There was a plunger, at the bottom of the stairs, I discovered when I almost tripped over it on my way to the kitchen. ‘What is the plunger doing here?’ I yelled to no one in particular.
Knowing full well there’s only one person in the household who insists on playing with said plunger. I channeled my sixth sense to ascertain his coordinates. ‘Top of the stairs,’ my sense informed me. My eyes glanced at the top of the stairs, and I caught sight of a small head of blondish-brown hair.
Yep. ‘Twas our youngest boy-child, the one who tried to run away when he saw me coming up the stairs with the plunger.
The sense – though remarkable at times – is woefully unreliable. As in, sometimes you’re lying on the couch with your eyes closed, in the throes of some sort of vertigo-onslaught. ‘The baby has something in his mouth,’ you prophesy into the darkness. Hoping your husband, who is busy consulting Dr. Google for answers to your mysterious illness (brain tumor? flu? vertigo?) hears you.
Sure enough, the kid had a piece of Lego in his mouth. And I, lying on the couch with my eyes closed, was able to ‘sense’ it. Just call me Lassie.
Several hours later, and I’m on the couch again, begging the Hen to busy himself with Lego so that I can catch a few minutes’ rest while the baby naps. I hear footsteps. The sound of a kitchen drawer opening and closing. More footsteps. ‘He just got a serrated knife to pry the Lego apart,’ my sixth sense tells me. I open my eyes and look across the room to see my middle-boy stabbing at his Lego with a knife. The scene has ’emergency room’ written all over it.
I convince him to return the knife and give me the stack of Lego so I can attempt to pull it apart with my non-existent fingernails.
What does a girl have to do to get a nap around these parts?
‘My finger’s bleeeeeeeding,’ the Hen announces several minutes later and runs over to the couch to show off his injury. I squint to find the nano-speck of blood. I kiss the finger – earnestly – to show that I’m taking his injury very seriously. With the hope that he’ll leave me alone for five minutes.
‘I get a band-aid’ he announces a few minutes later. I nod, imperceptibly, and continue my not-so-silent retreat.
And this is where my sixth sense failed me. ‘He got himself a band-aid, that is not a good sign,’ the sense should have said. But it was silent, likely trying to take a nap, too.
Minutes later, as I walked to the bathroom, I found a pile of band-aid papers lying outside the door. Like an entire box worth of band-aids’ papers. And the contents of our bathroom cabinet strewn across the sink. It was a 6 on the Richter scale of household disasters. ‘How could he have used this many band-aids,’ I wondered in astonishment.
And then I remembered about how three year olds can’t really pull apart the band-aid sleeve on their own. And they can’t pull off the slippery paper liners keeping the sticky side from sticking to something besides a finger. There were five or six maimed or smushed band-aids lying on the floor; ones that never had the privilege of adhering to an injury.
I glanced at the Hen’s finger. He’d somehow managed to wrap four Toy Story band-aids around his tiny little finger. The one with the near-invisible injury.
Sixth sense, thou hast failed me.