? First Eeyore!
“Il faisait un apprentissage,” the friendly hardware store guy said. Eeyore was doing an apprenticeship.
When we got home with the pegboard, Second Eeyore was waiting for us by the entryway. Since Eeyore was so valuable, the second one didn’t leave the house. That way, he couldn’t get lost.
Before I could do anything, our parental deception was unmasked— Sonya got confronted by the existence of two Eeyores. I wondered how she would process this information.
She hugged them both to her chest and kissed them on top of their ridiculous pink nightcaps. “Mommy look! They’re the similar! They’re the similar!”
She immediately accepted the fact that there were two Eeyores and never questioned why, all of a sudden, there was an extra Eeyore in her life. The two Eeyores are loved equally and they often do things together. Both of them sleep with Sonya, one tucked under each arm.
“Eeyore got a sister!” Sonya said.
So obviously, they BOTH had to come on our trip to Toronto.
And obviously, when we got back, we couldn’t find either of them. Luckily, Sonya was so tired, she’d fallen asleep without any fuss, but Drex and I started panicking in direct proportion to the amount of sleep deprivation we had accumulated. Did you pack them? I can’t remember. Oh no! They’ve GOT to be here somewhere. Why can’t we find EITHER of them? We couldn’t lose BOTH of them on this trip. I’m SURE I saw at least one in the rental car.
Eventually, we found the two Eeyores.
But Drex wasn’t taking any chances.
The next day, he went back to Zellers and he bought them out of plush donkeys in pink pyjamas. It’s a sort of Eeyore insurance policy. I really hope Sonya doesn’t stumble onto the stash. I don’t know if I could keep track of sextuplets.