I should probably start by saying that I can finally breathe again. This fact would be deserving of a blog entry all it's own but I had some minor difficulties accessing blogger last night and have since had a full day of quality baby time. And, if the quality baby time is not why you come here, I will save you some reading now. The entire rest of this post is of no interest to anyone who doesn't want to hear about Mica.
Taking advantage of my recovery, Mica and I went shopping today for some materials that I needed for my pins. After a stop at a craft store for wire for attaching embellishments to my large shawl pins I went to Big Lots to purchase some inexpensive pliers that I wouldn't mind messing up in the torch flame while I'm bending the bronze wire for the pins.
When we arrived at the store, Miss Mica was sleeping. I carried her into the store, laid my coat in the bottom of the cart (I was only picking up a couple of things and didn't see the need to wake her) and laid her on top of my coat. She slept there sweetly for all of about a minute and a half before being awakened by a loud noise. She then sat in the cart for a while before managing to fish my keys out of my coat pocket and starting to play with them. Ever mindful of Mica's safety, I removed the mini box-cutter from my key chain and let her play with the keys. (Little did I know how much I would wish that I'd just stuffed the entire keychain into my pocket.)
While there, I can never resist wandering around and looking at all the little odds and ends they have around the store. I stopped in the baby section to look for stacking cups for Miss Mica and some onesies for a project that I want to work on...
After purchasing some Kix for Mica, my pliers, and a couple of odds and ends from the super clearance section (who can pass up $0.25 ouchless ponytail holders) I removed Mica from the cart and headed out to the car. It was then that I realized that my keys were missing. I checked my coat pocket, my jeans pocket, my bags, etc. The hatchback of my station wagon was unlocked, so I loaded the bags into the car but I couldn't really load Mica into the car that way, and we weren't going anywhere without the keys. I headed back into the store to check the cart, and try to find the keys.
I alerted the cashier to my situation and he very kindly called members of the staff to help me with the floor search. To add to my stress level, it was obvious that Mica needed a diaper change and her appreciation of the humor in our situation was waning fast. After a couple of quick calls, first an unsuccessful attempt to reach my mother in hopes that she could come to get the baby and I, then to my hubby for suggestions and moral support, we managed to devise a plan. I went back to the baby section of the store to purchase diaper change supplies, scooped a squalling baby out of the cart and wandered up to the check-out.
I explained to the guy at the check-out that my husband was on his way with the spare keys, that I needed to change the baby, and then was going to try to crawl into the car through the hatch and wait for the keys. (In addition to her diapering needs, Mica was also making it very clear that she was ready to nurse. I really did not want to whip out a breast in the store since I was already feeling really conspicuous.)
So, now we get to the part where I re-construct the disappearance of the keys. I got into the bathroom and managed to get Mica's overalls off for the diaper change just as one of the female stockers who had been involved in the great key hunt came in to find me. I was just taking stock of a suspiciously key-shaped impression on Mica's inner thigh when she coughed to get my attention. There, dangling from her fingers were my keys, which she had found on the floor near the diapers.
It would appear that after playing with my keys for a few minutes, Mica decided to stuff them into her overalls. She's very fond of stuffing things into her overalls. Wads of paper, bits of food, the things that we have found after unfastening her bibbies to change her have amazed and confounded us. It had never even occurred to me that she might have stuffed my keys down her pants.
I can only assume that when I scooped her out of the cart by the diapers, the keys became dislodged and fell out of her pantleg. Because she was crying at the time, I didn't hear the keys when they fell. The stock woman wandered into the section just after Mica and I left and took the keys up to the cash register where the cashier told her that I had taken the baby into the bathroom to change her and that she might be able to catch me.
So, in addition to "Eat", "Drink", "Milk", "Hat", and the various other baby signs that we are trying to teach Miss Mica, it looks as though we'll have to try to find something that communicates, "Mommy, I stuffed your keys in my pants."