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Something is missing

This morning began like most bad days -- something was missing. I set my security badge on the table next to the computer on Friday evening.

I'd been in a rush that night on account of my daughter's gymnastics recital -- preparations included sprinting from the office to meet my husband -- Jerod; driving home in rush-hour traffic; picking up the clutter around the house to keep Jerod from killing our children (and my mother -- it's very hard to look after a 2-year-old all day without making messes); camouflaging my icked-out work face with many layers of makeup; calming a pissed off toddler -- Ashlyn; nagging the 6-year-old gymnast -- Lily -- to "GET DRESSED;" loading two children and two grandparents in the car amid tantrums over seating arrangements; and driving once more in rush-hour traffic to deliver Lily in costume 15 minutes ahead of showtime.

So -- I tossed my badge carefully on the table as it was the most convenient surface available at the time and ran out the door. The recital went swimmingly -- no reason I'd forget about my badge sitting on the table next to the computer. But "HOLY CRAP" it occurred to me on the way home that we needed lunches and rain gear for Girl Scout camp on Saturday.

"Stop the car," I yelled at Jerod. "We need to go to the store."

So two parents, two children and two grandparents ran around Fred Meyer yelling over displays.

"What size rain boots?"


"Those are too small."

"Try 12."

"Those are still too small."

"Then try 13."

"Those are too big."

"I don't care -- WAIT, what color are they?"

"Light pink with blue and purple owls."

I considered the turquoise, flower-power raincoat I'd plucked off the clearance rack. "Oh God," I moaned to myself in agony. "It doesn't match."

It's a trivial thing to most people, but I'm crazy -- a certifiable lunatic -- EVERYTHING MUST MATCH or my head will explode -- BOOM. I sprang from rack to rack beneath the cloud of my husband's gathering rage in search of a solid-colored raincoat.

"You've already been here -- three times," Jerod said. "It's time to go home."

"Can you move over for just a second?" I begged politely lunging at something black and shiny on the rack behind him -- a darling trench coat -- size 7.

"Perfect," I said. "We just need one more."

"What?" Jerod asked as two angry children popped around the corner with their grandparents. I fled to the women's department where I tried on 10 rain coats three times a piece; made my selection; started towards the cash register; changed my mind; ran back to the women's department; tried on two more rain coats; and grabbed the one I started with.

"Did you get the lunches?" I asked Jerod cheerfully a couple of feet from the cash register.

He stormed off towards the grocery department first ordering me to "stay put," which I interpreted as "find a better rain coat." And I did find a better rain coat, but Jerod beat me back to the cash register ...

We got home a little after 8 p.m. and ordered pizza. Lily threw a fit, because I didn't give her a turn with Angry Birds, and my mom scolded me -- first for paying more attention to my game than my company; second for not sharing. I threw a fit, and forgot about my badge sitting on the table next to the computer.

I noticed it Saturday morning, but I was too busy getting Lily showered and dressed -- getting me showered and dressed -- for Girl Scout camp to bother with it. We hurried out the door late as usual and spent the day with a couple hundred mothers and daughters making crafts, snacking, singing songs, snacking, playing games, snacking ... It was a WONDERFUL albeit exhausting day. We got home at 9:30 p.m. and barely made it from the car to bed -- I'd deal with my badge on Sunday.

Sunday was no more quiet than Friday night or Saturday. We had birthday parties and 100-or-so other obligations that kept us quite tied up from morning til night. I noticed my badge once more on Sunday morning, but I was in much too much of a hurry to throw it in my purse -- I'm not sure why it overwhelmed me so.  I was 30 minutes late this morning when I realized my badge was no longer sitting on the table next to the computer.

"I'm going to murder my children," I yelled repeatedly at no one in particular. "I'm going to kill them."

I tore my drawers apart -- my closet too -- searching for my badge. I looked everywhere -- in the girls' closets, in the beds, under the beds, in my shoes, in the garbage ... I couldn't find it anywhere. I finally woke Lily up.

"Were you playing with Mommy's badge last night?"

"No Mamma, I would never play with your badge," Lily answered. "Ashlyn did it."

I woke Ashlyn up.

"Were you playing with Mommy's badge last night?"

She nodded "yes."

"Do you remember where you put it?"

She nodded "yes," and pointed at the wall.

"I don't see it," I said in calm measured tones. "Can you take Mommy to the place you left it?"

She nodded again and stumbled out of bed grabbing hold of my finger. She led me to the wall and pointed "here," which irritated the hell out of me, because there was clearly NO BADGE on the wall. Then she reached for a beaded stick bag I keep on a hook with my necklaces, and there it was in the inside pocket.

"Mamma's purse," Ashlyn whispered rubbing her eyes. "That's you badge, Mamma. That's you, Mamma."

What did I say about my children? Was I angry about something? I can't remember now.


  1. Families.....They're messy. But if it wasn't for all the love none of us would survive them.

  2. Haha! your name from the IWSG and I'm not sorry I did! I really enjoyed this post..Kids have a way of making us nuts one minute and all "awwweee, look at him!", the next, don't they? Also love the cartoon with the lobsters!

  3. Ditto about the lobster cartoon. Things sound a little crazy around your place, but fun.

  4. Fun and crazy -- unless Mommy's missing items cannot be recovered. Then it's just CRAZY (not the good kind)!


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