Apr 17, 2008


I put Kohl's on lock-down.

And that's not easy to do.

But my child went missing. And thankfully, that is something Kohl's takes most seriously.

So after I rushed to an employee with not one ounce of blood in my face and a dry sweat pouring down my forehead they reassured me everything would be fine.

They talked to me calmly and asked me sweet things like, "what color bow is she wearing?" (They must have heard that she wears bows all day every day. People talk, ya know.) They asked about her dress and how old she was. They asked her name and how to spell it, which meant I had to go into the whole "I wanted to spell it R-h-e-m-y but my husband said it looked to froo-froo and he wanted R-e-m-i, but then he had pretty much let me have my way on the R-h-e-m-y until we found a rocking chair at USA Baby with her name already written on it but it said R-e-m-i and they said they would give it to us at cost - which is a crazy good deal - since it was a floor model. Which meant that once we bought that chair it would forever be R-e-m-i and now I am really happy we went with that..." Oh shut-up Melissa and find your child.

Then after talking to me so sweetly and so calmly they went out over the loudspeaker and all I heard was, "We are on lock-down at your neighborhood Kohl's. No one in our out. We are looking for Remi who is wearing a blue and pink dress. Thank you." But I heard, "This is CNN and we are filming live at the Spring Hill Kohl's where the most beautiful child in the world has gone missing because her mother just had to try on one more pair of flip-flops."

And here's the solidarity of anyone who has ever given birth. As soon as we went on lock-down, six other mothers whom I have never seen nor probably will ever see again all started walking around yelling, "Remi! Remi!" I love being in this club. P.S. I give you full permission to find her when she's lost and spank her if she talks back.

Then I found her. Somehow she made it from the flip-flop section all the way to the far right, back corner. Last aisle. How she made it to the - you guessed it - toy section in 1.3 seconds I'll never know. But she did. And there she sat, big blue bow, little blue and pink dress, and all the innocence in the world. Playing with toys.

I wiped the torrent of sweat from my brow, leaned against the wall and sighed. Deeply. The sweet mothers who had stormed the gate of child protection with me now looked at me in disgust, as if to say, "Really? The toy section? You couldn't have checked here first?" The loudspeaker came on and said "We have found Remi. Thank you shoppers. You are now free to go in and out of your neighborhood Kohl's." But they might as well have said, "This is Matt Lauer. Only moments ago this schmuck lost her 2 year old and actually thought she would find her in the dishware section. But all of us who have years of parenting experience knew she was in the toys all along. This was a test for this new mom. She failed. Back to you Meridith."

I didn't care. I had Remi Hope. And as I picked her up in my arms it seemed like a movie. Except that in the movies the child doesn't scream and kick and yell "Down momma, put down momma!" Well, maybe they do - in like, Children of the Corn 2, but I never saw that. But in this movie we walked out of the store together. No one hurt. No one missing. Just mom and Remi. And a bright colored pair of brand-new flip-flops because if I'm going to tell the story to the AG adequately then I need to use some visuals.


Ashley said...

OH WOW! Just priceless... that was frightening and funny all at the same time. CNN...Matt Lauer... Meredith... BAAAHHHHAAA

Lisa said...

We lost Andy at Seaworld for 37 minutes when he was 6 and I have to give you kudos for keeping a level head. I sat on the ground crying and praying and acting like an insane person. The whole TV headline thing did play out in my brain too, though. Maybe we should quit watching TV until our kids are married with kids of their own. :)