We are hunting, on a quest under the table, behind the curtains, inside the fireplace. Small hands probe deep within cushions. Larger hands feel around under the sofa, behind the bed, get stuck between drawers. Yes, we’ll look downstairs, but not until my index finger is saved. Why would it have been in my underwear drawer anyway? Wait. Have you been in my underwear drawer?
I can’t read whether his smile is a sheepish yes or a you leave it open all the time and my men need somewhere to dive yes.
Let’s check our list. We’ve looked in every bedroom and bathroom. We’ve checked the living room and kitchen. We’ve dug under and inside all the furniture and cabinets in those rooms. I’m starting to wish he’d give up but his face and his “I neeeeeeed it” won’t let me.
Where is the damn toy? The blue Power Ranger? Where?
We look all day. We don’t find it. He stops asking, but I keep thinking, considering, looking.
It’s dinnertime. No more mention of the toy has occurred, yet it eats at me. Where? Where is it? Our home is not overrun with toys. It’s not exactly neat because toys are strewn everywhere, but it should be here, findable. This day will not be a fruitless adventure of searching. I won’t allow it.
The car! Is it in the car! Why haven’t we thought to check the…oh. You did? Not there?
I’m starting to check ridiculous places: pillowcases, shoes (not that far-fetched, really), closets, kitchen cabinets he can’t reach, THE ZIPLOC BOX OF SANDWICH BAGS, my purse. I have become obsessed. He, however, has moved on, with horses, army guys, and Iron Man.
Late that night, after I too have given up on the search, I turn off the light in the living room and something catches my eye, something blue. Snuggled beside a doll whose eyes won’t close and she creeps me out every time I see her, no matter what time of day it is, is the blue Power Ranger.
I almost want to wake him because look! Look what my love and patience and tireless search has wrought for you! I let him sleep because I know it’s just a toy, stop looking at me like that, but I can barely contain my excitement the next morning as I present it to him, triumphant.
Wait. Seriously? Oh, thanks?
And then he threw the thing that had consumed me for hours after he’d forgotten about it, threw it into a toy box and declared it dinosaur day, Power Rangers not allowed.
It’s OK. I’m OK, really. I’m not hurt. But for the rest of the day I strategically placed that blue Power Ranger near the dinosaurs, close to the army guys, behind Iron Man, just to mess with him.
And then, that afternoon: Mommy, have you seen the turtle with the red mask?
It’s called adventure search and I kind of like it, even though we play it every day almost. At least the characters change.