Tuesday, 13 May 2008

Lost Innocence

I cannot forgive myself. I left La Fille's bag containing her favourite toys on the train. Favourite toys? We are talking about Bébé, her very first doll, Charlie, her second doll, Fred the blue teddy bear delivered by Father Christmas and two rabbits called Mama and Papa. She never goes anywhere without them. And I left them on the train. How could I?

I had been to the dentist earlier and it was not a pleasant experience. I had arrived 90 minutes early for the train leaving my mobile phone and our coats at home. It was hot and nobody helped me as I struggled with several bags and La Fille in her pushchair up the numerous stairs in the station. I am making excuses.

I forgot the bag. Point. End of story. I have phoned the train terminus, one step along the line from where we got off, to the point they could quite reasonably class me a nuisance caller in the hope someone might have handed in a pink princess case containing La Fille's precious toys. I was optimistic, we were in first class (it was only £10 more than second), so I said nothing to La Fille figuring it was only a matter of time before she, Bébé, Charlie, Fred, Mama and Papa were reunited. "Who would be so mean as to steal a child's bag when they can see from the outside there are only toys in it?," I asked the naturally pessimistic Frenchman. He was right. Someone has taken it and our extended stuffed family and I've had to face the music. I sat down, took a deep breath and a tissue and announced: "Mama has lost your toys. I am very, very sorry." There were tears: mine. It was ridiculous. I told myself: "It's not life or death", but then burst into fat, guilty tears while La Fille, bereft of her best toy friends, patted me on the arm and said: "It's OK Mama, it doesn't matter".

I have bought her a blue stuffed elephant from the local supermarket. It was all I could find. La Fille cuddled it and looked delighted. I would have been convinced except she patted my hand as she took it.


scotty1 said...

So sad, but don't beat yourself up.
My daughter had a much-loved soft cuddly doll called Lucy which was so kissed and drooled over that it had to be stuck together many times with tape. Virtually all of the furry-type stuff had worn away.
Sleep without Lucy was unimaginable. Daughter learned to speak Lucy's name before Dada.
She was by no means deprived, but unlike La Fille had only one favourite toy.
I've done some fairly mega marriage-busting thing in my life, but leaving Lucy in the pub while daughter was on the bouncy castle still really hurts almost 20 years on.
Lost my son's favourite Batman parachute figure as well in similar boozy circumstances.
My dear girl, the message is, however, that time quickly heals.
My daughter, recently engaged, says she will now forgive me for Lucy loss in exchange for £30,000 deposit on first home.
Son, who's a veteran DJ touring the world's discos, says he will settle for a new set of decks and a recording contract.
It hurts like hell dear girl.
The real thing to bear in mind though is that kids can cuddle their Mum in fifty years time long after their childhood toys are forgotten.

Noortje said...

I've just discovered you blog because of the Dumdad awards and I have added you to my favorites. Fun to read about your life in Paris and you write about it so well. Looking forward to more of the same.

The Lehners in France said...

Hi I came via "The Dummy Awards." I was so sad to read that no one handed your toys in or helped you on the stairs with the pushchair. Out here in Rural France everyone helps ladies with babies. La Fille sounds like a very caring young lady, thinking of your feeling like that. My Mum would have had hell from me if she'd lost Poogey the poodle, Teddy Edward and Fish the fish. I was not a terribly imaginative child as you can see from the names. Congrats on your Dummy. Debs x

Parisgirl said...

Thank you Scotty, Noortje and Debs. Luckily La Fille's really favourite thing is a grubby square of white linen that serves as a security blanket. I took the precaution of buying several of them, which is just as well given the state of my memory!

Parisgirl said...

Scotty, I'm working out what two dolls, two rabbits and a bear are likely to cost me in a couple of decades. I'd better start saving now.