Years ago my sister glanced across her living room to see my niece toddle over to a small metal table, lift a cap off one of the legs, deposit Kate's keys into the hollow tube, and thoughtfully replace the cap. Had Kate not been looking, those keys could have been missing until the table was hauled to Goodwill a decade later.
My mother-in-law says we always have something new going on. With some things-- Kolbe's funny quips or Ainsley's emerging speech -- new is entertaining; new keeps us laughing. But with other things--I'm thinking of toasted cell phones and broken arms--new yes, fun no.
We do our level best to keep the not so pleasant New from involving permanent damage to life or property. I remember scouring the house just before John made his debut taking mental note of items that would need to beat a hasty retreat before he became mobile.
The list was long.
We had marbles and magnets, 144 piece erector sets and Snap Circuits. We couldn't overlook the veritable sea of Legos. As John began to crawl, the top of the fridge became the repository for all things verboten--gum and marbles, finger paints and random dice, glitter and Easter candy. There we ensconced the granddaddy of all off limits items - the permanent markers.
Over time John proved far more enterprising than his older brothers. Soon the top of the fridge was overflowing. After a while I wondered if I could get away with stowing Ainsley up there, and I lamented the fact that the nice couch wouldn't quite fit.
Now we have Ainsley on the move. As I was emptying the trash the other day, there amidst the diapers and the coffee grounds, I spotted her shirt, onesie, and pants. Okay.
This morning Dave''s wallet went missing. I discovered this because I needed $5.00 cash. It is one of Dave's ongoing crosses to bear that I never have cash. After hitting up the older boys with no luck, I scouted out Dave's wallet and instead spotted Ainsley carrying his pager, watch, Chapstick, and rosary. Dave, the man who never leaves anything out of place, had emptied his pockets on the living room end table. Ainsey spotted the stash. Treasure!
A quick run through the house turned up all items except for the wallet. The search was on. We dug under cushions. We pulled back ugly couch. I searched the trash. I peered into vents. I sorted all the toys.
All of this brought up a little PTSD stemming from a fruitless and highly frustrating search way back when. I was determined not to repeat the error of my ways.
Dave couldn't go to work without his driver's license. I was hosting a meeting with six women. I had planned to blitz the bathroom and run the vacuum before their arrival, but instead spent every spare second pulling the house apart. Despite all this, we remained calm.
Hours into the search Dave asked a key question. Did I actually see Ainsley with the wallet? Hmmmm. I had seen her with all the other paraphernalia. We checked Dave's coat, his dresser, and the clothes he had worn yesterday.
And found the wallet.
We apologized to Ainsley for besmirching her good name. Sticky fingers ran off to have fun (probably involving her brother's science fair project or my purse).
Innocent until proven guilty, no matter how long her rap sheet is.