Something tragic happened today. Someone took Alice's Ariel book.
This is how it went down. After canceling our zoo plans on account of the rain, we decided to go to Storyville. For those of you not in the know, Storyville is this amazing play space, complete with 8 different themed rooms, inside of the public library. And it's free. It's really great, except on rainy days when school is not in session. Which, coincidentally, today turned out to be. When you don't have a school aged child you forget about things like summer break. Since they only allow a certain amount of people in at a time, we had to wait. They even give you the light up buzzer thing to notify you when it's your turn.
While we waited we visited the libary, which was also ridiculously crowded. Note to self: Get your shit together and get out of the house earlier if you don't like waiting with swarms of loud screaming crying children or stay home and just listen to one loud screaming crying child. Even though I wasn't looking to check out any books, Alice's friends were allowed to and I'm not ready to be horrible mean mommy out in public yet, so I let Alice pick out a few. Her picks were a children's baking cookbook, Tinkerbell, Fancy Nancy, Strega Nona Takes a Vacation, The Story of Darth Vader, Snow Dog Marley, and The Little Mermaid.
When our light up vibrating thingamajig went off, we checked out the books and headed into Storyville. I put our books in the coat and bag room. Knowing that princess books are a high commodity, I put Ariel to the bottom of the stack and put boring Marley on the top. This was my best effort at deterring theft.
Apparently I shouldn't be left to guard prized jewels, because my theft deterrence system failed. When it was time to leave Storyville, we went to gather our things when I noticed the Marley book was no longer on top. It didn't take Alice long to realize Ariel was no longer in the stack.
Commence full hysterics.
"Someone took ARIEEELLL!! Mama, someone took my book. Who took my book? Mama, I WANT ARIEL!"
"I know, Alice. I'm sorry someone took the book you picked. I'm sure they didn't know you had already picked that book. Come on. We already checked it out, we need to go let the libarian know what happened."
"Then we'll get my book back, right Mama? Cause I picked Ariel first. It's mine, Mama. Are you going to tell them it's mine?"
Ignoring Alice, I needed to deal with a bigger matter. I didn't want to be responsible for a book I didn't have. After settling the issue with the librarian, I held Alice's hand and walked her to the door. That's when it hit her. He mother, the person she trusted the most, was going to walk out of the library without locating the book in question. She stopped in her tracks and started sobbing. Scream sobbing.
"But Mama! WE CAN'T LEAVE WITHOUT ARIEL!! No Mama! Go get her! GO GET HER MAMA! I picked Ariel! She's mine. Tell them to give the book back to me MAMA!"
I tried to explain that I didn't know who took the book, therefore I had no way of getting it back. She wasn't listening, she couldn't hear me over the sounds of her overly dramatic crying. Holding her hand we left the library sans Ariel. On the ride home, Alice continued to grumble under her breath. At one point I heard her say she should have picked Snow White instead of Ariel. I suppose in the preschooler crowd dimwitted Snow White is not as desirable as flirty Ariel, ergo less likely to be stolen. I'm glad she picked Ariel. One less princess book I have to read over the next three weeks.
The moral of the story, eh, there's no moral. Theft happens. Move on. That's what I did when someone stole my jogging stroller 373 days ago. I certainly haven't thought about it every day since then. I've moved on. I'm sure Alice will, too.