Mommy, the hottub eated the gobbles!
Both children shrieked as they came back into the room, damp and laughing.
I stopped what I was doing. What? How?
He was diving for the gobbles in the hottub and the hottub eated them up!
Did you tell anyone?
Their brows furrowed.
Who helped you tell someone?
You told who?
We went and told the lady in the front that the hottub eated the gobbles.
The boy chimed in to help. They got sucked into the filter. The place where the water goes in. They slipped into there and we couldn’t find them again.
The girl yelled, the gobbles got eated!
Yes, I am clear on the fate of the gobbles, I said calmly, but we might have broken this hotel’s hottub.
The babysitter loped in leanly, her hair dripping, fiddling with a silver stud in her face. Hey!
Did you see what happened to the goggles?
Oh, yeah. The hottub sucked them up.
I sighed. Did you tell the front desk?
Yeah, they said they’d look for them, and tell us if they found them.
I thought of the cheap rubber goggles clogging the filter system of the hottub in the fancy hotel.
I can check with them tomorrow, I said. Can anyone give me a hand with dinner?
Noooo! The kids screamed and ran to the back bedroom, leaving wet footprints on the maroon carpet. The sitter looked at me and shrugged, and followed the kids.
Will came in from the balcony where he was working.
Something happen? He popped an Oreo into his mouth from the open package on the counter.
Yeah, the kids said they fed a pair of their goggles into the hottub.
His eyes widened. The whole pair?
I’m guessing yeah, the whole pair.
They tell someone?
They went with Fiona to the front desk to explain. I started patting down the chops with a paper towel.
He pinched another Oreo.
Hope it’s not a massive damage fee.
That’s what I said.
How much was our security deposit?
We didn’t have one this year.
My heart sank as I thought of the alien goggles clogging the pipes of the hottub downstairs. Dammit, and I liked this hotel so much. And they liked us. They treated us like family.
The next morning I tapped the window. Sophie was at the front desk working on the calendar.
I cleared my throat. Bonjour! – juste une petite question. Did you find the water eyeglasses?
She stared at me.
The pool eyewear?
No, that wasn’t it….
The swimming lenses? My kids said the hottub ate them.
The corners or her mouth turned up. Ah, oui! We didn’t find them, but don’t worry about it.
Ne m’inquieter pas? I shouldn’t worry about it? I asked dumbly.
Sophie shrugged. Non. Don’t worry about it. We all have kids. She licked the tip of her pencil. I mean, if you really want them, we’ll look for them…
Non, non, non, I fluttered my hands around my head like I’d seen the French mothers do in the jardin back at home. No need. Merci.
Au revoir! She smiled at me warmly.
I walked up the stairs and continued to imagine the many ways that the hottub might overflow, breakdown, flood the basement. But it was out of my hands now. Come what may, and damn the cheap gobbles.