The past two Saturdays shopping with Miss A has been anything but pleasurable. Until she’s old enough to drive herself to the store I’m considering doing all my errand running without her. Or velcroing her to my leg. Or hooking our dog’s leash to her belt loop.
Last Saturday on the way home from my mom’s we drove by the local Goodwill and I decided to kill some time and browse around with the girls. I bought a cute pair of appliqued jeans and a boutique looking t-shirt for Miss C, some sort of talking Diego doodle pad for Miss A (which I wiped down a million times with antibacterial wipes as soon as we got home), and a Cranium Hullabaloo game all for less than $20.
Miss A was starting to play hide in the racks of clothing which is the international parenting signal for “let’s get the heck out of Dodge.” I headed toward the front of the store with both girls following close behind. We approached the cashier and I glanced back and Miss C was behind me but Miss A was gone. I called out her name and started walking back toward the girls’ clothes area. I called out her name again. Still no answer and then Miss C started calling out for her. Then someone told me they saw a little girl with long brown hair near the TVs on the other side of the store so I half ran, half walked with Miss C and my heart sunk when I spotted the little girl. It wasn’t Miss A.
Now I was standing on the precipice of panic. Miss C and I circled back to the front of the store and I told the cashier I had lost my 3-year-old. A woman in line asked what Miss A looked like and said she would watch the front door while we circled the store again and the cashier made an announcement over the store intercom system for Miss A to come to the front of the store. The man checking out at the cash register made a comment about the store needing a lost child policy.
My optimistic dismissal of the situation started to disintegrate. Nothing against Goodwill, but sometimes the cast of shoppers is an interesting lot. My heart was beating rapidly. What if she was REALLY GONE? And then, thank God, Miss C spotted Miss A hiding under the racks of girls’ clothes where we’d been just minutes before, sitting and playing with her Diego toy. (Diego you’re supposed to be a helper, not an accomplice!)
On Saturday we ventured to Dick’s Sporting Goods because Miss C needed new soccer cleats. As soon as we started browsing the shoes Miss A took off through the ladies clearance section, bolting through clothes. And then my dad walked up unexpectedly to witness Miss A’s shenanigans (I had told him where we’d be but he was on the other side of town when I’d talked to him on the phone) and caught her red handed. At least I now have another witness who will vouch for me if I decide to velcro Miss A to my leg next time we’re out shopping.