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When I wake up these days I find that I am having to immediately play detective. Super sleuth, gum shoe, P.I., a dick. All I need is a trench coat and well worn Fedora. I go in search of clues, evidence of crime. Sometimes they are glaringly obvious and sometimes they are subtle. I also get to be judge, jury and executioner (well punishment dispenser, anyway) when I inevitably find evidence of wrong doing. This morning it was a trail of ripped up cardboard leading to a pile of discarded plastic, crumbs and mutilated lunch meat. All of which had previously been a prepacked lunch time meal that my wife had gotten just for herself. That was one of the more obvious. Yesterday I was feeling like a CSI as I examined evidence of a raided refrigerator. I had found partially consumed yogurt packages on the counter. Not the cups of yogurt, mind you, but the plastic straw-like containers that allow one to consume the yogurt like a partially melted popsicle by sucking the contents out of the tube. The ends of the tubes are perforated to facilitate tearing them off, however, it is still a difficult task for a two and a half and a four year old. Hence they will resort to tools. There in lies the real crime. Yogurt theft is only a misdemeanor. Scissor use, however, is a felony in this household.

I examined the evidence and confronted the suspects. I had enough evidence for a conviction, but I was expecting to get a confession. Much of the evidence had been removed in an effort to cover their tracks. The chairs that had been used to reach the counter had been repositioned. A check of the waste bin indicated that paper towels had been used in an effort to clean up the evidence.

"See these smooth lacerations on the epidermal layer of the yogurt container?" the suspects remained stone faced. I continued "These markings are indicative of some sort of cutting implement. How did you open these?"
"Uhmmm." was the reply.
"You used the scissors, didn't you?"
"Uhmmm, uhm, uhm...uhmmmm." Rylee replied.
"I know that you used the scissors and I am very disappointed, but I want you to tell me the truth. Did you use the scissors to open these?" I continued.
"Uhmm...yeah." a long pause "Are you going to spank us?"
"Yes, I don't want to, but we have talked about this many times. First you don't get into the fridge without asking, you come get Mom or Dad. And second, we have told you not to touch the scissors many, many times. Those could hurt you." Not to mention that I don't want you to cut you hair again, I didn't add.
"Ohhhhhh!" They both said, not looking forward to a swat on the rump.
"Why did you do that? We talked about that before you went to bed." I asked again forgetting that all kids are brain damaged, at least according to Bill Cosby.
I wonder if I really expect an answer to that question. "Why?" I must, since I keep asking it.

For some reason Kari and I are kind of "backside of the clock" kind of people. We are night owls. I get a second wind at about 8 p.m. and can easily stay up till the wee hours of the morning. I have to force myself to go to bed before one in the morning. It is, however, still the only time that we have to ourselves and thus don't feel too guilty about it. I recall reading the "Those who hoot with the owls at night can't soar with the eagles in the morning." It is true. The late night coupled with the time change made for an extra groggy morning. Therefore the big girls didn't wake me as they usually do, as they went about their morning routine. Kari had left the house early, for a doctor's appointment. Good news there, the mole on her shoulder, that I thought might be skin cancer, isn't.

I had just roused myself when I heard the big girls talking quietly. Coffee was seeming like a priority, the twins were just starting to stir, so there would be time. The phone rang and I picked it up and looked at the number. Kari, calling to give me the news about the appointment. We chatted for a few minutes. I realized that I hadn't been to the bathroom yet and was a little distracted. Kari was telling me about her plans to visit Walmart to secure the "Pinocchio" DVD, just released from the Disney Vault for a limited time. I started to dance a little from side to side. She continued on about something that was less important, at the time, then my need to visit the head. Finally, in a huge breach of etiquette, I took the phone to the restroom with me.
"What was that?" She asked
"The toilet." I responded.
" how are my babies?" She asked.
"Good, good." I said trying not to let on that I had just gotten out of bed. "The big girls are being good. The twins aren't up yet. I was just about to go get them."
At that point I was about halfway up the stairs. Having forgotten about the coffee (I am easily distracted, I guess) I had started upstairs to get the twins. That is when I saw Rylee come out the guest bathroom with a soaking wet sponge.
"What are you doing?" I asked Rylee.
"Cleaning up the white." She replied, looking a little sheepish. My mind was still a little foggy. Did she say "wet" or "white?"
"What? Cleaning up the wet?" I asked. My first thought was cat pee, but they usually leave that for me. "No. Put the sponge back. I will be down in a minute."
"I will be home in a bit, is there anything else you need?" Kari continued.
"No...I can't think of anything." I said as I was opening the twins door.
"Okay, see you in a bit." She said and hung up. I got the twins down stairs and locked the gate, so they couldn't venture back up there on their own. I turned to Rylee, who had remained at the bottom of the stairs.
"What were you cleaning? The wet?" I asked. All kinds of scenarios were running through my mind.
"White." She chirped. What could be white? She must be mispronouncing "wet."
"Show me." I ordered. Not sure I really wanted to see.
She led the way into the dining room. It was "white" alright. It took me a moment to get my mind around it. I looked at the great white spot on the floor and noticed that there was a clean spot right in the middle white spot. The clean spot was perfectly round and right in the center of the white mass, as if a can of some sort had been at the epicenter of an explosion. I peeked into the kitchen and noticed that the stainless steel container, that we keep the powdered sugar in, was set in the middle of the island counter top. It was covered with dozens of small, white hand prints. It all became so clear. I looked back to the carpet and now noticed the darker colored spot. The water that Rylee had been "cleaning" with was mixing nicely with the sugar to form a pasty substance. To top off the scene the entire box of jumbo sized Legos, about 150 mulit-colored peices, was spread across the floor and mixed with the Legos was all the miniture furniture from the girl's doll house, with a scattering of toy musical insturments for a bit of zest. It literally looked as if a bomb had gone off.

I was livid. This was not the first time that we had told them to come get us if they wanted something to eat and I gave them an earfull, at full volume. Then I sent them to a time out. I considered giving them both a swat on the rump, but my mind was still too foggy to figure out if that would be over reacting. And I don't like dealing out punishment when I am angry.

Note: you can not vacuume up wet powdered sugar.


This morning Rylee and Reagan got into the freezer and absconded with my low carb ice cream bars and a pair of scissors. They retreated to their sanctuary upstairs to open and devour them. Kari found them some time later looking inocent, except for the chocolate on their mugs.

I am very curious to know who instigated that caper.

Madison and Jordan now bow their heads and fold their hands when we pray before dinner.

The renters paid on time for the first time in at least 10 months. I was quite surprised.

Thats it for now.

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