The touching video of a boy being reunited with his long-lost lovey, a blue monkey named “Ah Ah,” struck a chord with TODAY Moms readers. Among the nearly 200 comments on our Facebook page were many declarations from weepy moms in awe of the the mom who found Ah Ah on a random search of eBay, three years after the monkey was lost on a camping trip.
Many of you know just how she feels, and shared your own stories of lovey reunions.
When Lorraine Gaudette’s son was 3, their family took a train ride into the city. Upon returning from their big day out, they realized his beloved blankie was nowhere and must have been left on the train. But then, the train came back through town.
“At 9:45 p.m., there was the train blowing its horn and the conductor was leaning out waving the blankie! The conductor was a mom, too, and knew how much it would be missed.”
Abby Orozco’s two-year-old son is attached to two stuffed animals: Siso, the lion, and Mimi, which Orozco says “looks like some kind of rodent.” Two months ago Mimi was lost during a trip to Wal-Mart.
For two weeks straight, Orozco would go to the customer service counter to ask if they had found Mimi, but had no luck. On the third week, she was in the store and wasn’t even going to bother to ask.
“But something inside told me to go ahead and ask, and so I did. Next thing you know they had a garbage bag full of stuff and there they pulled out Mimi. I was so EXCITED, I couldn't believe my eyes. As soon as we got home we popped it out from a bag and showed it to our 2yr old son, he was so happy, he danced with Mimi and was laughing.... Seeing your son's face of joy is priceless.”
For Beth Harris Hruska, the lost-and-found lovey experience happened not once, but twice. Her son was attached to a stuffed baboon that he would never go anywhere without. One year during a Christmas time shopping trip, the baboon was lost. It was December 23 and the stores were packed, says Hruska.
But, “it was found in the candy aisle, the [store employees] saved it for me.” The baboon was lost again for three months at a hotel. “They found it right away but kept shipping it to the wrong address!” The baboon finally came home to them in the mail. Hruska’s son is 10 now, but his mom says “he still knows where that monkey is.”
Your turn: Send us photos of your child's cherished lovey and we may include them in a future post!
Michele Johnson Corgiat says that when her son was 1, he was hospitalized for pneumonia. During that time, he bonded with a little blue blanket that had a dog’s head on it.
Says Corgiat: "The blanket quickly became known as "Bluey". Bluey was lost when the nurses changed sheets in his crib and it was thrown into the hospital laundry. My dear husband searched through the hospital laundry to find it. We of course took it home and sanitized it before returning Bluey to his rightful owner."
For Jessica Johnson, the story of Ah Ah’s return brought back her own memories of a lost lovey. When Johnson was 5, she lost her favorite My Little Pony Unicorn on the playground at school. She always thought someone had stolen it from her because she checked the lost and found and did not find it. Her family moved away from the town, but moved back when Johnson was in 5th grade. And something unbelievable happened:
"I went to the office one day because I was sick…I looked down and saw the lost & found box and right on top was my My Little Pony Unicorn, the exact same one and she still had her tail braided! I was so happy to find her! Even though I no longer played with those toys anymore, I still kept her and have her somewhere in storage now."
Some parents say that Ah Ah’s story is a cautionary tale: when possible, try to have a replacement lovey.
Lisa Witting writes:
“A beanie baby panda UPS'd overnight cost me a fortune and I know my two year old knew it wasn't his lost panda because I had just done delicate surgery to remove his nose a few days prior but he immediately became attached to "New and Improved Panda". A few weeks later he was playing with Panda and I noticed another Panda nearby. I did a quick look and lo and behold he now had TWO! "Original Panda" had crawled out from his hiding spot!”
Danielle Leach tells the tale of how she took extreme measures to make sure the replacement lovey was just like the original. Her daughter lost a stuffed pal named Tooie, and when they couldn’t find it, they replaced it with a new one. But her daughter didn’t like the new one.
Says Leach: “My husband took it outside... ran it over a few dozen times, stepped on it, and pounded it against a wall. I washed it a dozen times... even threw it in the dishwasher. It looked trashed ... Ari thought we found her Raggedy old Tooie and was so happy. She is 7 now ... and still has it.”
Kathy Willingham Houston’s two-year-old daughter had a doll the shape of a gingerbread man, which she called “Baby Willingham.” On a day after running errands, it was discovered that Baby Willingham was lost, and Houston’s daughter went into mourning. Says Houston: “She'd walk around the house pretending to stroke a baby in her arms and calling it 'Baby Willingham'."
“I drew several posters with hand-drawn pictures of "Baby Willingham" and posted them around the neighborhoods of Pasadena. Looking back, I'm sure people laughed when they saw someone was looking for the gingerbread man.”
In the end, Houston had to make a replica of the missing doll, and fortunately her daughter became attached to it. “It became the official replacement for 'Baby Willingham'." Houston’s daughter is a college senior and still has it among her treasured things.
For some moms, the search for their child’s lovey is ongoing.
Scarlett Draper writes that her son lost his bunny the first summer she was divorced.
“The kids were spending time at many relatives’ houses while I worked, and somewhere along the way, bunny was lost. I've been heartbroken ever since and every Easter when the stuffed bunnies are in the stores, I scour the shelves for a look-alike.
The story of Ah Ah being found gives Draper hope. “My son is 22 years old and serving in the US Army in Afghanistan and I still look for beloved bunny every spring.”
Related TODAY Moms stories: