this is huahui ( pronounced wa wee.) he is edgar's favourite little stuffy buddy.
i can't quite remember when huahui turned up,
or when he became "THE CHIHUAHUA" in the boy's life,
but i do know that at one point we had two of him. then we had one.
and then i realized that one is the loneliest number when stuffed toys are involved.
this is bob.
esther found him under the tree last year; he was a christmas wish, fulfilled.
until bob, she hadn't favoured any particular stuffy, but obviously, he is very special.
david and i had joked about finding another bob, "just-in-case"...
"just-in-case" arrived a couple of weeks ago, during an overnight trip to the greater toronto area.
on the way home, the family had stopped at an amusement arcade
in a large mall to participate in a birthday event.
after all the fun, the kids were hungry, and we were in a rush;
we had to be back in ottawa at a very specific time.
we gathered ourselves up for the trip home.
while david forged the path, i negotiated the throng of mall shoppers with a child in each hand.
edgar was crying, disappointed by having to leave the play arcade, but at least the girl was doing o.k.
then esther said the words that chilled my heart...
"mama, did you remember to pack bob this morning?"
i held off anwering for a moment, trying to envision the near future...
was there any way i could possibly make this all work out tear-free...
i hadn't even realized that the monkey had been brought into the house the night before,
and was sure i had done my due diligence in packing up that morning...
bob was still in georgetown, mingling with a covy of esther's cousins' toys.
there was no way out.
i took the kids to the side, hunkered down,
eyeball to eyeball, and explained the situation as gently as i could.
not only was bob not packed, he was located a 45 minute drive in the wrong direction...
we could not return for bob.
horrible seconds passed as the news registered
with the girl...her face slowly crumpled into a mask of true tragedy.
then the wailing commenced.
edgar had just been settling out of his crying jag, but the contagion
of esthers' outburst renewed his noisy tears.
at this point, a person could be forgiven for assuming that
david and i were particularly bold child abductionists...
this cascade of sorrow so overwhelmed the din of enthusiastic shoppers,
that i made for the nearest exit.
the van was parked other side of the mall, so while david hoofed it,
i sat on a bench, awaiting his return, with two squirminig, high volume, angry children.
children that hated me with all their hearts.
we eventually got everyone into van,
called to make arrangements for bob's return, and attempted to soothe
esther with the idea that he would have fun taking the bus back to ottawa...
and endured not a very peaceful 5 hour trip home.
the bus-parcel office was closing, but the serviceman