Last night, I spent my time taking apart my teenage daughter's room. This was a bit of a change for me. Usually I spend my time putting her room together (making the bed, straightening the desk, stacking books, closing drawers). Why the shift in my routine? I was on the hunt for ...
Her flip flops.
As my husband so frequently points out, my daughter has never been denied much of anything. She doesn't own one pair of flip flops, she owns several — at least three of the nice ones with the cushy foam soles and thick grosgrain ribbon straps, and a couple more of the cheap and colorful rubber ones from Target. Or so I think. Or so I thought.
Because they are all missing.
Strike that. Not quite all. There is one lone, partner-less flip flop sitting on her bathroom floor. The other nine or so individual shoes are gone. As in gone, baby, gone.
I hate this feeling. We were always very lucky about losing things — or rather, happily, not losing things — when my daughter was little. Let's see, there was the time she lost her constant companion, "Cissy-Sandy-Pinky." Cissy-Sandy-Pinky was a gorgeous 18-inch Madame Alexander doll. She was purported to be a "Collector's Edition," a theme doll meant to commemorate John Lennon. Really. She came in neat blond braids, wearing a dress imprinted with his famous sketches, ankle socks and patent mary janes. Around her neck was a diminutive gold necklace that said "Imagine." By the time she went missing, her hair stood straight up (the better to be carried around by, my dear) and she was dressed most hideously as a patchwork princess with nary a shoe or sock in sight. Suffice it to say, she wasn't exactly "Mint in the Box."
One fateful day, Cissy-Sandy-Pinky was left in the babysitting room at the Y, and by the time we realized she was there, the facility had closed. We feared the worst and spent an anxious night, distracting the child and bargaining with higher powers for a miraculous recovery.
Lo and behold! The next day, as soon as the Y reopened, our daughter's babysitter found her. The doll, not my daughter. Crisis averted.
Another near miss befell us during my daughter's all-encompassing infatuation with Webkinz. Among her collection of two dozen or so, she had a pink poodle whose dog-eared (pun intended) bedraggledness bespoke its place of honor as her favorite. One afternoon it disappeared somewhere between our house and a shopping excursion two towns over. We retraced our steps, made some phone calls, and sure enough the pooch had been found and left at the register by a concerned shopper. My husband drove there on his way home from work to get it.
File this under the "You know he really loves her when ..." category. Crisis averted.
The most terrifying close call we ever had was about an hour before sunrise in a chauffered van. My daughter was eighteen months old, and we were flying down to St. Croix for a week with her grandparents. Our luggage was in the back of the van, and her car seat was safely locked in. About halfway to the airport I realized that "Lamby" was missing.
This was a disaster! Lamby was my daughter's (much cuter than a) security blanket; she went everywhere with him and (as far as we knew) needed him to fall and stay asleep. We were doomed!
I mouthed the bad news to my husband and tried to come up with a solution. We were changing planes in Atlanta and Puerto Rico, and I thought that maybe, just maybe, there would be a gift shop with a similar Lamby available. A long shot, but I was grasping at straws. As luck would have it, when we unloaded the van, who should we find (a little smushed with a decided dent on his face) but ... Lamby! Turns out he was under the car seat all along.
Of course, we did once lose a Lamby, I'm sorry to say. The babysitter had the day off and I took my then infant daughter into work with me, where she was enormously popular and entirely effective at distracting every one from their job. As far as I can tell, Lamby must have fallen out of the carriage somewhere between my parked car and my office building. That particular Lamby was never seen again, but fear not! I have a wise friend with older children who advised me to buy multiple Lambys and put them away for just such an occasion. Crisis averted.
So, let's flip back to the flops. Alas, my quest was not successful. What had become of them?
My daughter swears that she did not leave any up in Vermont. That she has, in fact, worn them since. She also assures me that she didn't leave them at the beach or lend them to anyone. She believes that someone stole them. And, I have to admit, we have had several houseguests in recent weeks, as well as a couple of people doing work here. So, she may have a point.
After all, if you were going to commit a theft, wouldn't you pass up the iPad, iPhones, laptops, cash and jewelry in lieu of ... flip flops? I thought so.
Please leave the flip flops on our front porch in a plain brown paper bag at your earliest opportunity. No questions will be asked.