Losin’ It

Where IS IT?! We’ve all been there- losing something and feeling powerless to find it. Children, I’ve found, are not only more prone to lose things than adults, but give up the search a LOT quicker. A cursory glance and a shoulder shrug is the most scouring you’ll muster from the majority of children. I myself was rather famous (or infamous depending on which family member you ask) for invoking the phrase, “I’ve looked everywhere, it’s gone!” to which my mama replied from another room—without looking up from what she was reading, or stopping what she was doing—“If I go into that room and find that toy, you’ll be in BIG  trouble, missy!” Well I didn’t want BIG trouble, medium trouble maybe but not big, so I would begrudgingly go back into my room and actually look for whatever it was, almost always finding it.

The reason I gave up so quickly in the first place was because it was too daunting a task to deal with in the name of whatever toy I lost. So with the kiddos I always try to “narrow down the search.” By the time they come to me for help finding something, they are usually in a state of exasperation or panic. Either way, my tactic is to sit them down and conspire to find it together using deductive, or as they interpret it, “detective,” skills of reasoning. The interrogation begins: “Well we know it’s on Earth. Have you been off the continental United States in the past 24 hours? Okay, then it’s safe to say it is in Texas? Austin? This neighborhood? This house? Upstairs? Your room or playroom, you say? Welp, let’s start there!” And so we sweep, going from room to room, Miss Cheryl always on the child’s height level, looking for the lost item. This approach is not only successful the one time with me, but helps kiddos take a deep breath and start seeing, on their own, what used to seem like an abyss as a navigable area. One query I warn strongly against: “Where did you last see it?” (Cue the rolling of eyes) I hated this question as a child, loathe it as an adult, and have stricken it from my inquiry vocabulary in mindfulness of the sanity of souls everywhere!

Nowadays unless I need whatever it is to start my car, I pray to St. Anthony, leave it to Providence to return it to me somewhere along the line, and go about my day. I’ve lost my fair share of keys in locks, coffee mugs on top of my car, sunglasses on head (or even better, on my face). So when a kiddo loses something, odds are, just like is often the case with Miss Cheryl, it’s probably not far.

3 Comments on “Losin’ It”

  1. Jen says:

    Yes, this would have been good advice for me THREE days ago… C-man’s socks were under the kitchen table and his shoes were on top of the washing machine. Not to mention he didn’t say anything until we were already late for school. Oh, and he hadn’t decided what game to take yet for game day. Good lord, drive a mom crazy. Gotta love em, I know why god made them so adorable…

  2. […] I go up there(/in there) and find it, I am not going to be thrilled…” This phrase is used when the kiddos are losin’ their belongings, and I, in turn, feel like I’m losin’ my mind! I deliver it very matter-of-factly, but the kiddos can tell by my tone they had better retrace […]

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