Friday, April 23, 2010

With great power comes great responsibility.

In our family, I am the designated "looker". If something is missing, and anyone else "can't find it", I am the one who then looks for it. And usually I find it, thanks to my near photographic memory for where things are.


Random tools of Aaron's. Doll pieces of Leah's. A certain car of Ben's. Doesn't matter what it is or if I am even remotely interested in it myself - it doesn't take me long to locate the hiding object.

(Which is why it drives me craaazy when things really go missing. Like for instance, 2/3 of the pegs for the game Trouble in the Bubble. My theory is, if you lose one piece, the rest is sometimes rendered unusable - you may as well throw it out. But don't despair! All the Bubble pegs have been found - most were hiding in with the blocks. Anyway.)

Of course, if anyone else in the house took the time to think through these steps, they could probably do their own looking - and finding:

1) Where was the last place I put the object?
2) Where was the last place I saw the object?
3) Might the object be in one of those said places, but obscured by another item?
4) Might the object be very NEAR to one of those places?
5) Where SHOULD the object be?

But since these steps seem to not be as automatic to everyone else as they are to me - and also, I have that photographic memory thing going on - I am the first line of defense against rampant loss. I don't mind too much, since I like the feeling of accomplishment and helpfulness. At least if they didn't like the supper I made, they still needed me to find that other shoe.

My patience is tested, however, when I can STAND UP and find the desired object. I've started warning the kids, when they ask me to "help them look": Am I going to see it as soon as I walk into the room?

But the other day, something exception happened. I was blamed for a MISSING item. (Actually, not exceptional - every time I put stuff away I get accused of hiding it.) But get this - it wasn't even MINE. OR Aaron's. It was Ben's (kid-sized, left-handed) golf club.

The other parent in the family called me TWICE while I was at the park (where recess takes place) with Leah & Adam after picking her up from school. Both times he had me replay the last time I had seen the club, which was desperately needed for Ben to have any fun accompanying Aaron thirty minutes.

Of course, the last time it was seen by either of us was when I had allowed Ben to hit golf balls in the front yard. People, I SWEAR it was totally safe. I even had him stop and wait whenever anyone came near. Perfectly fine.

Anyway, since I had put the golf club away (in a completely logical, normal spot), and now it wasn't there, it was clear to the OTHER parent in the family that I had misplaced it. Thinking that maybe I had, I threw out some options of where it could be, and finally agreed to come home and check it out.

The guys were gone when I got home, and I made a sweep of the typical hiding spots with no luck.

Four days later, still no golf club. By then, I was very curious. There really aren't THAT many places for a golf club to hide, and by now I'm very certain that I was not the one responsible. I explained to that other parent that although I am the primary caregiver, there are *gasp* pockets of time when the kids are not directly supervised, and either of them could have made off with the club during any one of those times in the past week. But we looked and LOOKED, with still no success.

Tonight, we had some friends over for dinner. During the kids' "go run off some energy" time after supper, Ben came running in with exciting news:

"Me found my goff club! It was buried in the sand box!"

I am so NOT taking the blame for this, AND I will be reminding that other parent of this whenever such a situation occurs again.

Also, the sandbox has been added to the search route.


What's the oddest spot you've found something in? I know a teacher who put his shoes in the fridge. Yes, he's legally blind, but still - you'd think something would click there.


Terri V said...

Don't have the strangest place to find something. But this winter while I was getting the christmas lights ready to put on our deck I went searching for our timer for the lights. Well since last year I didn't put any up, and this year I wanted them up couldn't find the timer so we had to go out and plug in and unplug the lights, this spring we found the timer, where I now remember putting it.

Lyz said...

Ha! Of course, the delayed perfect memory is totally different kind of gift.:)

Noel said...

This doesn't take the oddest place, but it should take the prize for longest time lost. Back in my 4H days, I used to give demonstrations and used my mom's tripod for holding my posters. We moved after I graduated from high school and the tripod was not to be found...for 25 years when my mom moved again. There had been speculation during the summer of downsizing if it would turn up and sure enough it did in the bottom of a seldom opened box. My mom and I had a moment of closure and now the tripod is in my posession and I know where it is right this instant.

Noel said...

Speaking of the summer of downsizing, I was helping clean out the garage after my dad passed away. We came to a mystery suticase whose contents neither my mom nor I knew. What could it be? Would there be scandal?

I pulled it down and slowly opened it to find...pause for dramatic effect...a bunch of old paint clothes that mom had thought had been thrown away. Turns out my dad had been stashing them away in case he needed some really paint covered clothes for painting.

Melissa said...

I am the looker in my house, too. It really irritates me. My husband can not comprehend that, just because he can't see through opaque objects, something could be hiding behind them. This Most often happens with our refridgerator, where he stands with the door open, saying, "it's not in here!" because he refuses to look behind the three gallons of milk my kids go through a week. Ugh.

In my house, we have a big issue with sippy cups, which I use more like sports bottles. I WANT the kids toting them around, because I want them hydrated (especially considering how bloody hot it is down here), but a lost sippy must be located immediately, especially if it has anything but water in it (since it's so bloody hot down here and juice turns to alcohol and milk turns to... Well, rotten milk, in less than 12 hours). Last thing I do every night us count the cups in thedishwasher and search for any missing ones. It's that serious in my house.

So.... A couple weeks ago, a milk sippy went missing. And we could NOT find it. I thought I looked everywhere. I spent over a solid hour searching. Finally, it turned up, days later, inside a toy gardening bag, which was inside the storage seat of a riding toy. Now, how was I to find that?