I told La Fille we would be taking the train back to Paris. She said: "Oh good, we can find my bag with Bébé, Charlie and Fred," and skipped off. I gulped. The Frenchman commended her logic. The staff at SNCF have been helpful and patient, even when The Frenchman asked if their cleaners were "trustworthy" (very diplomatic). But what can they say? It is not called a Lost Property Office in France, but a Found Property Office, and our lost toys have not been found.
I think I can buy another Bébé exactly the same as the original. Now I don't know whether to buy it and pretend it is Bébé or own up to it being a replacement. Instinctively I am for being honest, but I think I'd prefer to pretend that by some miracle Bébé had returned. While I'm feeling guilty about leaving the case on the train, the Frenchman is feeling guilty he didn't jump in his friend's car and head for the railway terminus the moment we realised. Hell, this parenting lark is one big guilt trip. The friend we are staying with tried to make us feel better by saying the experience would teach La Fille that life is hard. I said: "Don't you think she's going to discover that soon enough?"
La Fille caught me checking the toy websites. "Oh look it's Bébé," I said pointing to the exact same doll. "Do you think that's her?" She looked again and said: "No, that's definitely not her. Bébé is on the train."