Then the kicks.
Every clumsy step from our confused little man upped the emotional ante: one left footed step seemed to knock it backwards, almost off the grate. The next seemed to turn it so that it wouldn't fit, and we might be able to snag it. Hope crept into our tantrum-dreading hearts, for just one moment.
And then, it was gone.
Down the grate. Gone for good. Not coming back. The tears began shortly thereafter, along with the consolation, the explanation, the bemused wonderment at the fact that the lost had been of the fancy variety ($8), and finally the resigned "That's why we have to be careful..."
And then we started laughing. For the next five minutes, Shannon delivered pieces of a eulogy for a toy car that Isaac had named "Rod Bluecar" (he was, coincidentally enough, a blue car). I gleefully restrained myself to silent, shaking laughs as Shannon held and consoled our crying child.
Eventually, we promised a new car would come soon, and continued with the Detroit Zoo's Polar Bear exhibit. Isaac actually accepted it pretty quickly, and even got into the Alpacas on the way out of the zoo. Pretty good little dude, all in all.
The offending grate will forever wait for unwary toddlers just outside the "Ice Wall" room. And I will probably go into hysterics every time.
In Loving Memory: Rod Bluecar (2012-2012)