I know she's in there, somewhere buried underneath the rubble. I open the door and detritus explodes out. I'm shoveling through the disaster and praying she's ok. Can she breathe? Is she scared in the dark, all alone? Does she know that I'm here trying to claw my way to her freedom?
I yank a Happy Meal box full of petrified French fries from the wall of items preventing me from locating my 2-year-old. This releases some of the pressure from the disaster and things begin to cave. A sneaker kicks its way through. I spy a hand of a very small child. Oh. God. I pull the puffy arm of a winter jacket hoping this is the piece of the Jenga puzzle that will send everything cascading. The owner of the hand lets her presence be known. It is McKenna - the American Girl Doll Gymnast. At least Bela Karolyi can breathe a sigh of relief. Almost everyone is accounted for - except for MY child.
I begin to follow a trail of sunflower seeds. Some are half chewed, so at least I know she hasn't perished from starvation.
There's a squished juice box, further proving my theory. Crocs she was wearing when I last saw her. Yogurt pretzels. DVD boxes. Headphones. Jackets. Lunch boxes. Backpacks. School work. Books. Notebooks. A half eaten nugget. Pencils. Crayons. A monkey.
A warm foot is finally located. I yank it to make sure she's not asphyxiating. "Yeave me a-yone Mommy! I watchin High Schoow Musicaw!"
I breathe a sigh of relief. She is ok and has been located in her car seat in my SUV. Oh. And the dog is with her. Maybe he got all Saint Bernardy and went in after her with a nip around his collar?
I look at the pile of atrocities that I was forced to move and realize I'm no longer driving a very large vehicle. I'm driving a mobile time capsule. I can see exactly what we have been up to since I completely cleaned and emptied the car out three days ago. And, some other slightly horrifying things that I'd rather not think about as I suck them up in the shop vac.
So, no one can complain that we never do anything. If you wish to see what we've been up to, just check out the filth collecting in my car. There is also a slight chance that the Holy Grail may be located beneath the crap. I'll let you know - if I ever get to the bottom of it.
Although I'm not sure I want to.