But somehow, each night, they have gone to sleep in their own beds after being sufficiently coaxed and cajoled. I've crashed hard and greatly enjoyed the deep sleep of any poor mother whose children are both night owls and early birds.
"That's funny Graham. But look at this!"
Maybe they will go back to sleep. Clearly I was not right in the head. So I rolled over but kept one ear open for the telltale signs of mischief in the early morning.
Beep beep beep beep BEEP. Beep beep beep beep BEEP! The next sound I heard was Joel's alarm signaling that it was time for him to get up and prepare to leave for a music festival. When he was about to leave, we walked out of our room into the hallway and saw a suspicious sight in the kitchen. The pantry cabinet doors were wide open and one lone folding chair indicated that little feet had been foraging in the kitchen. As we walked closer, we noticed that tiny, colored candies formed a trail from the pantry to the stairs.
"Can you tell me what this is?" Joel asked, pointing at a now fuzzy candy on the carpet.
"Did Mommy or Daddy tell you that you could have a treat?"
"So should you have gotten into the candy?"
"No. But Daddy, we were playing a game. Me and Graham, we were pretending that those blue treats-- the yummy white ones with the blue paper-- you know, Mommy? We were pretending that those yummy treats, the blue ones-- have you had those Daddy? We were pretending it was fudge."
We tried to be stern. We tried to make a point. Really, we did. But the mere fact that our children woke up at 5am to pretend that what turned out to be a vanilla Tootsie roll was actually chocolate fudge. No DNA test needed; these are definitely our kids.
|Graham and Cael covered in chocolate, June 2010|
After picking up the stray candies that they had left behind during their rapid escape, Cael and Graham said goodbye to Joel and headed downstairs to play while I got breakfast ready and switched out a load of laundry I'd started the night before. As I was shifting the small load of whites from the washer to the dryer, I noticed several chunks of wet, brown, what-the-heck-is-that mixed in with the clean clothes. At first I thought it was wet cardboard. There was no logical explanation for wet cardboard being in my washer, but it clearly wasn't mud, so there were few remaining options. As I touched it, it wanted to crumble, however, so I knew it wasn't the remains of a clothing tag or box that I'd mistakenly thrown in from under a pile of clothes.
As I continued to move clothes over, I found more and more of the substance at the bottom of my front-loading washer. Finally I found one perfectly preserved triangle and immediately knew that I had laundered my whites with a hearty helping of cat food, courtesy of two tiny elves that wreaked havoc on the house as Joel and I slept.
What happens in this house while I'm asleep?!?
By the time I had it all cleaned up, there was close to one cup of soggy cat food in the hand which, while worth two in the bush, amounted to little more than wasted food and another aggravation on an already questionable morning. I surveyed the upstairs and decided that Hurricane Cael-trina and Tropical Storm Graham had blown over and I headed downstairs to get them dressed for the day.
But it wasn't over.
In light of the storm, the Governer of Iowa should declare my basement a "State of Emergency". The floor was littered with candy wrappers and a multitude of items I couldn't explain or in some cases, even identify. A long wooden skewer sat tangled among the untangled remains of a woven blanket that once adorned Joel's bed in college. Perhaps Graham has decided to take up knitting.
Forget it. I'm going to back to bed.