Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Hide and Seek - in real life.

Early one morning not very long ago (as in yesterday), the Mommy's alarm rudely went off. Depressingly, it does this nearly every single day, but on this particular morning, the Mommy turned it off, and managed to roll over her giant tummy where she propped herself up on her elbows in preparation for the next step of getting up (the getting out of bed part). Anyway, once she was propped up on her elbows, she promptly fell back asleep with her chin in her two hands. (According to the Daddy, she spends quite a lot of time sleeping like this, but that isn't part of the story.) When she woke up again, she was 25 minutes behind schedule and so the day began in a frantic rush.

While the Mommy hurriedly filled breakfast orders, and packed school lunches, she was hollering at her brood of slow-moving, half-awake children to pick up the pace in order to get back on track. First Dolly emerged into the blinding light of the living room and without hesitation took up residence on the couch with the nearest blanket. Then PC joined her (at least out of his pajamas, but not quite in his clothes for the day). Next Ricka announced she had been abandoned and Dolly was assigned 'rescue duty' (which is really just getting Ricka out of her crib). So Ricka and her 'blan-keet' (that must accompany her everywhere) joined the crew on the couch.

This is about when Emma snugly rolled over on the top bunk bed and pulled the blankets up a little higher and Butler staggered out of his room and to the (now getting crowded) couch. Some bickering and squealing ensued, but the mommy had some breakfasts ready by this time and called various ones to come and eat. At this house, there is only time for school children to eat breakfast before it's time to race to school. Still no sign of Emma in spite of the repetitive summons. She is nearly dragged out of bed with much scolding and marched to the dining room table amid constant protesting. "I don't want to go to school! I don't want to eat breakfast. Can I stay home today? I'm cold! Can I got get a sweater? I'm tired. Can I go back to bed?" etc. etc. The protests are ignored. Breakfast was supposed to be over 3 minutes ago which means time had been made up, but they were still 15 minutes behind schedule.

Breakfast is rushed through, the children are sent to get into school uniforms while the Mommy works on packing the last of the lunches, pausing every few seconds to holler at someone to leave someone else alone, or to hurry up, meanwhile she forgot to include a fork for PC. (He reminded her when he got home from school and explained his untouched lunch - but that isn't part of the story either). Finally the lunches are finished, the backpacks are filled and the Mommy dashes to her room to get dressed in the few seconds everyone seems to be possibly cooperating.

Ricka screams at someone. Emma laughs (which means Ricka was screaming at Emma). The Mommy sticks her head out of her room and calls the girls to the hair-doing counter in her bathroom. They need to be called again. At last! The children are fed, dressed, packed and groomed. The older three rush to the car where half of them fight over who unlocks the door, who gets in the car first last or in some other place order and who is or isn't the boss and has the final say meanwhile, while the rest of them scatter about the house. The Mommy finds Ricka in nothing but her diaper. After throwing some clothes on Ricka, and digging Butler out of the toy box, she loads them into the car. By this time the other three have figured out how to get into the van. They race off to school still nearly 10 minutes behind schedule, but make it through the doors without needing to sign in at the school office.

Back home again to pick up the Daddy. The Mommy runs inside to get his lunch and look for Ricka's blanket - somehow they'd made the trip to school without it and Ricka is letting this tragedy be known. The blanket isn't in sight and there's no time to turn the house upside down to find it. Besides, the Daddy was ready and they shuttle him to the skytrain. Home again and able to stop and breathe, the Mommy and the littles, build the fire, look for the 'blan-keet' (to no avail) and then stop to eat breakfast after diapers are changed and pajamas are traded for regular clothes.

All during chore time/ play time the blanket is forgotten. It isn't remembered until almost lunch time when Ricka was getting very very fussy. The Mommy thought the fussiness was mostly because it was lunch time and little people get hungry and fussy just before meals are ready to eat. She made lunch and then looked again for the blanket while Butler and Ricka ate.

Now the missing blanket problem was starting to get serious. Soon they would have to go pick the older children up from school, and the afternoon trip to school is when Ricka always begins her afternoon nap. The Mommy started looking everywhere. At first mostly in the obvious places like underneath the couch that the blanket was last seen on, in the beds or on the bedroom floors. But then, when the blanket was not turning up, she started looking elsewhere. In all Ricka's favorite play areas like the Mommy's bed (maybe it fell underneath the headboard? No.), or the big cupboard in the empty old dining hutch, and of course she checked the big cardboard play boxes that came home from Costco with last month's groceries. But no blanket in sight and time was running out. Each sweep through the house got more and more detailed, but the blanket wasn't in the dryer, or the bathtubs or the library book laundry basket. It wasn't in the doghouse, or under the Mommy's bed and it was not in any of the bathroom cupboards or drawers (one of Ricka's favorite forbidden places to play).

They had to leave for school without the blanket and Ricka cried inconsolably all the way. She fell asleep just a couple minutes away from the school and there was peace until school was out and the older children noisily piled into the van. The trip home was more bearable - there were more distractions, but when they got home and it was time for Butler and Ricka to go for naps, the wailing resumed. Nobody seemed to know where the blanket had gone. PC and Dolly helped look, but it wasn't in the pantry, or the bird room it wasn't underneath the school desk. There was no blanket under the other beds, no blanket behind the couches, it wasn't in the kitchen cupboards or even in the refrigerator. Ricka would have to nap without her blanket. Instead, she wailed.

Butler went to sleep, PC went down for a nap, Dolly rested on the couch and Emma went down for her nap (in the same room with weeping Ricka). Emma wasn't planning on napping. She found it much more entertaining to converse with Ricka and eventually the Mommy joined them to enforce the rules. As long as the Mommy stroked Ricka's shoulder, Ricka would quiet down - she really was exhausted. And Ricka slept. Fitfully, and with little whimpers, but she slept. Eventually Emma fell asleep too, and the Mommy tip-toed out of the room just 10 minutes before 'nap time' was officially over.

The search resumed once all the children were up from naps, but there were chores to be done, homework to be done, and dinner to be made. Still no blanket turned up and it was still missing by the time they left to pick the Daddy up from the skytrain. While the children were supposed to be getting ready for bed the Daddy and Mommy searched for the blanket and then in a last hopeless attempt, the mommy emptied the shoe box. She'd looked underneath it and behind it earlier in the day, and even glanced inside a few times, but other than noting that it looked like the shoes were where they belonged for a change (in the box instead of in front of the box) that was as far as she'd gotten.

The blanket was in the shoe box. Carefully and completely out of sight close to the bottom, deep inside. The Mommy was relieved, Ricka was ecstatic, and eventually all of the children were finally ready for bed. Then the Mommy asked the children who had put Ricka's blanket in the shoe box, for Ricka wouldn't have buried it like that, and she most definitely would have known where to retrieve it from. Dolly didn't know. Butler didn't know. PC had no idea. And Emma matter-of-factly admitted to confiscating and hiding the blanket before leaving for school that morning. The reason? Because Ricka had been mad at her (remember the screaming the Mommy heard while she got dressed that morning?). Yeah. And apparently, Emma 'just forgot' about it while everyone else was frantically searching for the blanket all afternoon.

So the children were sent to bed (Ricka with her 'blan-keet' and a huge, adoring grin) and the bedtime circus began. But at least it didn't include a wailing 18mo. old suffering from a blanket addiction withdrawal.

The End.


  1. Oh--I seriously dislike hide and seek games like that! We have the same issue with pacifiers. I'm so glad that you found it!

  2. Great story! You had me guessing who did it! A. Kathy