"And More" is right. Yesterday was one of those "And More" days.
After being out of town for 8 days, our house was narrowed down to just a few items in the fridge. The milk was sour. The eggs were all gone except for one. A few pieces of dry bread sat shriveling up in their bag. And the kids were hungry.
My dear husband, who was in the middle of business catch-up after being out of the office for 8 days and came home to find his office work in as good-of-shape as my refrigerator was in, offered to let me run to the local grocery store while he "watched" the kids.
"Watched" is right. (Emphasis on the quotation marks.)
I was grateful to run by myself and thanked him for "watching" the kids. The errand was done in less than 20 minutes and I was soon home, happily re-stocking our Mother Hubbard kitchen.
As I scurried around rummaging up lunch and getting the kids ready to eat, they kept mentioning "putting food away" and "getting food out" and other words that related to the food topic. Confused by what they meant, I just chalked it up to some imaginary play that they had perhaps participated in while I was gone.
But then Landon handed me a half-chewed-up bag of brown sugar and informed me Alex was eating it but Daddy told him to stop.
"Oh, it's "just" a bag of sugar," I thought... trying not to expect the worst. I had accomplished so much in that 20 minutes and I didn't want to think that those darling kids really could've un-done THAT MUCH stuff, could've they??
And then I went downstairs and found that it was not imaginary play my kids had innocently participated in. This was the real thing.
An impressive pile of food sat on the sewing cabinet in the family room, indicating where the half-chewed bag of brown sugar had come from. Originally, the food had been stored on a shelf right behind Toby's desk so I was amused at how the kids must've pulled this off, considering their dad had been sitting there the whole time.
Of course he could've gone upstairs to the bathroom for a few minutes. Or ran out to the mailbox for a few minutes. Or dug in a desk drawer for a few minutes. Or stared at the wall for a few minutes. Or fallen asleep for a few minutes. Or had an out-of-body experience for a few minutes. Or had a bag pulled over his head for a few minutes. Or.... the possibilities were endless.
As I stood there, trying to mentally picture HOW three kids could haul food right past their daddy and pile it out in the family room which just happened to be a straight shot from where he sat, I couldn't come up with any reasonable reason as to how it happened.
I wandered back out to the family room still shaking my head. Just then, I happened to spy another food item off in Janae's room. It led me to a whole new stash of food that had been piled very generously under Janae's bed. I had no idea what she planned to do with 10# of beans or a 5# bag of flower or a can of spaghetti sauce or a container of dried parsley, just to name a few of the food items I found. And since I never send her to bed hungry, I really couldn't understand WHY the food had a reason to be in HER room and under the BED.
It took me several loads to get the food back to it's shelf in our basement pantry and I tried to visualize how THREE small kids could lug all this past their Daddy and go unsuspected. I mean seriously: how DOES a 50# kid carry 10# bag of beans without being noticed? That would be like me carrying... oh, never mind.
When I asked Toby about it again, he informed me that he does not look at the kids every time they walk past his desk. And I agreed with him. 100%.
A little later, I found another pile of food under Alex's crib. Wondering if I'd ever stop finding stashes of food, it dawned on me that the amount of all the food piled together was equivalent to what I had bought at the store earlier that day.
Our entire "Seasonings and Herbs" section had been re-stocked in the kids' rooms. Several bags of flour had been strewn about. Rice, beans, sugar and glass cans of spaghetti sauce sat in random places. Even a can of peas had been taken along with a tub of lard.
And all while the Man Of My Dreams who has given me three, adorable, sweet, children, calmly sat in the midst of it all like a big oak tree in the summer sun.
As I reorganized the shelves of food and put everything back in it's place, I was strangely impressed with my children's ability to sweep through the pantry like a tornado and spread food all over the basement all while their unsuspecting dad focused on his work and made phone calls and planned work-related schedules AND "watched" kids while all I did was run to the grocery store. It made me wonder what else the four of them could be capable of.
Later, I had to run over to a friend's house. It ended up being a little longer errand this time so with resolved trepidation, I gingerly crept back down stairs after I got home. I came down just in time to find Alex tight-rope-walking down the length of the floor lamp that was soundly laying on the floor... broken in two.
Toby's reason this time? "Even if I was sitting right next to them, they'd still do stuff like that."
And I had to agree with him. 100%.