Yet again I have proven that I am not qualified to raise a hamster, let alone be the primary caregiver for a human. Yesterday I went to the grocery store, because I am fond of eating and they have that stuff there. Since leaving her at home would be beyond even what I consider the pale, I brought the wee bean along with me.
She had just woken up from her nap prior to our departure, which was not rushed or in any other way frantic, or rather, any more frantic than any departure is with a toddler. I had geared her up in socks and shoes, fed her a container of yogee, put on her coat and we were off. The drive to the grocery store was short and pleasant. It was raining when we got there, but not hard, so I was a bit rushed as I got her out of her car seat, but again, NOT frantic. I carried her up to the store, chattering the whole way. Once in the first set of doors, I selected a cart and began to put her in it but realized there was a banana peel in the cart, so I pulled her out and put her in the cart next to it. Peel-free, of course.
We go in to the store. I immediately give her the high-lighter (don't judge) I use to mark off the stuff on my list I've gotten, to keep her occupied. I lean in and nuzzle her, giggling and talking as we make our way through the produce section. The whole time, I'm talking to her about all of the stuff I'm buying, what I'm going to do with it, the usual commentary. I work my way down the next aisle, throwing in a few cans and turn to go down the second aisle when I realize she is only wearing one shoe.
Now I get frantic.
These weren't expensive shoes but we just got them and they fit perfectly and they're her first pair of big girl shoes and they're really cute and I'll just hate myself if one goes missing. I race back down the previous aisle, looking in every crevice for the shoe. Wondering to myself how long it's been missing, but surely not long, I mean, her feet are RIGHT THERE in front of me in the cart. I had to maneuver her little feet in and out of the car seat. It MUST have come off somewhere in the store. Sophie is fond of undoing her shoes and taking them off, but I always hear the velcro and I'm sure I would have noticed. Wouldn't I? However, it's not in the first aisle, so I go back through the produce section, recreating my steps. No shoe.
I already have a fair bit of stuff in my cart and it's raining, so I decide that the shoe must be in the car. It's not like anything is going to change between now and the end of our shopping excursion. She has a sock on, so her little toes won't get cold. Fast forward 45 minutes and I pull into the checkout. What is the first thing the checker says to me? "Your daughter only has one shoe on." As in my past transgressions at this same store, I sheepishly said I knew and that it must be in my car. Once I've paid, I push the cart out to the car, all the while thinking, it must be in her seat, she took it off and I just didn't notice because her socks and her shoes are both black. Easy to miss, right?
We get to the car and I go straight to her seat. No shoe. Not in the car seat, on the seat next to it, the floorboard or anywhere else in the car. I look at the ground all around the car, peering under our car and the cars next to us. No shoe. I unload all of our groceries and head back with Sophie and the cart to the cart area to check there. I practically crawl under the carts in my attempt to locate this wayward shoe. No shoe. In defeat, I go back inside and walk shamefaced up to the Customer Service counter. Luckily, turns out the woman who checked us out was the manager and she came over to help me. After inquiring if anyone had found a darling little black maryjane, size three, with the expected negative response, I gave her my name, number and description of the shoe so they could call me if it turned up. Seriously, you'd think I lost my wedding ring, I was so despondent.
We head back home and I run through all of the possibilities. Play a little Sliding Doors in my mind. If I'd only..., she'd still have her shoe. When we get home, I get Sophie out of the car and grab one handful of groceries. I carry them both inside. I toss the groceries on the counter and take Sophie's coat off. I lift her up to put her in her high chair so she'll be contained while I bring in the rest of the groceries and that's when I spot it. Sitting on the seat of the high chair. The shoe. It had apparently come off when I removed her from the high chair following her pre-shopping snack. I contemplated calling the grocery store to tell them to call off the search, I had found the shoe, but I think I would have felt even stupider if they knew the full story.
So there you have it. I am so oblivious that I left the house with only one shoe on my daughter. In the dead of winter. In freezing rain. I came face to face with her shoeless foot on at least three occasions (not to mention the at least 6 times I probably brushed my forehead against her foot when I picked up the highlighter she dropped/threw down) before finally noticing a good ten minutes into our shopping expedition.
And we're considering having MORE children?