Tristan likes rattles. He just discovered them a few weeks ago, and now plays with them every chance he gets. He holds one in his hand, arm straight out, elbow stiff, and moves his arm up and down. It’s not graceful, but it’s cute, and it gets the job done. He’ll shake anything that makes a noise – rattles, tupperware, water bottles, and especially keys.

I made the mistake of letting him play with me keys a few weeks ago. They kept him entertained for a record-breaking 20 minutes. Ever since then, they’ve become the solution to any moments of fussiness. Doesn’t want to sit on the floor? Give him the keys. Doesn’t want to get his diaper changed? Keys! They work every time. The downfall to this is that whenever they’re in my hand, he’ll twist and turn and wriggle and do his darnest to get his hands on them. Which can be inconvenient, especially when I need to actually unlock something. But I usually can manage to hang onto him, the keys, and whatever else I’m carrying without any major accidents.

So on Monday, I’m coming home from our mall lunch with the other mommies, with a very fussy baby. Tristan is late for his nap, late for nursing, and has a poobum because I forgot to bring the diaper bag with me. He’s also fighting a fever and generally unhappy. But I have a bucket of ice cream with me, and he seems happy to chew on that as we struggle to get from the car to the elevator.

Here’s where the trouble begins. My keychain has an electronic fob on it, which we need to get into the building, the parkade, and the elevator (on the parking level only). So I’m balancing purse, baby, ice cream, and pulling out my keys to click the fob, and Tristan hears them jingle. Keys! Hooray!

Immediately he starts writhing in my arms to get to the keys. I yank open the heavy parkade door, stumble into the vestibule, and push the elevator button. Tristan whacks his face on the ice cream, starts to cry, remembers that he likes sucking on the containter, stops crying, and glues his face to the ice cream. Breathing a sigh of relief, I enter the elevator.

When suddenly, from nowhere, a tiny hand lashes out with ninja-like quickness. Karate CHOP! Right in the wrist. My hand spasms, the keys fall, and vanish down the crack between elevator and floor. They don’t even hit the side – just whoosh – gone.

Tristan turns his face to me with a huge grin, as if to say, did I do good? Sure sweetheart, you did great. Thanks, that was exactly what I needed.

Long story short, 1. 5 hours later, after discovering that the building manager’s key to our suite didn’t work, and discovering that all the numbers I have for our landlord have been disconnected, and driving up to the SFU to get Nathan’s keys, I finally get Tristan fed, diapered and in bed. Meanwhile, we are told that we either have to pay $300 for the elevator guys to come get the keys right away, or else wait for them to come when they have some free time, which could be weeks.

Not having $300 to toss away, I decide to wait, and good thing too. Because I finally realized that with a coat hanger and a flashlight, I could get the keys myself. Good thing, too, as I was starting to consider sending Tristan into the crawl space after them. And did I get a chance to rinse the elevator shaft germs from the keychain before he got them in his mouth? Of course not. No wonder he’s sick…


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