There is no time for missteps in my morning. My alarm clock, a needy 10-month-old, has no snooze button. The 4-year-old can turn putting on his Elmo underpants into a three hour event. My day requires 72 bags, three lunch boxes, extra Elmo underpants, a breast pump, notebooks, yogurt bars, a camera and goggles, which are inevitably missing as we walk out the door. As I brush my teeth (a luxury, really), I think about where I'm going, who I'm seeing and plot out my outfit. I knew the dress I wanted to wear the other day. I put on the brown tights and navy shirt I wanted to layer underneath. I grabbed a slip. I packed up everything and everyone and finally, as the morning rituals were nearing completion, I stepped into my closet to put on the dress.
It wasn't there.
Naturally, I blamed my husband.
I frantically shuffled through every item of clothing - on my side and his. I knew right where the dress was supposed to be. I saw it there just recently. I'm sure I did. I know I did.
Gone, gone, gone.
And this, just days after a new sweater went missing. Really missing. Like, even-looked-in-the-freezer missing.
I don't have time for this. I don't have the patience for this. I managed to keep from cursing, still, my 4-year-old sensed my distress (the seething must have been the giveaway). So he put on his detective hat and declared that he knew what had happened to my clothes.
"Animals came in your closet in the night and took them away!"
Makes as much sense as anything. Anyone got the number for the animal police?
Meanwhile, we were now running 10 minutes late, long enough for the baby to drool through all three layers, and still I stood in nothing more than those tights and that shirt, which now, truth be told, was a little bit damp.
"You could just wear another pretty dress, Mommy," my big boy suggested.
And so I did.