I love my kids. But there is no one in the world who will test my patience or make me question my sanity more than one of them. Well, maybe my husband, but I’ll save that for another post.
Over a year ago, my eldest took flight and moved out of the house to attend college 4 1/2 hours away. By way of attrition, my husband and I decided to play musical bedrooms with the two remaining children. Each child would get a larger room, and the move would open up the bedroom upstairs for a home office for my husband who was exclusively teleworking. Win-win, right? This was going to be no simple task, however; one does not simply switch rooms. There was new décor to plan and buy for, new paint for the walls, and then the actual move itself.
Over the course of the approximate six-month long project, however, my husband and I started….. losing things. Like all the time. Like, enough where we were questioning a possible slow carbon monoxide leak in the house or a freakish case of early onset dual Alzheimer’s. I (normally) have an elephant-like memory. Martin, eh, not so much. But birthdays, anniversaries, any past indiscretion that my husband may have ever committed (size/importance inconsequential), misplaced keys, shoes, Pink Meow, anything. I have an uncanny knack of remembering where it is placed or when it happened/is happening. Until….
Items started turning up missing: My husband’s watch. A paint brush, which moments earlier had been lying on the table ready to paint trim in my son’s room. A roll of masking tape. Silicon potholders. Lip balm set aside for a customer. My garden gloves. A pair of my earrings. The ‘J’ off of our laptop.
It wasn’t like we realized these items were missing all at once. It was a “have you seen my watch” question here, and a “who the hell moved my potholders” accusatory finger pointed there. An “I thought…” here. A “where the fuck is the ‘J’” there.
Over the course of several months our four-year old inexplicably fucked with us.
After our son was completely moved into his new room, we slowly began the task of getting Kenz moved downstairs. This proved to be a bit more tedious since we were moving down an entire flight of stairs. Or, my husband and I were just burnt out by this point and were dragging our feet. But when we finally got around to moving her double bed and two dressers down the stairs to her new room, we made an amazing discovery.
“Mackenzie, what is this,” I asked her, opening up the second to bottom drawer of the barely used dresser that was in her closet, finding a stash of missing items.
“Oh,” she replied, nonchalantly. “That’s my stealing drawer.”
“What?” We prodded a bit more while I stifled my excitement…The ‘J’ gleamed up from the bottom of the drawer like it had a small halo around it. I could give two shits about the silicon potholders, but my ‘J’?? I mean, have you ever tried typing anything with no ‘J’???
Mackenzie acted irritated that we could even question her intentions, but proceeded to explain. “You know, when I find something that I like, I take it and put it in my stealing drawer.”
Like any good parental figure, we attempted to use that moment as a learning lesson: “Mackenzie, it isn’t nice to steal. You understand that stealing is taking something that is not yours, without the other person’s permission, right? How would you like it if someone took something of yours without asking?”
Mackenzie quickly replied, “If I didn’t know about it, I wouldn’t care,” then quickly turned on heel, flipping her blond curls in my face, and sprinting out of the room.
My four-year old is a kleptomaniac with no soul.