After Cinderella left in her pumpkin coach, Lorelei suddenly noticed that one of her shoes was missing. They conducted a thorough search of the house, upstairs and down, and the front yard, but it was fruitless. Jason finally decided to just take the girls home and figured we'd get the shoe back later once it was discovered at the bottom of a toy bin or under some piece of furniture. On his way home, he started wondering if, when Cinderella left, her very voluminous skirts had somehow swept the shoe up and to another location - or that it was lodged somewhere in the folds of crinoline.
Once our two princesses were settled in for naptime, Jason and I drew on our vast knowledge of many, many, many hours of detective television shows and examined the photographs he had taken at the party. By zooming in on the background of various shots, we noticed that a photo of Cinderella reading to the party guests at 11:08 showed Lorelei's two shoes in the background, while a posed picture with her at 11:23 only showed one:
Jason recalled that the 15 minutes in question included an activity where Cinderella enlisted the help of the guests to help her retrieve her lost glass slipper. It seemed to be the most likely period when Lorelei's shoe could have gotten lost in the shuffle, and the timeline fit perfectly.
After naptime, we took the girls downtown to the newly reopened library and, as luck would have it, the library had invited a few other princesses to make the celebration extra festive, so it was pretty much Phoebe's best day ever. Even Batgirl was there, reading to a group of kids and posing for pictures.
I suddenly had an idea - maybe the world of princesses and superheroes was small enough that Batgirl would be able to tell us how to get in touch with Cinderella. I pulled Batgirl aside with the always-useful opening line "Hey, I've got a crazy question to ask you." She looked over her shoulders, then asked me to meet her in her makeshift Batgirl office so our confidential conversation would not be overheard by any bad guys. Once there, I described our case and showed her the photo evidence we had of the missing shoe. "I heard Cinderella was here at the library this morning," I said. "Do you know her?"
Batgirl looked incredulous. "That was me!" she announced. "I guess this Batgirl helmet really does disguise my identity!" Batgirl promised Lorelei that she'd relay the message to "her friend Cinderella" and, as she handed me her superhero business card, that she'd do her best to look for her shoe.
That night, I received an email with one photo attached.
Today, the shoe found its way home with a special little note tucked inside for our real-life Cinderella, who will be much more careful next time about where she leaves her shoes, at least when attending balls at other people's houses. And I've got an idea for a pretty funny kids' book!