Eager to help, wringing her hands, my fellow mom-at-arms looked blankly at me as she tried to recall such a child.
I sighed, "She needs a belt. She keeps flashing Hello Kitty underwear."
Instantly the mom perked up, "Oh I just saw her! She was playing over there at the water painting with my son. Five minutes ago. But oh dear, she's not there now..."
Clutching Felicity on my hip, who kept chirping, "C C! R U? CC! R U?" I struggled to catch a glimpse of Cecilia, who had disappeared in the multitudinous mass of children under the silk scarf tent at the "Big Backyard" section of the zoo. I glanced at the woeful face of the older child I had asked to "stick to your sister like glue while I chase the baby." Distraction had prevailed, and Cece had vanished.
Looking both Annemarie and Claire in the eye, I said simply, "Cecilia's gone. Find her." And they ran.
I should probably be describing a very emotional scene. I was amazingly calm. Though I mean yeah, I ran around yelling her name, attracting the attention of hundreds of nearby parents and children, and alerting the zoo authorities who were suddenly looking like they finally had something exciting and super important to do.
A girl barely out of her teens strode towards me brandishing a walkie-talkie. "Okay, I've got the description: Hello Kitty shirt..."
"NO no no, pink shirt, blue jeans, blond ponytail, Hello Kitty underwear... hey never mind that part. She has a crown painted on her face! Really, I think that's quite distinctive..."
Despite the appropriate consequences and reasonable scolding that I administered, I'm not completely confident I got my message through. Cece stills insists, "Mom, I'm not lost! Just having a great time!"
You'd probably say the same, huh Pepper?