I am asked this question – or a variation of it – roughly 20 times a day. It is usually Batman at the moment but it can be any current favourite. I am constantly baffled by my eldest’s ability to lose just about anything. It goes from being in his hand to being apparently irretrievably lost within seconds. This, coupled with a staggering inability to find things even if they are in front of his nose, can lead to a little bit of conflict in our house.
One of the many, many things that no-one tells you before you have kids is that you will spend a vast quantity of time dealing with lost things. A good portion of your day will be spent looking for, discussing, rowing over and fielding screaming tantrums about said lost things. You’ll also receive various injuries by treading on these apparently lost things that are actually right in the middle of the floor, where they were dumped five minutes before.
Both the older two, H and M, lose things with alarming regularity. M is pretty laid back for someone of just under four. She is also pretty reasonable so, when she loses a favourite thing, she understand that it will turn up soon. So she usually has a little moan, gives up and moves on to something else for a while until the lost thing materialises.
Not so for our H. He is the king of melodrama (I have no idea where he gets it from) and Batman hasn’t just been temporarily misplaced. He is gone forever. H is therefore never going to play with anything ever again or, indeed, ever be happy again. Life is over, as we know it. Now imagine having this conversation 20 times a day. Wearing.
I can usually nip this particular misery in the bud by finding Batman. He is often in the Batcave (natch), or on the floor, on the table, even in H’s pocket. All obvious Batman places. A quick scan of the room usually allows me to call off the search within seconds. But sometimes, Batman can be a bit more sneaky and has crept off to the bathroom or wedged himself down between sofa cushions.
When Batman plays hard ball, I have a number of options:
1. Drop what I am doing and search the house on my own – Batman is found, H is calm.
2. Orchestrate a full house search involving me and all capable children – time consuming and often involves the kids moaning before making a hell of a mess turning out boxes and throwing cushions around – Batman is eventually found (usually by my)
3. Tell H he should look after his own things and that he needs to look for Batman himself – hours or even days of moaning, sulks, tears. Batman is not found (until I eventually find him by emptying a coat pocket, tidying up or I tread on him).
I know the right answer here. I really do. I need to teach H to be responsible for his own things and go with option three. And I do…..sometimes. But option one is just soooo much less painful.
The ultimate misery of course is when something is lost at school and is therefore a total goner. Our old friend Batman was apparently irretrievably lost at school a few weeks ago. I took pity on my inconsolable H and ordered him a second hand one on EBay, but not before that pesky caped crusader had popped out smiling from under the Batcave, yelling “surprise”!Little git. Batman has now been banned from school.
So, we now have two Batmen. Good, so we have backup, you would be forgiven for thinking. But no. It seems New Batman is wearing a different suit so isn’t nearly so cool. Besides, H has generously gifted New Batman to M. Sweet, but unhelpful in the endless round of lost Batman games.
So, until H moves on to the next favourite, it seems we are all doomed to lose and search for that moodiest of superheroes on a daily basis. And I dare say it will usually be me searching for and finding him, to prevent my own little crusader turning as moody as his idol. I know I shouldn’t but some days I would rather run about the house briefly looking for a small plastic man in black than endure a hour of doom. Is that wrong?