Farmor's bike ride around our route on Thursday morning yielded no results in the search for Bamse. We went back to the store we were in and even the one next door, neither of which had seen Bamse. The store we didn't even go to felt so bad that they gave Kristoffer a free little Winnie-the-Pooh bear to be Grace's new Bamse. When he came out to the car with the new (pretty ugly) little bear and told Grace, "here is your new Bamse" she was happy for a short period of time and I proceeded to cry for 15 minutes. Call it pregnancy hormones or parental guilt or just me being crazy...but I felt so sad that we've lost Grace's comfort item.
Later in the afternoon, I discovered how to get a new, old-Bamse. For a $35 donation to Habitat for Humanity, the same bear will be delivered to our US address in 6-8 weeks. Another 2 weeks later we should have him in Kenya...but now I REALLY understand what they were talking about when several parents told me to have a back up of your child's favorite stuffed animal...just in case! (at least I donated to a good cause!)
In the meantime, Grace realized that new Bamse was not nearly as wonderful as old Bamse and was calling for him, searching the house, crying for him, asking everyone where he was! With some help from Tina (Hans' daughter who was visiting us with her sweet son Louis) we made a sign asking "Har du set min ynglingsbamse?" (Have you seen my favorite Bamse?) to place around the neighborhood just in case someone happened to pick up Bamse.
Kristoffer made fun of me A LOT (you are probably with him on this one) but he did come along as we went out in the cold rain with Grace to hang up some signs along the route we took that day.
The things you do for your children! We haven't received any phone calls yet, but at least I feel like we did all we could to find Bamse. Worst case scenario: in two months Grace will be reunited with Bamse again. Kristoffer insists that she'll have forgotten the whole thing by then, but I know that she'll be happy to see her dear friend.
Note: this story is dedicated to my sister, Meghan. Almost 30 years later, she still holds it against my father that one Halloween when they were trick-or-treating and she lost her witch's wig, he wouldn't go back out to find it for her. The holiday was practically ruined for her forever! I am hoping we are NOT in the same situation when Grace is in her 30s.