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Gale Gand Headshot

What A Mother Won't Do For Her Child

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I couldn't fall asleep the other night, and when I finally did I had that dream, you know the one, where you loose your wallet and can't find it anywhere. The reason I dreamed that is I'm desperate, desperate to find Paco. I'm actually crying as I write this so please, as a mother's plea, if you find him can you please get him back to us?

Oh, who's Paco? Well, people close to us know him well. He goes on every outing and vacation with our family, to the doctor, the grocery store, in the back pack to school each day. It's one of my twin daughter's "lovie's," as I guess that's what the rest of the world calls them.

He was a baby gift, given by my friend Rebecca in the early weeks after the girls were born, and Ruby took to him immediately. He hasn't been out of her immediate space ever. He's a blue donkey, well really just a blue donkey head, set in the middle of a satin lined square of fabric. Now if you don't have kids you can stop reading right now. But those of you with children who have an "attachment object" (it really is a technical term) know what I'm talking about. Think of the terror you might be facing if you lost that object and then picture me and that's where I am right now.

I know what you're thinking, "Why didn't she buy a backup and keep it stashed for just this moment?" Well, I did. I got one, and when I showed it to Ruby, she noticed the satin lining had been changed to a much stiffer version. (The original satin snags slightly as it gets worn so the company tried to trouble shoot.) But when I tried to find another that had the right kind of satin, the market dried up. Apparently the company in Belgium that makes them stopped sending them to the U.S. So I emailed my friend Muriel in France who goes to Belgium on work and asked her to get me a few if she could find them. She got them and shipped them state side, but alas, they had the same "new" stiffer satin. So then I emailed my friend Franzie in Germany and asked the same favor (actually, I said get as many as they have as I was getting scared now) and she sent her finds: not the satin lining, but an even newer cotton lining. Argh! Ruby got out the reject stamp, again. So then I went back to the toy store where the original had been purchased and they called their sister store in Texas which had one, on sale.

The new Paco came in the mail, went for his audition, and made the cut! I was so happy, and then intended to put him away for just this very moment. But Ruby then started asking for "Second Paco." We thought it was a good way for her to start learning how to count so we let her have both. Slowly, I started selling off the rejected Paco's on eBay, but I kept 2 just in case.

Well, Ruby, who is 4 now, walked in the house from a trip to the Lincoln Park Zoo Thursday and said, "I have some bad news, mommy. I lost Second Paco."

We all know what a big deal this is and almost can't speak about it in our house, like a death in the family. My husband says in a few years they'll probably be inserting micro chips into these kinds of toys to help locate them. But until then, all I have is letting you all know this way. So I'm asking all of you out there, if you see Paco, can you pick him up and let me know he's safe and that you have him? I'll bake you anything you want in return for him. I'll give you a set of my cookbooks autographed and personalized; I'll even make your wedding cake for 200 guests, if that's what it takes.