Sunday, December 7, 2008

LIFE TURNED UPSIDE DOWN

I’m getting ready to make my Christmas list and I can’t find my reading glasses. Yes, sometimes I find them on top of my head. But lately that hasn’t been the case.

Instead, I’ve been finding them in the fireplace—smudged, with one of the handles hanging at an odd angle, like a badly broken limb. So now, when I need my glasses and they’re missing, the first place I look is the fireplace—although there’s no guarantee they’ll be there.

I’m just as likely to find my small frying pan in the fireplace, while my glasses are tucked away in my underwear drawer. Meanwhile, my underwear is in the pan cupboard under the stove, where I might also find the TV remote, if it’s not in its usual spot buried in the toy chest.

No, we don’t have ghosts, or poltergeists, or hot vampires that look like Edward from Twilight. (If only.) We have Luke, our one-year-old grandson who runs around the house on a secret mission known only to him. All I know is, it involves hiding everything I need in places I would never look. I have a feeling he won’t be finished until I discover all three cats crammed in my underwear drawer—right next to my glasses. Good thing I change my underwear every day or I might never find anything.

What puzzles me is this—Luke has room full of colorful, stimulating toys scattered over the floor, nearly everything Fisher-Price makes. Blocks, books, games, cars, trains, stuffed animals—you name it, we’ve charged it to our Visa card. But he prefers my stuff to actual toys. He likes to dump out my scrapbook supplies and put them in the bookcase. The books, once neatly arranged on the bookcase shelf, have been transferred to the hall bathtub. And the extensive video collection? Under the couch.

Before I can put my stuff back where it belongs, he’s already cleaning out my childproofed bathroom cupboard. My hairbrush is in the laundry hamper, my lotion under my pillow, and all my “personal” products are on the front porch to greet the embarrassed UPS man.

While he’s out there, he collects things to bring back inside—rotten apples (relocated to my coffee mug), muddy ceramic frogs (on the bathroom floor waiting to be stepped on in the dark), live snails (on the living room carpet.)

I should be thankful he’s only over here for a short time, but the hurricane devastation he leaves behind requires assistance from FEMA. My daughter says keeping track of her stuff at her home is a full-time job. She’s found her cell phone in the cat bed, her shoes in the garage, and the Halloween pumpkin in the toilet.

This Christmas, instead of buying him new toys, I’m going to put all my stuff in the toy chest. Then I’m going to hide his old toys throughout the house—in the cupboard, under the couch, and in my underwear drawer.

As soon as I find my glasses. I just hope they’re not in the toilet.

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