Thursday, March 29, 2012

Lost and found

Girl:  Mom, have you ever lost one of us?
Me:   Yeah, that one time.  I'm sure you remember.
Girl:  You mean at Opening Day for baseball?
Me:   Okay, so just the 2 times, then.
Girl:  Oh, yeah, when the police came.

Ah, toddler memories.  I thought I'd pull this one from the archives of Yeah, So That Happened, and share it.  

One day, a friend was visiting.  The Boy child was 5, the Girl was 2, and my friend had a 2-year-old son, also. She and I were chatting as she was getting ready to leave.  I unlocked the front door, but then we got sidetracked with talking.  We stood there a while, then we made our way back into the kitchen for something.  We headed back to the front door, and she called for her son.  We heard no answer, and no pitter-patter of little feet.  Come to think of it, things had been awfully quiet.

Where were the toddlers?  We called their names, and they didn’t answer.  We looked in all the rooms - no joy.  We asked the Boy, who was in his room, if he’d seen them, and he just shrugged.
I checked the back yard.  We had a hot tub, and it was covered.  Feeling serious heart-in-my-throat dread, I lifted the cover of the hot tub, willing it to be empty.  Mercifully, it was.

We went out front, where there were some older neighborhood kids playing nearby.  We asked, Did you see two little kids come outside from here? 

Yeah, I think so. 
Where did they go?
I think they went that way. 

They pointed down the block vaguely.  There were no toddlers in sight. 

Shit.  Panic began to set in.  Did I mention that the friend was 8 months pregnant?  So, her hormones – combined with her already slightly high-strung personality – took over, and she pretty much freaked the hell out.  She told me to stay at the house in case they came back, and she took off in the direction indicated by the neighbor kids.  Took off – all 4’11” of her, with her 8 months pregnant bulk, took off running around the block, calling their names.

She didn’t find them.  I panic more subtly, so I was coming unglued, only just on the inside.  I called 911.  We’ve got 2 missing toddlers.  Neighbor kids said they saw them come out of the house and go down the street.  We can’t find them.  Please come. 

Four cop cars showed up.  They dispersed and started combing the neighborhood while a couple of them stayed at the house with us.  I thought my friend was going to go into labor.  The officers tried to calm her down and ask questions.  One of them started searching the house.  He was opening kitchen cabinets and closets, pulling out their contents… I managed to be mortified by the state of my house while my daughter was missing.  The mind is funny like that. 

While they searched the rest of the house, I went to our master bedroom.  I’d already checked the room and the bathroom, but we have a large walk-in closet in the bathroom.  I decided to double check. 
I opened the door, turned on the light, swept the contents with a quick once-over, and saw nothing that remotely looked like a toddler.  I was about to shut the door, and -

A whisper.  And then a giggle. 


Oh, God.  I tried to hide my mortification as I marched them out so that I could tell the nice officers that they could stop turning my house upside down. 

Yes, sir, we should’ve checked the closets.  We checked the rooms.  We called their names.  The kids outside said… No, you’re right.  I’m very sorry we caused such a fuss.  Yes, I’ll make sure she’s not in labor before she leaves.  Thank you so much for your help and for not calling CPS because we can’t keep track of our kids.  

After we said goodbye to half of the local police force (it must've been a slow day, because more had shown up by the time we went back outside to see them off), we had a stern talk with the young ones.  

Why did you do that?  

We were hiding.  You were s'pose to find us.  

So, the moral of the story, if there is one?  Never underestimate a toddler's desire to play hide and seek.  Seriously.  

1 comment:

  1. Hey kiddo,
    I really love that you are able to express yourself so well in words. I think they mean a lot....words are important.
    Take a look at our stuff at our website,
    Funny, scary, sad.
    Good words.
    Luv ya.