Evie’s toothbrush is one of the most hard-to-keep-track-of items in the house.
Every evening, I give her a bath, so I can wash the dinner out of her hair. Then I wrap her in her towel, lay her in my lap, and brush her wee teeth. When I’m done, she gets a turn while I put a clean diaper on her. I usually take it from her when I pull her shirt over her head, but sometimes, she likes to keep it a bit longer. Dental hygiene is really important, you know? But Evie has a bad habit of just leaving things wherever she was when she got distracted, and so her toothbrush ends up in a lot of odd places.
The other night, as I pulled her out of the tub, I called out, “Has anybody seen Evie’s toothbrush?”
“I have!” Brenna returned, arriving a moment later to hand it to me. “It was under your desk.”
Unfortunately, by then, I had already left the bathroom. I put the toothbrush in my pocket for safekeeping until we got back to the sink, and I continued to dress Evie for bed.
After that, I had some chores to do, so I left the baby in the care of her sister and went outside to take care of my share of the poultry. I grabbed my ipod in case of nice photo opportunities, and as I reached to slip it into my pocket, I encountered the toothbrush. Not needing the toothbrush in the field, I set it on the window sill behind the chairs on the porch. I’ll grab that on the way back in, I thought to myself.
Then I got down to the work of feeding the chickens and the steer and getting everybody put to bed for the night. There’s always something to think about out there: Are they getting enough feed? Too much? Will they be safe from predators for the night? Will the water last till morning? Is it going to rain? Will this be the day Chuck just walks over the fence, or will it hold him another night? Will this crate last the rest of the summer, or will it need repairs before then? What is the dog doing over there in that patch of weeds? How much longer till these chickens are ready for harvest? Are Meggie’s growing as well?
The toothbrush got pushed from my mind.
Four days later, I was still looking for it. I asked several times a day, “Has anybody seen Evie’s toothbrush? It’s got to be here somewhere!” And for the life of me, I could not remember where it was, though there was this vague, niggling thought way in the darkest, dustiest corner of my brain that I should know.
Last night, as I finished up my part of the chores, Meggie passed me on the way to do hers. “Hey!” she called. “Evie’s toothbrush is on the porch behind the red chair!”
“Of course it is!” I called back. Because that’s right where I put it.