As Toby collected the means necessary for work today before heading out the door, he was delayed by the inconvenience of a lost tape measure. I could tell he was looking for it before I even knew for sure it was missing.
I quickly and silently began to rummage around the office in a desperate attempt to replace his loss with the missing item.
It was no where to be found.
I ran to the play room and looked through Landon's trucks, checked on the couch and glanced in the kitchen. Still missing. I knew I was guilty.
Toby was trailing behind me and I was smart enough to know that he was probably correctly assuming I had played a part in it's misplacement.
I finally confessed: Landon was playing with it yesterday.
Hoping I could hand him the tape measure before I ended my confession, I hurriedly searched through the toys once more, checking inside a large semi-trailer for the missing item assuming it was a perfect place for a smart little boy to put a special toy. Nothing.
As Toby began to tell me that the tape measure is not a toy and that Landon shouldn't have had it and that I better make sure he doesn't get it again and that he should be reminded not to touch Daddy's things and that he should know better than to take it, I interrupted his exhortation with a request to open a stubborn door, my last attempt to search for the tape measure in the playroom.
It wasn't there.
When Toby resumed his well meaning encouragement to me that the tape measure isn't something Landon should play with when he finds it on Daddy's desk, I knew the moment had come to make a full confession.
While heading out the doorway and up the stairs to Landon's room, I meekly mentioned in passing that I had actually given the tape measure to Landon to play with.
Thoroughly puzzled by my actions in doing so, Toby shockingly asked why.
Seeing now how unfortunate it had been that I had given Landon Toby's most used construction tool, my intelligent answer was, "I don't know."
It seemed to set Toby's mind at ease that Landon hadn't actually used the freedom to locate, extract and displace his tape measure but rather that his wise and prudent wife had generously given the important tool to his two year old son to play with and do with as he pleased. I think it's easier for Toby to think about requesting his wife not to do something again while being unsupervised than it is to expect his young son to obey and remember what is off limits and what is not. I think something with age helps a person to remember boundaries.
I happened to browse through the office once more in one last effort to find the tape measure before Toby left for work. I had about given up. Actually, I had given up and finally decided it was gone when I bumped my foot against something cold, shiny and it seemed to have a tape measureish feel.
There, under Toby's office chair, was the missing tool. I was speechless upon finding it so immediately began to rattle off all kinds of shocking statements. Something about feeling speechless always makes me talk more for some reason.
I quickly told Toby I found the tape measure but he seemed reluctant to believe me. He was already at the door and probably assumed it was a well used tactic to get him to delay his departure that much longer.
He was especially skeptical when I informed him that the tape measure was in the office. And he seemed entirely unbelieving when I let him in on the fact that it was under his chair.
It was interesting how the guilt I had felt for giving the tape measure to Landon quickly dissipated and my actions were justifiable since he hadn't entirely misplaced it afterall. The tape measure was still in the office and it was still on Toby's side of the office.
I charged him with the responsibility of the one who should've found it since it was in his office, under his chair and it was his misplaced item. He contended that I had looked in here too so therefore his actions of not finding it were justified since I was as guilty as he.
But we all know that Toby has a comical reputation for losing all his possessions and if it wasn't for his patient little wife, Toby would probably go to work bare foot most days.
Which reminds me of another story... after going a few days without a certain pair of work shoes that are especially worn for certain jobs, Toby happened to find his long lost footwear in, of all places, the closet with the rest of his shoes. Mind you, had I not been the person retrieving a pair of her own shoes while preparing to leave for the evening, the closet door probably would've stayed closed for who knows how much longer.
To top this illustration off, I seemed to especially remember wisely informing Toby the day the shoes went missing, that I was pretty sure they were in the closet. But, who would think to put shoes in a closet of all places? I assume he had precious time that couldn't be wasted so therefore looking in a closet for something that actually belonged in there, was just not something that could be done at the moment.
Either way, as he headed out the door and down the steps this morning, I cheerfully reminded him that I fully know why it took him so long to find a wife. At least that was one thing he couldn't argue with me on.