Calculate this equation: Take a workload at the office that is ramping up for Mom and I, add some household maintenance that we’ve put off…then add a lost iTouch Friday afternoon…what do you get? Well, in our house, you naturally end up with your 3rd grader having three friends over for a sleep over because everybody knows fatigue’s best buddy is high pitched shrieking.
I don’t know about you but Friday was the first time I conducted a thorough search and find mission for an iTouch (although I’m damn sure it won’t be the last). It was also the first time said mission immediately preceded the doubling of the amount of girls in my house. I was out-numbered 7 to 1. That kind of ratio in your own house was pretty cool in college…now…not so much.
Anyhow, I pick up Rye and Bails from daycare after school – leaving Kinsey behind. Why? Well, my vehicle isn’t big enough to transport our three girls plus Kinsey’s friends. So on our way to taking Rye from daycare to an orchestra evaluation/performance we pass Mom who is on her way to pick up the band of 3rd graders. Pick-ups and drop-offs go smoothly…right up until I’m driving home with Rye after her orchestra deal.
“Hey Dad are we going to Rock Bottom to…UM DAD WHERE’S MY iTOUCH! IT WAS IN MY POCKET AND ITS NOT HERE. ITS NOT IN MY BACKPACK EITHER. OH MY GOSH, ITS GONE!”
“Whoa, whoa, whoa…stand down Captain Overreaction. Where’s the last time you remember having it?”
“In the band room at the end of the day. I had it in my hand and we left the band room and walked down the hallway to get on the bus.”
“Did you have it on the bus?”
“I DON’T KNOW! MAYBE! I CAN’T REMEMBER!”
Now she’s in full-on composure melt down. And not in the cool Gus Johnson calling Princeton’s game winning lay up versus UCLA in the ’96 tourney kinda way.
“Dude, volume control. Let’s run back to daycare, look in your cubbie and in the bus. It’s not 6:00 yet so it’s still open.”
“WHAT IF ITS NOT THERE?!”
I actually had to blink and grit my teeth because the sound wave actually moved my brain inside my skull. It was like she was trying to shout through sound proof glass.
“Seriously, I’m only about a foot and a half from you Rye. I’m 40 but I’m not deaf…yet…Anyway, if it’s not there, we’ll run to school. You guys have that weird school carnival this weekend so the school is still open and there’s probably people everywhere setting things up. We might even get lucky and rooms will still be unlocked.”
We zip back to daycare, enlist the help of the director and do a full grid search of the bus. Nothing. No evidence in or around her cubbie inside either. Although trying to find something at daycare on a Friday afternoon is like trying to get the NCAA selection committee from overseeding Kansas.
Back into the truck and we run to school. First stop the band room. Rye rushes in.
“Dad it was on this shelf. Then we walked over here and played on the piano and I put it down here…”
“This is pretty good recall Rye. I’m impressed.”
“…then…um…I can’t remember if I put it back into my coat pocket or not…maybe I left it right here?”
We give the piano and area immediately surrounding the piano a thorough examination. Absolutely no gaps in our lines. So unless the iTouch went and pulled a Peter Pan right here off of this dam like Richard Kimball…the iTouch isn’t here.
We walk down the hallway she traveled to get to the bus. Take a quick detour to check her locker and her classroom. We check the sidewalk and grass near where she got on the bus.
This iTouch has Rambo-like evasion skills. If it shows up in a mineshaft with an M-16 and a wicked cool knife…
Back into the school we make a quick left turn into the office. The lights are on and we hear voices but its just some volunteers getting ready for the carnival and they haven’t seen an iTouch.
“Well, kiddo if somebody found it and brought it to the office, the people in here would have put it away so it wasn’t sitting out during the carnival. You’ll have to check first thing Monday morning when you get here for school.”
“But what am I going to do? I have nothing to do,” says Riley with tears and whimpers.
I don’t think she was faking either. She was really, really upset. But this is a good lesson for her to take care of things that are important to her.
“Dad, do you think somebody just took it?”
“Well, maybe, there’s always some lazy freeloaders out there looking to live off hard-working Americans. I blame the hippies. But you guys do all learn the same Character Counts lessons so I’m going to think positive and believe somebody brought it to the office…but you still have to just wait until Monday.”
“I don’t think I can make it.”
I chose not to respond mostly because I couldn’t decide whether to laugh or be disgusted. So I just raised an eyebrow remained silent.
Second to last thing – I was really looking forward to going out to my favorite restaurant Friday evening and decided that I didn’t care if Mom and I had to lug along 6 girls instead of 3. But that was before the desperate but unsuccessful iTouch rescue mission.
While we’re eating, Mom takes Rye, Kinz and two of her shriekilicious friends to the bathroom. I’m sitting with Bails and the last of Kinsey’s friends. Bails is concerned about the girls letting her play with them.
“Hey Lola, you guys are going to let Bailey play with you right?”
“Yes. She can play with us for an hour.”
“But she only has five minutes left.”
“You timed it?”
“Yeah, we have a contract. Bailey signed it.”
“Yeah, I signed my whole name,” Bailey confirms.
“Wait you drew up the contract to govern the amount of time Bailey could play with you?” I ask in that all too familiar astonished yet curious albeit slightly pleased tone of voice.
“Yeah, we all signed it.”
“Wait, when did you sign it? Because Holly didn’t get here until just about the time we left for the restaurant.”
“That’s okay, we signed her name for her so it counts.”
“I think that’s only valid in union elections but whatever. You all agreed to it so I’m good.”
Last thing – We explained to Riley that we weren’t replacing the iTouch. If she wanted a new one then she’d have to earn the money and pay for it herself. Tough crappy lesson to learn but that’s the way it goes.
We felt a little guilty by Sunday night. Why? Well, not because we wouldn’t replace it but because we were kinda happy she lost it. Rye became so intent on earning cash to replace it she wanted extra chores. So we taught her to do the laundry. Mom said for every load she washes, dries, folds and puts away, she’s gets a dollar.
She did eight loads.
But then I got an email from the school secretary this morning saying that one of the teachers found the iTouch outside where the kids get on the buses and brought it into the principal’s office. Rye picked it up after school.
So we’re back to doing the laundry….