Saturday, October 13, 2007

Ain't that a kick in the head?

Today is my regular cleaning day. I went to work and sent DD9 to the living room to pick up all of the children's stuff. When I came out of the bathroom I saw she had disobeyed me. She was in her bedroom. She was still cleaning but not where I told her to be. So I promptly got on her case a little bit about it. "Is that where I told you to go?" She said no and put a book up on the shelf. Just then the overcrowded shelf, that was teetering on falling out, did just that. Everything on 2 shelves went tumbling down. DD looked disgusted and started to pick it up. It needed straightened anyway, it had been about 6 weeks since it had last been organized. As she's going through the carnage, she pops up and says " Look what I found!!!" In her hand was the Phantom Movie Case.

Let me backtrack a little bit. About 6 weeks ago, also on our regular cleaning day, and a day that we were busily getting ready for the upcoming school year, we received an unannounced visit from one of our neighbors. We had just settled down for the night, glad to be seated at last and enjoying a movie. They live a few streets over, and had stopped to tell us that while delivering papers that morning they noticed our trunk was left open. It had started to rain so he closed it, and stopped by to make sure that we hadn't left our keys or anything in it. His kid came running in, even though we didn't know them. I made him stand on the porch and I blocked the doorway with my body-I wasn't about to allow a strange man into my house while I was alone with my children. He stayed a long time and rambled on for an hour at 9:30 at night. I kept trying to get the little girl out without being rude. I was saying things like, "your daddy's leaving now," hoping he would take the hint. He did eventually. We finished the movie and plodded off to bed.

The next day, I asked DD9 to please take the movie out of the dvd player and put it away. It was then we realized the case, which contained all of the children's favorite movies, was nowhere to be found. I did a calculation of the dollar amount lost and quickly realized the total was well over two hundred dollars. I stopped counting after that. Our tiny home had been gleaming, but we tore it apart again searching for those movies. DD9 said out of the blue" I think that little girl stole it. " I them gave her a lecture about how we shouldn't jump to conclusions and that if she had put the case away after getting out her movie, that it wouldn't have been lost. " But she was playing with it, and bragging about how much stuff she could load into her pockets and nobody would know because her shirt was so baggy. I think she stole it." she lamented. I assured her that the movies were here, ...somewhere. For 2 days we put our house back together over and over again as we looked for the movies. After looking EVERYWHERE (at least we thought) we could not find them.

Yes, I decided, maybe the little girl did take them. I told the Dc we'd pay the "neighbor" a visit. My plan was to casually stop by and in conversation ask the little girl where she may have placed our movie case after she had looked through it. I thought I would play dumb and say we just can't keep track of things. We tried to visit them on many occasions. Every time we made the walk or bike ride over, they were not home. After a few weeks we had given up. The movies were lost and this was a good lesson on when you get something out, put it away. Also, don't let strangers in the house, even little ones.

Yesterday after coming home from co-op, DD4 asked if she could watch Charlie Brown. This was a fairly new set, a present from last Christmas and one of the few movies still in it's original case- or so I thought so I gave her my permission. DD9 then pipes up, "uh-uh, she can't watch it, they were in the movie case too." I was angry all over again. New movies, favorite movies,...hundreds of dollars-gone.

So, what was lost is now found. And it was in our house the whole time. Now I have to tell you, I wasn't really surprised. Today, when DD9 found that movie case among the things that had fallen off the shelf, I immediately thought two things. 1. See, (I'm thinking first then saying out loud) we shouldn't jump to conclusions. 2. I guess we hadn't checked EVERYWHERE.

Oh, the dreaded cluttery shelf. It had looked so clean that day the neighbor stopped by that we looked right past the case, and it quickly became cluttered which had covered it up. This is yet another lesson. Don't procrastinate. I could see that shelf needed cleaning. I just wasn't "in the mood."

Ain't that a kick in the head? It was here all along.

I thank the Lord that the neighbor was never home all those times we had planned to pay them a visit. Had they been home, we may have caused hurt feelings, no matter how sugary we tried to coat the question.