Tuesday, December 1, 2009


I've had to hide the raisins.

In our old house, though Violet could get into the pantry any time she wanted to, she didn't. It didn't really occur to her that there was food in there, even if she'd seen me pull stuff out to cook or use. So, it stands to reason that I might think she wouldn't be interested in the pantry in the new house, right?

Wrong. First I had to move the Nilla Wafers to a higher shelf. Then the instant oatmeal (she would rip open packets and try to cook it in her play kitchen for her babies -- cute, but crazy messy). And now I've had to hide the raisins because Violet helped herself to four boxes while I was sorting and cleaning and vacuuming the bedrooms this past Sunday.

Do you realize four mini-boxes of raisins is about 3 cups of grapes in real life? Yeah... Poor sitter had to deal with those diapers yesterday -- so sorry!

Other interesting things about our new house? Our new TV can be heard in the kids bedroom, so when Scott's not looking, I adjust the volume from 28 to about 12. Of course, when the kids aren't bouncing around us, we don't really need the TV at 28 to hear over them, so it's not terribly noticeable.

The liquor cabinet is very conveniently located within an arms reach of the fridge. It was at our old house, too, but if you were standing in the fridge, it was behind your back. Now, if your standing in the fridge, it's completely in your line of sight. Which makes it all too easy to add some Jamaican rum to my egg nog. And that's a darn tasty treat! It is, however, not consumed if I am the only adult in the house. One must always be prepared to drive on gravel roads to get a kid to the hospital or something if an emergency pops up. And if I'm the only one in the house who can see over the dashboard, I'm also going to be sober. But When Scott's around? Let's just say it's making creating baby #3 more fun...

Also, the kids are finding the holes in the wooden floors fun and tantalizing and scary all at once. The house was originally outfitted with a boiler and radiators, but through the years it has been retrofitted with forced air heat. The most recent incarnation is the geo-thermal heating installed by the previous owner. So there are radiator-pipe sized holes in the floor, the most obvious is outside my bathroom on the main level. Both kids have peered down the hole and they regularly step around it, though it is too small for either of them to get a foot caught. They look at it and wonder where something would go if it were dropped down there. Answer: the basement, of course. So Violet dropped a small white ball from the Hungry, Hungry Hippos game down there.

Milo was instantly alight and wanted to run downstairs immediately to find the ball. Unfortunately for me, the kids had picked the moment I'd chosen for a bathroom break to engage in this experiment, so they were hopping around in front of the open bathroom door as I was sitting on the toilet, begging them to let me pee in peace. After flushing, I assented and Milo and I tromped down the basement stairs. Violet is still wary of the basement and attic, so she stayed on the landing at the top of the stairs, clutching the wall as she peered into the basement.

Milo and I head to the back corner of the basement, avoiding the damp areas of the floor. I turn on the light and point to the hole in the ceiling and say, "Hey! I can see my bathroom, so this must be the hole!"

We look on the floor nearby for the hippo food, but don't see it. We look around the room in the basement for the small ball and don't see it. I can't, for the life of me, imagine that it bounced too far elsewhere, but we simply cannot find it. Milo's eyes get big and he says, "Maybe things that go into that hole never get found..."

I think I might let him believe that for a while as I'm not interested in playing "let's go to the basement to find my _____" repeatedly. Neither child has tried dropping anything else down there since then. I'm going to put a tall-sided Rubbermaid tub underneath the hole, just in case.

But these are the incidents that live on in a child's fantasy for years to come. I remember being convinced that the house that I grew up in had been used for the Underground Railroad because there was a hidden door in our basement. To this day, I get the willies in my mom's basement because I swear I feel two-hundred-years of emancipated slave ghosts whispering when I go down there. I was pretty young when I came up with this story -- maybe only a year older than Milo. He might have a nagging feeling about that hole for a long time. Or he might decided to test the theory a couple of more times before we get the hole plugged -- he is a curious little fellow.

And Violet? I'm think she's convinced that there's a monster in the basement and one in the attic. But I'm pretty sure that the only monster in the house is the gas monster she created when she ate four boxes of raisins in 15 minutes...