I don’t know how many of your mornings begin, but I felt I had to write about the way mine started today. If your house is anything like ours, mornings are not a great adventure. They are very stressful with people running around like crazy, clothes flying everywhere, and someone usually leaves without brushing their teeth. Why getting two kids and myself ready for school is stressful is beyond my comprehension, but it is (of course a snooze alarm has everything to do with the situation).
So, as I sleepily stumbled into my daughter’s room this morning, the haze of slumber suddenly lifted. Why you ask? There was a crime scene. Now, before I go forward with this tale, I need to back up a bit. My daughter has a very inquisitive mind, and she recently acquired a rock collection. This particular collection came with twenty or so different types of rocks which make up all those lovely gemstones you learned about in freshman earth science, or the kind you see at family vacation gift shops. Each pretty little stone was nestled delicately in a plastic tray, accompanied by a book to explain about rock formations and information regarding each stone. And this collection was something very special to my daughter, and she was proud of her collection. I was proud of it for her!
Another thing you should know is my daughter has a cat named Cookie. This was a rescue kitten she begged to bring home after helping out at a friend’s veterinarian office last year. She nursed this kitten and took it under her maternal wing, so of course, the cat was going to become a family pet. How does one argue with humanitarianism? And I am a sucker for any baby animal that has fur. The cat also sleeps with my daughter, every night, and completely tears up her room while she peacefully rests. If you know anything about cats, they are the laziest creatures on earth. I think a slug accomplishes more than a cat does in one day. Our cat is no exception, and he chooses to sleep all day and spend several hours each night running around the house or climbing anything that stands still. He also destroys things because of his “Feline Ninja” obstacle course. So last night my daughter brought her newly acquired rock collection upstairs to keep safely on her dresser…along with her precocious cat.
Now that you know the background, you might be able to piece together the details of the crime scene I witnessed as I tried to get my daughter up for school this morning. As I walked into her room and turned on the lights, I noticed several of those precious little gems sprawled all over her floor, and the case had even more missing. Panic started to set in as sleep hastily left my foggy brain. Oh. My. Gosh. All those rocks are not in their properly labeled spots, and I have no idea where they all go, or if I can find them! What if the cat ate one? Will I be hovering over the litter box for the next few days? She saw my horrified expression before I could mask it and play the entire thing off. Can you blame me? I had not even had the first drop of coffee!
“My rocks! Noooooooo!” she wailed to me, tears beginning to well in her eyes. Oh Lord, no. Not right now when we have exactly twenty-five minutes to get dressed, get breakfast, make lunch and get out the door on time. I console her and say I will look for the rocks on the floor and she should begin getting dressed. Now, for those of you reading this and who know me, you probably also know that I HATE to loose things. I hate losing puzzle pieces, game pieces, pairs of socks, and even lego pieces (crazy, I know). So I really can’t figure out whose face was more horrified when seeing the overturned rock tray, myself or my daughter! My obsessive-compulsive mind started to take over and I could feel the urgency to start looking. My husband walks in and I tactfully pretend to be helping get my daughter ready while picking up rocks, but I was also going back and forth between standing and lying on the ground, trying to find the rocks. Argh, I needed to get dressed too, though!!! Deep breath, I know I will find them. So let’s focus on the immediate task at hand; getting ready for school.
As my first-born child sniffled and whimpered her way through the morning routine, I found myself ignoring this logical piece of advice, and instead found myself sprawled flat on the ground, scouring under every piece of furniture in her room, plucking up tiny pieces of semi-precious stones, old jelly beans (gross), and pieces of golf ball-sized lint. Some rocks were trapped under her dresser, so I had to get a long stick to reach them and pull them out of their dusty grave. While I am doing this, the culprit to the crime decided to join me. Here comes Cookie the Cat. Cats have this innate ability to give you a look of utter disdain no matter what the case. They sneer their whiskers at you, subtly letting you know you are the dumbest thing that ever walked the planet, all while playing with a dust bunny from under the rug. This is exactly what Cookie did to me while I am belly down on the ground in my pajamas, trying to solve a huge crisis before going downstairs to get breakfast made and a lunch packed. Oh wait, I still need to get dressed too.
I turn my head to the side while elbowing through the trenches of my nine-year-old’s room, and there he is, poised like the Sphinx in Egypt. I peered into Cookie’s yellow eyes while they bored holes into my soul. I knew he was laughing inwardly because this cat KNOWS the entire scene is his fault. He knocked over the tray and decided to play “rock hockey” all night long in my daughter’s room. He also knows I will spend every waking minute looking for each and every stinking rock until that tray is completely restored. Yep, he has become the Cheshire Cat from “Alice and Wonderland.” Cat, score one thousand eighty-four; human still has a score of zero.
Needless to say, after endless searching and telling the cat to kiss off a few times, I eventually did find all the rocks. I was forced stop halfway through the rescue and recovery process this morning because I HAD to get dressed and get things ready to go since I needed to drive the kids to school. But the minute I came home I found myself wading through dust bunnies and dead ladybugs trying to rescue each and every rock that was lost. I succeeded, and all the rocks came home safe and sound. Not sure my daughter appreciated the means to get this task accomplished, but that is okay. All my socks, I mean rocks, were safely home and in their proper place. The world was right, and the cat continued to prey the weak and lonely in our home, unmoved by all the drama he created this morning. Come on, he’s a cat and he doesn’t give a lick.
If you have a cat or a dog, you can probably appreciate how fast they can raise the household terror level to red. But they are a part of the family, and now my daughter knows she needs to put anything special and small under lock and key so the cat doesn’t try to break in and destroy. Little life lessons learned in under twenty minutes, and I still had time to make a to-go cup of coffee. Life is good, and I hope you can find humor in some of the curveballs life throws you this weekend.
Until next time,