You know the ancient myths in which children are stolen and replaced with animals who have been transformed into children by some malevolent being or other? Do you ever wonder where those myths could have begun? I don’t. In fact some days I get the haunting feeling that I’m living in one of them. Okay. I don’t actually believe that wood sprites stole my children and replaced them with changelings; I just understand why someone else might think that when looking at my children. You see, my two older doodles (possible the youngest too, she just isn’t portable enough to know yet) have distinctly magpie like qualities.
I cannot tell you how often I have been missing something (most often dress shoes, books and clothing items) and eventually found it, along with several other things, in a pile somewhere inconspicuous. The most common locations are under the stairs in the basement and in the closet in the toy room; but I have also come across little collections of odd socks, toys, dress up clothes and books under the counter in the bathroom behind a box of diapers, under my microwave cart, in the oven of their play kitchen, and once in my crock pot in the kitchen cabinet. Every time I discover one of these surprise caches, I call the children to put the items away and give them a stern talking to about “building collections in strange places!” They look at me solemnly, agree to never do it again, and trot away. Probably to build another collection somewhere.
It all came to a head on Monday morning.
I walked into the toy room to find EVERY. SINGLE. ITEM. (the toy bins were empty, the shelves were empty, the hooks for the dressup clothes were empty, I’m talking everything that was in the toy room) piled in the center of the room. The hard toys and large items like Fisher Price buildings were around the outside, and the center was filled with dolls, stuffed animals, dress up clothes and balls. The mackerdoodle was lying in the middle of it, saying, “Mmmmm. Comfy nest. Such a comfy nest. Come on cheesedoodle, sit on the nest with me. It’s so comfy.” When I asked her what she was doing, she answered, “Making a nest. It’s so comfy. Can this be my bed?”
“You are such a magpie!” I said. In both frustration and helplessness.
She nodded. ‘Yeah. A magpie person. I’m a magpie person.”