After recovering both my lost items last week, I thought I was done with losing things -- but no. This time I don't think it's my fault, but nagging doubts remain, causing me to enter obsessive-retracing-my-steps mode yet again.
I took the kids to JumpZone this afternoon for an hour to give Noel some peace to finish up his work and make dinner. While I sat and knitted, they played happily until ten minutes before time to go, when I took them to the arcade to play their beloved air hockey.
Five minutes until dinnertime -- right on schedule -- we went to the front so they could get their shoes and coats. Shoes, no problem -- but where were their coats? Archer had been wearing his black microfiber jacket, and Cady Gray her tan corduroy jacket. I was paying at the register while they were taking them off, but Cady Gray told me they'd thrown them on the bench that sits in the middle of the check-in area. Certainly I'd seen the two of them going into the play zone, and they weren't wearing their jackets, which means they took them off and left them in the 10x10-foot area between the door and the inflatables, which is lined with cubbies and hooks.
There were few people at JumpZone, so the distribution of children's shoes, backpacks, and other paraphenalia in the space was sparse. The kids' jackets were nowhere to be seen. I asked the two workers, who had been at the register overlooking the region since we arrived, whether they'd tidied them up, seeing as the items were left on the bench instead of put away. No dice. We walked around all the other paces where they might have ended up -- stools, benches, along walls, in corners. Nothing.
I'm left with the unpleasant conclusion that somebody snatched them up while leaving with their children. There seems little chance such an action could be accidental -- the jackets were hardly generic in appearance. Did some parent or grandparent really steal my children's coats on purpose?
I gave the staff my name, phone number, and a description of the coats in case they turn up or get returned. But I'm mostly questioning myself. I know they arrived with the coats, but I don't know what happened to them afterwards. Did I look everywhere I could? Why didn't I stay in near the front desk on a stool instead of going into the play area to sit on a bench? (Answer: I thought about perching on a stool, but last time I did that, my back got tired.) Is this somehow my mistake, in a way I can't quite fathom? Because I'm having a difficult time accepting that what seems to have happened, happened; it's more conceivable to my mind that I've pulled a Donna yet again.