My Yellow Hat's Gotta Be Around Here Somewhere

My friend was in mid-sentence when it dawned on me. Something was wrong. I could actually hear her voice on the other end of the phone. I wasn't mumbling, "Excuse me" and then bellowing, "Do NOT hit your brother with the axe!" or "Stop your screaming!" or "No, it does not matter that you are just pretending the dinosaurs are fighting. It is still screaming, and I am on the phone, and that is rude!"

Okay, now where was I? Oh yes, it was quiet. Perilously so.

The trustworthy one was supposedly downstairs picking up his toys. But where was his sister? (Notice how I'm starting to sound like a Curious George book? "But where was George?" And we all know how that usually ends.) 

It seemed like only seconds ago Sheridan was underfoot, inspecting the freshly folded laundry and flinging it on the floor like a drill sergeant,  "You call THIS folded? You call THIS clean? Try again, Soldier, and GET IT RIGHT NEXT TIME!"  

Somewhere between modeling jeans on her head and turning the socks into rhythmic gymnastics ribbons, she had gone AWOL.  So I left the scattered shirts to wrinkle and went in search of Sergeant Mischief.

I made it to the top of the stairs before I heard, "OH NO, Dani, why did you do that?"

My friend was still on the phone.  She heard me utter a few words dangerously close to profanity and excused me from the conversation with a knowing, "Uh oh, well, call me later..."

By now, I had reached the bottom of the stairs.  

"Mommy, look what I made for you!" Caed offered preemptively, holding up a piece of construction paper adorned with glue, glitter and stickers, and lovingly signed in the darkest colored marker.

It was a freakin' art project.  Um, yeah.  Not to sound ungrateful, kid, but what on earth gave you the idea it was okay to unpack the entire stash of art supplies and get creative all over the carpet?

"What's going on here?" I hollered, sizing up the damages.  "You were supposed to be cleaning up!" 

And there she was, Sgt. Mischief, sparkling like the fourth of July, surrounded by uncapped markers, four vials of glitter, including one recently emptied, a glue stick in one hand and a paint brush in the other.  

Caed explained, "Well, Dani dumped out the whole thing of glitter and I told her that wasn't a good idea.  But then we fixed it because I had a plan!  We used our glue sticks and our paint brushes to put the glitter back away!"

"But, actually" he continued, "It isn't workin' too well.  There was a lot of glitter."  

Ya think?

I will spare you the glittery details of the lecture and the clean up that followed.  I know I should have turned this impromptu episode of carpet creativity into a golden teaching opportunity, but I didn't.  I just hollered and vacuumed and found a new hiding place for the art supplies.  My clothes sparkled, and my spirit seethed. 

I finished cleaning up and returned upstairs, this time with Dani safely secured on my left hip.  I'd like to see her try to get into mischief now.  I noticed my half-open, nearly empty bottle of facial lotion sitting on the counter and remembered I had brought it with me on my hunt for George Dani.  I'd forgotten it in the midst of my morning multi-tasking.  (Yes, it was only 8:00 a.m. at this point.)

I picked up the age-defying lotion with my free hand and tried to no avail to apply a few drops to my freckled face. 

But wait! Could George Dani help?  What would happen if she grabbed the bottle and threw it on the floor?  Why yes, the lotion DID come out that way! George Dani had done it!  She had figured out a way to empty the lotion!  Hurrah for George Dani!

And that was the last of my lotion.  And possibly the last of my sanity, splattered metaphorically all over the hard woods.

On the bright side, my floors now look fifteen years younger.

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