We last left our heroes in Books-A-Million with successful pooer, Bean. Bean and Cakes hugged their "Potty Prizes" close as we walked to the register to pay. After we loaded the children into their car seats, I opened their toys so that they would have some distraction on the 30-minute ride home. Then Big Daddy said the words that every wife hates to hear: "Do you have the keys?"
Pause. "No. Don't you have them?"
Now, Big Daddy is notorious for getting me all worked up about the keys and then whipping them out of his pocket and laughing at my panic. So, I repeated, "Don't you have them?"
"No! I gave them to you!"
"You gave me your phone and your wallet. You didn't give me the keys. If you gave me the keys, I would have the keys."
It was decided that I would sit in the car with the girls while Big Daddy retraced his steps (men's room, cafe, drum magazine section, home improvement section, kid's section). He came out of the store about ten minutes later looking rather dejected. No keys.
The next step was to tear the car apart, just in case he set the keys down somewhere while getting Bean out of her car seat (an oft-occurring scenario). We went over that car with a fine-toothed comb. No keys.
The next step was to take the cherubs, who were getting a little rammy at that point, back to the Thomas the Train table. I thoroughly searched the store while Big Daddy watched the girls. I searched everywhere. I even searched the men's room. And I got some strange looks. No keys. I dug through garbage cans. Again, I got some strange looks. No keys. I crawled down each aisle of the store, looking under the shelving. More strange looks. No keys. We talked to the manager, who made an announcement over the loudspeaker. The wonderful Southerners who were already shopping joined in the search, regaling us with stories of their own key-misplacements. Three hours later, no keys.
We finally admitted defeat. Big Daddy called Uncle Matt and Aunt Tracy. They came to pick us up. In their compact car. With a donut on it. A flat donut. A donut with 5 pounds of air pressure in it instead of the recommended 60 pounds of air pressure. A compact car that seated five people. Did I mention their were six of us? And two car seats? And "Potty Prizes"?
After a harrowing drive, filled with the gentle sleeping breath of one child and the hysterical screams of the other, we made it home.
I started making calls to dealerships and tow companies, finding out how we were going to get a new set of keys (the spare set disappeared sometime during our move this past March, so the set that was swallowed by Books-A-Million was our only one) and how long it would take and how much it would cost. Let's just say that it would be a lot of hassle, a long wait, and a load of money.
We hadn't heard back from Books-A-Million, with whom we had left every possible way of contacting us, so we assumed the keys were gone for good. But, just before I spent hundreds of dollars and hours of my life getting new keys made, I thought I'd give them a call. Just in case.
They had the keys!!!! Where did they find them? I don't know. When did they find them? I don't know. Will Big Daddy ever use my keys again? I think we all know the answer to that ...
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