Yellow Bear is Staley's special stuffed animal. She still sleeps with him every night. He still goes most places she goes. He still remains a part of her play. And so, I've gotten pretty good at finding Yellow Bear. He ends up in some strange places. Shoeboxes. Drawers. Under beds. In the bathroom cabinet. Behind the couch. On playroom shelves. In shoes. In the hamper. When it comes time to find Yellow Bear, I never rule anything out.
The night before we left for vacation, Staley couldn't find Yellow Bear at bedtime. She had no idea where he was. I looked in all the usual (and some of the unusual places) with no luck. As I was looking in all the drawers of blankets in Staley's closet, she asked incredulously, "Why are you looking in there???" (For a little one with an amazing memory, I was a little surprised that she didn't remember me finding him in there several different times.) Running out of ideas, Staley went to sleep without Yellow Bear.
In the morning before leaving the house, I decided to make one last final look in several places I hadn't. Lo and behold, I found Yellow Bear...in Staley's bathing suit drawer of her dresser. I took him downstairs and said, "Look who I found? Do you know where he was?" Staley asked, "Where?" I responded, "In your bathing suit drawer." And with a spark of recognition, Staley calmly replied, "Oh yeah. I put him there."
You sort of assume you'll be learning new skills as a parent. But figuring out how a 3 year old's mind works?? I might learn where to look, but why he might be there...that is still a mystery to me.