In Mr. Pants’s most hair-raising exploit yet, he disappeared after being showered off and wrapped in a bathrobe following a long swim on our first day of vacation.
I don’t have a great explanation. He’d been swimming with Mr. Right (not yet sick) and our friends while I was in the room with Shmoogie napping. When Shmoogie woke up, I took her down to check on them in the pool and they were minutes from getting out, so we settled on a lounge chair in the moist warmth and admired the snow-dazzled peaks out the floor to ceiling windows.
From this point of calm and contentment, I happily watched Mr. Right get the boy out of the pool and out of his suit and into the shower and into one of the hotel’s kiddy bathrobes. Then, as Mr. Right was getting himself ready to go, I saw Mr. Pants slip out the door of the pool into the hallway.
Knowing no harm could come to him out there and figuring he was just checking out the surroundings, I remained blissful and stationary on my lounger.
But two minutes later, when we all headed out to go back to our room, he had VANISHED.
We split up to comb through the area, checking bathrooms and disturbing the naked tranquility of the adjacent sauna, then I started getting panicky and sent Mr. Right back to check every nook and cranny of the pool room for our boy who cannot swim, even though I KNEW I had seen him leave through the locks-behind-you-and-only-an-adult-could-open-it door.
Soon, we were both running all over the busy hotel searching for a small boy in a bathrobe just like all the other bathrobes and even though Mr. Right insisted he was NOT IN THE POOL that was obviously the image that wouldn't leave the front of my mind. Because I'm a mother. Or because I'm crazy. It might be the same thing.
In this state of not-quite-sanity I passed the very nice lady who had checked us in and began to explain to her, “Wir haben unseren Sohn in... Bade-…” I mimed incoherently, trying to get across the concept of “bathrobe” despite using all the wrong vocabulary words while she smiled sweetly and tried to help and I stammered out the all-important VERB that comes so inconveniently at the END of the sentence*, “VERLOREN!”
She still looked quite unconcerned and I went on, more sure of my vocab here, “He’s not in the swimming pool, we know that for sure, but we can’t find him,” and her expression changed and she said, “Oh! You have lost the whole SON! I thought you meant you had lost the bathrobe!” And then she turned to inform her colleagues while kindly assuring me, “We have never lost a child, they always turn up somewhere.”
“I went to find the boys,” he pouted, “but their door wouldn’t open!”
Which would be because he’d taken the elevator one floor too far and was tugging on the handle of some stranger’s locked room.
*There are ways of constructing a German sentence so the verb comes earlier, but I was on auto-pilot, obviously, and by the time I was struggling with the word for "bathrobe" I was already committed to the verb-comes-dead-last quagmire. Reminds me of my elementary school librarian's favorite book, Tikki Tikki Tembo.