I always like to have my kids’ uniforms and bags ready the night before. I make their lunches at night, for the following day, and it’s their responsibility to prepared their bags and make sure their uniforms are easily accessible (i.e. that they can actually find them). Number 3 is only six, so I do that stuff for him usually, but the two oldest take care of themselves. We simply do not have the time nor energy at 6:00 in the morning to be looking for pants under the bed, homework in the fridge and shoes in the shower…there’s just no time for that nonsense.
The other day, after Number 1 and Number 2 had already boarded the bus, I began to prepare Number 3’s bag. His clothes were out, jacket ready, and I still had about 15 minutes before he had to be up. But as I looked over at the area just by the front door, I realized that his shoes weren’t where they should be. I spent some time looking under the couches, under the beds, in the shoe rack. I looked in all three bedrooms, with no luck. Even though he still didn’t have to be up, I had no choice but to wake him up and ask him where they were, hoping that by some miracle he would know.
Of course, he did not. We continued to search together, all the while I’m thinking, “Am I really going to keep him home because I can’t find his shoes?” And I would answer myself, “But they’re the only shoes that fit him! He can’t very well go barefoot.” We continue to look, but with no luck. I tell him to go wash up and get dressed: at this point I decide I’ll send him in a pair of his older brother’s shoes, even if they are a bit too big.
While he’s getting ready, I say to myself, “Think outside the box! Where haven’t you looked, yet?” The balcony. No luck. I even look down at the street below, hoping NOT to discover that one of the monkeys had thrown them from the sixth floor. As I’m looking, I see something red. Sullied from being driven over, from being kicked with dirt…but red. “Is that their spiderman water shoe? Please, God, tell me that’s not the missing water shoe I’ve been looking for since yesterday.” But I can’t see well enough from this far; I’ll have to check it out later.
But I still hadn’t found Number 3’s shoes. “Think outside the box!” I repeat to myself. So I check the fridge. No luck. The freezer. And guess what?! Just kidding…no luck there either.
Now I’m thinking I’ve looked EVERYWHERE. I look around me. I have some end/coffee tables with these tiny drawers, barely big enough to fit a notebook, or some coasters. “But the shoes wouldn’t even fit in there!” I say to myself. But I was wrong! The last drawer I tug at won’t open. Something has it jammed. After some moments of my cursing and wrestling with the drawer, it finally opens, revealing the missing shoes! Someone explain to me why in the world someone would put a pair of shoes in the drawer of an end table!
Anyway…so we go down to wait for the bus. I’ve taken a plastic bag with me, in case that red item I spotted from the balcony does indeed turn out to be our missing spiderman shoe. We walk over to it, and sure enough!
I hold the bag open. “Number 3, just pick it up and put it in this bag.”
I’m trying to be as quiet as possible. I realize what this looks like: we look like we just saw something, some piece of trash, in the street, and we want it for un-explainable reasons. I know that’s what we look like, so I want to be quiet and quick. But no luck with that either!
“What, mom?! You want me to pick that up?!”
So now I have no choice but to raise my voice, too.
“Yes! That’s the shoe you threw from the balcony! Pick it up and put it in this bag!”
Someone tell me what’s so hard about that?!
He picks it up, and instead of just quickly and quietly placing it in the bag, he waves it all around, as though he’s saying, “Hey everyone, look what I just found in this trash pile on the ground!! Isn’t it cool! I’m going to take it and add it to my trash treasure!”
“STOP WAVING IT AROUND AND JUST PUT IT IN HERE!”
Yeah. So much for being discrete.