The gremlins are messing with me.
I long ago developed a theory about when an item goes missing- the gremlins did it. They hide your keys, your wallet, and one of your shoes, and then watch from afar as your day goes from bad to worse as you keep looking and looking and endlessly looking. They only become more entertained as you take a third pass through your house, and yell out “FUCK” as you finally happen upon the lost item in a place you’ve already looked three times.
Such was the start to my day.
Kellen got a Superman ring as a gift at a superhero themed birthday party. Like any toddler, he is equally fascinated and absentminded when it comes to the ring. He HAS to wear it, but also misplaces it at least ten times a day. I’m sure a better mother would give up looking for it. I’m positive that he would be over the loss of the ring in a few minutes. But I have two things working against me- I’m a softie, and I’m obsessive.
Kellen is going through a phase where he is very sensitive about dressing like a Superhero. He wants to wear Superhero clothing every day, but it is has to be corresponding. No mixing Superman shirts with Batman bottoms. This is especially challenging because he is also potty training. A single pair of pants does not last too long before needing to be changed.
Sunday, we went over to his grandparents’ house for the evening. After dinner, he took a bath and got in his pajamas. Then, the accident happened. I changed him into dry pants. Easy-peasy, should be done. But he starts sobbing and says “but now I’m not beautiful.” His top no longer matched his bottoms. I can’t listen to my child say “I’m not beautiful” and not have it tug on my heart strings. So for good or bad, I’m trying to comfort him through this phase.
This morning, the Superman ring goes missing. We are late for school. Kellen is supposed to go visit his grandparents so I can get a much needed break. I look around, but time gets the best of us, and we have to rush out the door.
We drop Liam off at school and get back in the car.
“Are we going home?” Kellen asks.
“No, you are going to go play at Granny and Papa’s.”
The tears begin to flow. Kellen keeps repeating that he wants to go home.
“Do you need to go find your ring?”
He nods. We head home and I tear apart the house more thoroughly. Still no ring. I somehow convince him that I will find it while he is at Granny’s. Appeased, we head out the door.
So much for that morning of free time. After a super fun dentist’s visit so I can get fitted for a night guard (sexy), I resume the search for the ring. I tear the house apart, but still no luck. I pick Liam up from school and head to the party store, hoping to score a replacement. Nada- no superhero rings of any type. Liam finds a Green Lantern costume on clearance for $10, and I find a Batman mask for $5. I’ve been working hard to not give in to the temptation to buy them stuff, but at this point, I just want the ring to fade into the past. The promise of a new mask and a new set of superheroes to act out proves too tempting. I shell out the $15, and head over to Granny’s, hoping to salvage enough time to go running.
Upon arrival, the first thing Kellen does is ask if I brought his ring, and seeing Liam’s new costume, if I brought superhero pajamas for him to change into. I have neither of those things. I tell Sandy that instead of running, I will go home and look for the ring yet again, and pick up some pajamas. She says “he was fine all morning without it.” Of course he was. And I’m sure the second I leave he’ll be fine. I’m also sure as soon as I come back, the first words out of his mouth will be “do you have my ring?”
I search and search and search again. Not the pushing stuff aside search. The emptying contents of toyboxes and putting them back in one piece at a time search. It HAS to be here somewhere. I can hear my mother saying “it didn’t grow legs and walk off.” But the ring has just vanished. Against all logic and good judgment, I head to another store, praying to anyone listening that this one will stock superhero rings.
Nope. I find a panda ring that lights up. I grab two-that way if he really likes it, I’ll have a spare. On the way out, I spot some Superman pajamas for $6. So add another $8 to that early $15. Yes, I am now learning that I should have DEFINITLY made him deal with the initial loss of the ring. I have now wasted most of the day and $23 only to NOT find the ring.
You know how this story ends. Kellen loved the ring and the pajamas. Almost as soon as he was appeased by them, I find the Superman ring- in a toybox I literally dumped out and looked through three times before. Why was I looking through that toybox again? To find a green mask to match Liam’s green lantern costume. The same mask I passed while in the party store. The kind that costs $1. The one that upon seeing I thought “Maybe I should buy a second one in case he loses the first” and then immediately dismissed.
So yeah, I’m going with gremlins. It’s easier to believe in mythological, invisible creatures messing with me for fun than to think all those coincidences just happened to line up perfectly and ruin my day.