I’m not great at scheduled posts. I know I should be. It would make my life so much easier. But so much of the good material happens in real-time with real life events. Like today for example. I spent the last hour of my very limited alone pre-school hours looking for a lost running shoe. MY lost running shoe. And I’ll give you one guess who took it.
For those of you who were around for the infamous shoe hiding of the Dallas Marathon a couple of years ago, not much has changed. She’s just two years older. For the love.
For those who weren’t, here’s a quick recap.
Two years ago I had trained my butt off using the Hanson’s Method, which is an extremely high mileage and TIME SUCKING training plan. I had NEVER in my life run that much. 6 days a week topping out at 60+ mile weeks, which is a lot for your average joe runner. Ahem……me. During that time I was also studying to get my personal trainer certification, so you could say my entire world was running and fitness…..and shoes. I needed a lot of shoes.
The week of the race I was getting ready for a short little shakeout run and couldn’t find one of my running shoes. The ONLY shoes I had used to train in. My go to’s. I had gone through 3 pairs just training for this race, so you could say I was accustomed to this particular shoe. Rob and the boys helped me tear the house apart, looking for my one lost love. No luck. I just assumed I had misplaced it or picked it up and put it somewhere by accident, which is an embarassingly common occurence for me. The day before the race I finally broke down and drove to the local running store, explaining my current predicament to the sales associate, who had run about 2 million marathons in his lifetime. His high school track shoes are framed in the storefront. So there ya go. He knows his shiz.
I told him I lost a shoe and that I had a marathon to run….like tomorrow. He looked at me like I had 3 heads. I expected him to say how many thousands of times this has happened to him or people he knew, and how they fared just fine on race day. He basically did the opposite. He sold me my shoes, patted me on the back as if to say good luck sucker, and I went on my way. He told me to walk a lot in the shoes that day. Great, thanks. Who are we kidding, it was like 2 in the afternoon, so time was not on my side.
Race day was a disaster. Blisters and a quad cramps by mile 8.(which I just blame on the shoe fiasco because it’s easiest. And who gets cramps on mile 8 after running ten million miles to prepare for this race??) I was in tears and coming completely unhinged by mile 14. It wasn’t my best show.
About a month(yes…an entire 4 weeks) later I was in my room when I heard, “um. Hey MOOOOOOOOOM!! You may want to come take a look at this!!!!” and there it was, my shoe, in all her glory at the back of the Tupperware cabinet in the kitchen. At the VERY back where it could only be spotted with a flashlight or a kid in desperate need of a bowl to put his goldfish and peanut butter in. My kids would die a slow death just for goldfish and peanut butter. It’s ridiculous. Especially to the one who cleans that dang blasted peanut butter cement off the bowls. Me.
I had opened this very same cabinet and searched 5 weeks before, but clearly I didn’t look hard enough. So, we came up with one word…….
She was the only logical explanation, the only one to blame. The boys were the ones who found it and they would have never done anything like that. They have their crazy but hiding crap is not their thing. Leaving pee on the seat? That fits. But this, this could only be the work of a professional. A feisty little two-year old who is now known in our house as the one who did it. Always. If something has gone missing, ask Lila. Or better yet, don’t ask her. Not if you have any hope of finding it. Whatever IT is. She thrives on your discomfort and panic. The more desperate you get, the more satisfaction she receives. It’s sick really. How are we raising such a maniac anyway?
And in the two years since the disappearing shoe, we’ve had so many things wander off it isn’t even funny. Phones, water bottles, keys(oh the keys!!!!!!!!!), jewelry, toothbrushes, toothpaste, picture frames, stuffed animals that don’t belong to her, mouth guards, phone chargers, and the list goes on and on. And I’m not making one thing up. It’s our reality.
Yesterday I was getting ready for a run and low and behold, I was missing one shoe(it was entirely my fault for leaving them out in the open). I turned the house upside down, and in the process I located a rotting and molded pumpkin that had landed behind the big giant not molded pumpkins on the fire place, but still…no shoe. I did however scrub mold and pumpkin stank off my fireplace for an entire hour.
I finally decided Lila had taken it and I needed to think like her. So, I started opening every cabinet in my kitchen……and there she was.
This was after I tore my closet apart and pulled out almost all of my hair.
I wonder what goes on in her little head. I mean is it just, “hey, I think I’ll take mom’s shoe, chunk it full force into a cabinet, slam the doors and run off, as if nothing at all has happened, just to make her squirm?” What could she possibly be thinking?
I’ve learned a few things about dealing with the one who did it, because once all your stuff gets hidden and tossed in cabinets, you learn a thing or two. You get smarter. Maybe you have a kid in your house who is seriously ALWAYS to blame, and you need to know that you are not in fact losing your mind, you are not insane, and you my dear friend are not alone. If you have your very own Lila, here are a few tips.
Don’t show your panic
If you show your cards, they are sure to go in the opposite direction of helpful. If Lila knows I’m late or rushing or panicking over something that is “lost,” she’ll do her very best to drive me into further madness. She gets a little rude and ornery. She thrives on watching us squirm. So, the best approach is to say, “Oh man! I seem to have misplaced my shoe. Hey Lila, do you want to play a game to help mommy find her shoe?!?!?!” This works every time. It does however totally avoid making her pay, but sometimes you do what you have to do to get out of the house alive.
Understand what’s appropriate for the age
When this first started happening and Lila would tell us she didn’t do it, she was 2. Lying wasn’t really a concept she could grasp, but we talked about it anyway. These days however, things are a little different. Lying is still a very hard thing to teach a kid about, because there are so many times when they claim to be telling the truth and you have no way of knowing what’s true and what isn’t. So, when Josh’s mouth guards go missing for an entire season and they are magically discovered months later, one can only assume they were hidden. And it’s been months, so trusting the 4-year-old to recount the events is a little out there. She’s smart, so there is a lot she knows, and we do our best to judge when she does in fact know that she did something and is not telling the truth, and discipline accordingly, but it’s hard ya’ll!!! So, we just have to take it one thing at a time and try to make a judgement call based on the situation at hand.
Think like a saboteur
If something is lost, think like the one who took it. If I look in places only I would take it, I probably won’t find it. So, I have to think like Lila. Open cabinets, chests, drawers, trunks, look in flower pots, the refrigerator, pantry shelves, or inside the extra luggage in the closet under the stairs. All places I’d never go, but that Lila seems to find as only a Lila can.
Be patient, this too shall pass
I’m saying this in hopes that this stage does in fact pass. The boys always went in and out of stages. About the time my hair started to turn gray, they’d move onto something else. I pray to God this is the same. Although, Josh hit a penguin stage at the age of two and he’s still very much obsessed. And he’s 8. So here’s to hoping and praying that Lila stops hiding our stuff. We’d all very much love to see her enter elementary school next year.
Our little houdini keeps life interesting and fun and hilarious. She may drive us absolutely insane at times but I’m honestly not sure what we would do without her. She’s funny and quirky and gives Punky Brewster a legit run for her money. She hides stuff. So what. I pray that is the least of our worries as she grows up, although I’m not naive enough to believe it will be. So, we’re going to enjoy our girl with all her personality and spunk. Because before we know it, she’ll be big.
So what about you? Do you have a kid who hides stuff? What annoying habits do your kids have? Come on now, sharing is caring.