It's been awhile since I posted. This, I know. When I started to think about a topic, there were so many that came to mind. I'm not sure where this post will be going, but just know it may be long and scattered. I just thought you'd want to be warned.
So the first thing on my mind today is my daughter Raelynn. In the picture above she's probably about 3 or 4 years old. She's now 8. She is a bit bigger but her essence is still the same. I often say she's a hot mess on a stick....it's true...but boy, do I love her!
For those of you who may not know, Raelynn is an only child. David and I were married for 6 years before we had her. (Side note...I was too freaked out to have a kid because I was sure I would mess the kid up. I finally got over that by realizing that you DO mess your kids up, but it's the intent that matters. If I do it accidentally, without the intent to harm, that just makes me normal.) We tried to have a another one a couple of years ago but things didn't work out. So that makes Raelynn the center of attention both at our house and at my parents'. She has no competition. I know this, and accept complete responsibility for her often times spoiled nature. But there are times that I really just don't get where she's coming from. Let me elaborate...
A couple of weeks ago, I was in the kitchen or living room or wherever and I suddenly realized that Raelynn was quiet and I hadn't seen her in awhile. (For all those parents reading this, you know what I mean! If you don't have kids but plan on it one day...take note: if your kid is quiet and they're not sleeping, you better check to see what they're doing.) Back to our story.... I quietly walked down the hallway and into Raelynn's room. She quickly tried to get up from the corner she was hunched over in. After looking at what she was doing, I know why she was acting so strangely.
See, she was in the corner of her room, between the wall and the foot of her bed (it makes a snug hiding place) and she was busy mixing something in a metal sand bucket with one of my wooden kitchen spoons. After I got her to move, I couldn't figure out what she was mixing. During my interrogation, I discovered that she had taken two kinds of toothpaste, her fluoride rinse, bubble bath, liquid soap, water, and pieces of Styrofoam and was "brewing" them together. Her only defense was that she was trying to pretend to be a scientist. We had a long talk (after I calmed down) about how if she wanted to mix something together, she should ask me about it first. I would totally be okay with her mixing stuff if she had some guidance. The next morning, she did just that. I went and got a bucket and mixed a weak solution of spray cleaner and water together and had her "clean" cabinets. It's really more like smearing but she enjoys it. Which leads to......
A few days later I wake up to find about 20 or 30 opened Splenda packets on the kitchen counter. After THAT interrogation, I found out that she had taken the sweetener and mixed it with water and then "cleaned" the cabinets again. (I can only imagine the gratefulness that the ants will have for her..) When talking to her, she understood what Splenda was and could tell you what it was used for. I asked her if she had ever seen me clean with Splenda. She again correctly answered that she had not seen such a sight. Pressing further, she told me she had no idea why she did that. Which led to.....
A couple of days later I found her using a Spray and Wash stain stick (it looks like a stick of deodorant) and she was rubbing it all over her chest of drawers. Again, she knew what it was and what it was used for. Again, she knew that it wasn't meant to clean furniture. And yes, in case you're wondering...she was correctly able to tell me the tools needed to clean the furniture...a clean rag and spray (Pledge for wood and Windex for other surfaces.)
Some of you may be reading this and thinking that I wasn't hard enough on her. Trust me, she knew how unhappy I was. She got a little "special therapy" in addition to losing privileges. I praised her for the times she showed the right course of action. I'm just out of answers.
There are other things I didn't mention: like the times I've found her gum stuck underneath the coffee table, the stamps ($2 worth) that she used to decorate a piece of paper with, or the countless number of wrappers and food scraps I've found in all the nooks and crannies of my house--I swear she's saving food for the winter. It's all pretty frustrating...but I admit that I have a good laugh when she isn't looking.
There is one other thing that comes to mind as I mention all these antics....In the back of my closet, in the darkest corner, Raelynn got into my lipstick and left me many, many kisses on the wall. I was upset about that when it happened, but that's one case that made me smile. Someday when I'm old and Raelynn has moved out, I'll still have her innocent kisses buried deep in my closet that I can visit any time I want to.
In the meantime, I'm keeping an alert eye to the happenings around my house. Who knows....I may get so good at detective work that I'll have a second career waiting for me when I retire from teaching!