It was Vicki's 11th birthday a few weeks ago, and her grandparents sent her clothes.
The problem with buying clothes for a kid who lives 800 miles away is that they aren't always the same size they were the last time you saw them.
Thankfully, Grandma included a gift receipt, so Vicki and I headed off to the nearest JC Penney (which, unfortunately, is still about 20 mins. away from our house.) We immediately found the same clothes in a bigger size, and made the exchange. Vicki stopped off in the bathroom while I waited on a bench outside, and then we stopped in Claire's to look at jewelry before heading home.
It took a good 15 minutes to get out of the parking lot and back on the freeway (FYI, local people, 6pm on a Saturday is not a good time to leave Clackamas Town Center.) About halfway home, a thought occurred to me, and I turned to Vicki and said, "Do you have the JC Penney bag?"
And she said, "No, you had it."
And she was right.
I had had it. But I didn't anymore.
So we turned around, drove back to the mall, went back to the bathroom bench where I'd set the bag next to me while I waited, and where I'm 100% sure I left it when we went to Claire's. It had been nearly an hour and it wasn't there anymore.
We checked with the nearest cashier, who called the lost & found. Nothing.
We retraced our steps through the mall, on the off chance that I'd set it down in Claire's. Nothing.
We check the lost & found ourselves. Yep, nothing.
Long story short: two days and a 45-minute drive from Clackamas to Vancouver (because the missing shirt was the last one in her size) later, I replaced the missing birthday present.
Definitely not one of my finer moments. The upside is that my daughter is an eternal optimist and not yet a teenager, so she didn't hate me, even though it was my fault. But, you know, disappointing someone like that is almost worse.
Tell me I'm not the only one who's ever done anything like this. Please?