Alright, I think I’m sufficiently removed from this to now reflect on it here. Remember several posts ago when I whined that Karma crapped on my keys? Yeah, well there’s a visual I’ll never use again.
On Friday, the kids and I were at the state fairgrounds setting up a information booth/table for the local mommies forum at an annual *huge* consignment sale. When we first got out of the van, I realized that neither of the two strollers we own was in the van! Great, so Wonder Boy will run free (never a really good thing in open unfamiliar places) while I’m trying to concentrate…perfect. Running free turned out to be the least of my concerns.
After we’d been there for quite some time, I just had to use the bathroom. So, already saddling the two mommy friends who’d joined me for set-up with hawk-duty for The Girl and Boy Genius while I relieved myself, I decided it best to take Wonder Boy with me. Inside the stall, while I was taking care of business, he started touching everything, and it was sending me into germophob mode. So, quite proud of myself in my ability to distract him with nice shining objects, I pulled my car keys out of my jacket pocket and enticed him away from the garbage can with them. He jingled them and scratched the wall with them and mimicked me reading his name on one of the key chains (i.e., there’s a remote key box and ring for the van connected to a separate key ring with Churchhill Downs/his name on opposite sides that Bryan brought home from a business trip last year). He seemed to be having quite the time, and I was pleased he wasn’t crawling on the nasty floor or “kissing” the stall walls!
Then, the unthinkable happened…I rose up from my seated position, pushed the handle to flush the toilet and proceeded to pull my pants up when NOOOOOOOOO! In what replays in my mind’s eye in slow motion lasting several minutes but in reality was a “split-second,” Wonder Boy threw the keys into the spiraling, flushing, emptying toilet bowl. The keys were gone. Just gone. Not stuck in the hole at the bottom of the bowl. Not clogging the drain. Just gone. Panic struck! I am at the state fairgrounds with 3 kids, maybe 1 diaper, and NO CAR KEYS! I left the bathroom in a fuzzy haze, walked up to one of my mommy friends and said in utter disbelief “[Wonder Boy] just flushed my keys down the toilet. What do I do?” With great concern, and no apparent sign of the undoubted humor she saw in the situation, my friend said “Call your husband.” Oh my! Bryan works a good 30 minutes away, not to mention that he’d first have to go home and *find* the spare key to the van to bring to me…. After several failed attempts, I reached Bryan (by begging his secretary to go interrupt a meeting for my little emergency!). He had to go back into his meeting and announce to everyone that it would need to be re-scheduled (how embarrassing! I wonder if he told them why!). Once he was in his car and headed home, he called me back just to ask “So, how exactly did this happen? I’m trying to understand.” There was a definite tinge of laughter in his voice. Oh, this is funny, is it???
In the meantime, we checked with some of the organizers of the consignment sale and, though the maintenance people had already left for the day, one of the security guards offered to try to “fish” the keys out with a coat hanger. We waited with baited breath, hoping that my big bulky keys (I kept saying this over and over again) hadn’t actually “cleared the hump” in the drain of the toilet. Surely my big bulky keys had gotten hung up near our end of the drain and, perhaps with some wrangling with a coat hanger, could be yanked out. But no. He pulled that coat hanger out of the drain and there was nothing. Nada. Nil. Zilch. They’re gone. Fortunately, I have some really wonderful mommy friends who waited with me and the kids until just before Bryan arrived (thanks so much gals!). But as one of them so poignantly discussed on our mommies forum and on Facebook, apparently toddlers + keys + industrial strength toilets just don’t mix!