Friday, July 11, 2008

Losing it.

Have you ever spent an entire day obsessing over something you've lost? My mom does it all the time. At my house, it was her purse. It makes perfect sense why she carries it around all the time like a Golden Girl. The minute she sets it down, it's gone.

This is a complete mystery to me. My purse is always either on my shoulder or in the hallway next to the front door. Always. Same with my keys and sunglasses. Same spot every time. It's nearly impossible to lose things this way.

Bill has yet to catch on. Every time he drives my car, the keys disappear.

"Have you seen my keys? They're not in the key drawer."

"Oh, um...did you check the kitchen?"

"No. They're supposed to be in the key drawer."

"Well, what about my pockets? Did you check my pockets?"

"I don't know. Are your pockets in the key drawer?"

On a complete side note: There's a man going through my recycling bin right now looking for cans. This happens all the time. I never know if I should do something or not. I watch him out the window to make sure he doesn't steal our identities or anything valuable like that but as far as I can tell, it's just the cans he's after. The first time I saw him, I thought, "I wonder if he'd take our glass?" (we have to drive that to the facility ourselves). Then I contemplated separating our cans from the rest of the recycling before taking them out to the curb. It wouldn't really be that much more work for us yet he'd have a much easier time filling his cart. He'd get a little pocket change for a Big Mac or 40 oz or whatever he needed and I wouldn't have to feel so uncomfortable watching a grown man dive head first into my smelly bin. Win/win situation. Only later did I think, "I should probably tell him to get the hell off my property." So far, I haven't done a thing. I just continue to watch out the window, simultaneously feeling sorry for the guy and making sure he doesn't take my junk mail.

I realize this is very type-A and annoying of me. Not the can guy thing, the not losing my keys thing. It's not something I'm proud of, just something that saves me an enormous amount of time. Who wants to spend all day looking for their purse?

Or their camera.

This morning, Liam and I were playing dress up with some wigs, hats and costumes I found in his closet. It was so much fun watching him try on different looks and check himself out in the full length mirror. He choose a snarly long black witch wig for me and the image of the two of us rocking fake hair and cowboy hats was a photo opportunity I didn't want to miss. I left him to pick out a cape and tip-toed down the hall to retrieve my camera without waking the sleeping baby.

Hmmm, I could have sworn I left it on the kitchen island yesterday when we came in from the backyard. Yes, I'm sure that's where it was. I was filming myself trying out a new hoop trick while Liam dropped sticks into Cloey's water bowl when we heard Bill come home for lunch and came inside to greet him. I remember specifically grabbing my camera off the patio table and thinking, "That would have sucked if I left this outside." It was dangling from my wrist as I held Liam's hand up the stairs. We came inside and I dropped his notebook and the bubbles and the bug spray and the camera onto the island.

Where the heck did it go?

I checked Ted (the dresser by the front door that holds the key drawer and my purse) but all I found was the camera bag. I went through not one, not two, but three purses. And my diaper bag. Still no camera.

By this time, Liam was knocking on his bedroom door and hollering, "Yoo hoo! Mama!" I didn't want him to wake the sleeping baby so I snuck back into his room and tried to forget about the whole thing.

The trouble was, we were still wearing wigs and looking adorable and I really, really wanted to take a picture. Plus, I never lose things. Surely I must have overlooked it.

"I'll be right back, Buddy. I just have to mmrhmmnnh..."

I closed his door behind me and stood in the hall like a helpless child. I had already looked through Ted, the drawers, the purses, the diaper bag. Where else could it be. Maybe the swim bag? Uh-uh. What about behind Ted? Nope.

I sulked back to the kitchen and scoured the counter tops again. Nothing. Then my stomach dropped. I suddenly remembered that right after lunch yesterday, the cat jumped up on the table and rolled around until she had shed about half of her body weight onto my table cloth. I tossed her and the table cloth onto the ground in a huff and threw it into the wash later in the day (the table cloth, not the cat).

What if my camera was on the table? By now it would be nothing but a soaked pile of parts in the washing machine (you're fooling yourself if you think I get a load of laundry into the washing machine and dryer in the same day).

It wouldn't be the first time I washed something I wasn't supposed to. And I'm not talking "dry clean only." I had to pay the Nashville Public Library $65 for the copy of Bill Bryson's A Short History of Nearly Everything I put through the spin cycle with our sheets. So much for borrowing books to save cash.

With my fingers crossed I sorted through the wet laundry. I carefully pulled out the red and white checked table cloth and waited for the soft thud of my camera dropping onto the rest of the load. Nothing. Phew.

"Yoo hoo! Mama, are you there?" Knock, knock, knock. "YOOO HOOOOO!"

I ran on my tip-toes back down the hall looking left and right and left again all the way to Liam's room. (And, yes, I was still wearing the wig.) I snatched my cell phone off of Ted and quietly snuck in his door.

Urgent text to Bill: HAVE YOU SEEN THE CAMERA?

Reply: No.

Second Reply: (quoting Blue's Clues) Go back, go back, go back.

Huh. If he only knew.

By this point, I wasn't as upset that I couldn't find my camera as I was that I couldn't stop obsessing about not being able to find it. It was like I had completely lost my mind. All I could think about was Where the heck is my camera?!?

I tried to enjoy dress-up but my heart just wasn't in it. Wigs aren't as much fun without pictures to laugh at later.

Then it hit me - the office! I forgot to check the office! Of course it's in there. How obvious. I snuck out of Liam's room and stood by the office door with my hand on the knob. I hated to bust in on a sleeping baby but knew if I could just pop my head in for a second and see the camera I could get on with my day. Quietly, slowly...



"Maaaama! Yoooo hoo!"

Alright, alright. Everyone just calm down and give me a second. I need to find my camera. It has to be in here somewhere.



I took the kids into the kitchen to feed them lunch while scanning every inch of the room with my beady, blood shot eyes. I know it's a small camera but c'mon! It has to be somewhere.

Suddenly, a stroke of genius hit me. Liam! He probably grabbed it from the island and put it somewhere I would never think to look. Not like in an I'm evil and want to drive my mama crazy type of way; just like you're average I'm two and like to play with shiny things type of way.

"Hey Buddy, have you seen Mama's camera?"


"You have? You've seen Mama's camera?"

"I don't know."

Then a smile crept over his face. I couldn't tell if it was a sly, smirk-like smile or just a regular, every day smile. Is this kid yanking my chain?

"Liam, Mama can't find her camera anywhere. Do you know where it is?"

"Go back, go back, go back."

Very funny. Later, when I was putting him down for a nap, I kissed him goodnight and was about to lay him down when he said, "Oh, Mama, did you lose your camera?" I swear he was smirking at me.

I really hope to find it (my camera, not my sanity...OK, both would be good) before the weekend. More cute stuff is bound to happen and I would hate to miss out. In the meantime, I have removed the wig but the crazy look in my eyes is still making me look like a witch who eats little children. If you ask me, children who hide cameras from witches are kinda asking for it. Who's smirking now?


Edited to add:

I re-read this post after publishing and stumbled upon the most awesome line ever:

I wouldn't have to feel so uncomfortable watching a grown man dive head first into my smelly bin.

Ha! Sure, I could have edited it to sound less filthy but where's the fun in that? Enjoy! Wink, wink.

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