Thursday, November 07, 2019

Olly Olly Oxen Free!

While Alexander still wakes up to find me in the middle of the night I finally have him more or less convinced that he's not getting any milk, so he'll just climb into bed with us and settle back to sleep (which has been a glorious transition). In the morning, however, he's all, "MY NEED MILK! MY NEED MILK! MY NEED MILK!" so we're not quite weaned yet.

And thus this morning, like every other morning, found me, nursing Alexander in bed. Zoë came in and flipped on the light and used the master bathroom before going back to bed. Rachel was up making her lunch for school. Andrew was in the shower. Miriam was getting breakfast.

Only Benjamin was still asleep.

We gathered for prayer on the stairs so that those still in bed (Zoë, who was awake, and Benjamin, who was asleep) could be present and determined that at some point in the course of the morning Alexander had pooped in his diaper. So after we'd said the prayer I noisily changed Alexander's diaper outside of Benjamin and Zoë's room. I chatted to Alexander, gabbing loudly about how it was time to rouse the children and get our day started.

Zoë stumbled out of the bedroom, but Benjamin did not.

"Let's go in and wake Benjamin up," I said.

"I'll do it!" his eager sisters replied in chorus.

They stormed his room, flipping on the light, and attacking his bed with the force of thirty to fifty feral hogs. Like, for real though—no one could have slept through the ruckus they were making! They even—seriously—broke a slat on the bed.

But still no Benjamin emerged from the bedroom. In fact...

"He's...not...there...?" I was informed by his confused sisters.

"What do you mean he's not there?" I asked.

"He's not in bed."

"Well, he's got to be somewhere. Maybe he's gone down to the basement to play," I suggested.

The sisters thundered down to the basement but soon thundered back up again.

"He's not in the basement."

"Perhaps he's reading in his favourite reading spot?"

The girls ran down the stairs to Benjamin's favourite reading chair. He wasn't there. We checked the family room, the living room, Andrew's office, the bathrooms, the kitchen, the dining room, all the bedrooms, every Benjamin.

I made a house-wide announcement on our makeshift PA system.

"Benjamin, where are you?"


"Benjamin!" I tried our intercom system again. "This isn't funny! Tell us where you are!"

No response.

Starting to feel a little panicky, I ran out to stop Andrew from driving away.

"Have you seen Benjamin this morning?" I asked when he unrolled the window.


"We...can't find him?" I said.

Andrew rolled his eyes (not at me, I assure you, but at Benjamin's shenanigans), turned off the car, and joined us on our hunt. Benjamin was still no where to be found.

Not in the basement, not in any bedrooms, not any in closets, not under any beds...

The kid was no where and we were starting to panic.

"All the doors were still locked this morning, right?" I asked. "Like...he didn't go outside, did he?"

We checked and, in fact, all the doors were still locked except for the garage door, which Rachel said had definitely been locked when she went out to the fridge that morning. Plus, the garage door itself had been closed when Andrew went out (and Benjamin can't close it from the outside).

"Is his window locked?" I asked.

No one said any terrible words like "abducted" or "kidnapped" or "ran away" but we were all thinking them and Andrew and I were *this close* to suggesting we call the police, when Andrew went over to check the window and noticed, in the corner, by the bookshelf, a lumpy blanket.

Shaking, he went over and pulled back the blanket.

Benjamin sat up and stretched, attempted a fake yawn, rubbed his eyes and said, "Did I miss anything?"

As terrified as I had been at not being able to find my little boy, something flipped inside of me and I went from distraught mother to livid mother just like that.

"HOW DARE YOU!!!!" I roared. "Just how dare you?! We are happy to have found you and are glad that nothing terrible happened but honestly this was over the line."

The lecture continued:

Daddy was late leaving for work.
Rachel was late leaving for her bus.
Everyone was sick with worry.
There was no way he had slept through all our noise.
He had definitely heard us searching.
I made multiple full-house announcements.

How entirely inconsiderate of everyone's feelings!!

We were *this close* to calling the police, worried that he had been taken in the middle of the night, and then, when Andrew finally spotted the lump, worried that he was DEAD under the blanket because he had been so absolutely unresponsive.

Furthermore, how did he even pull it off?! He's notoriously not that good at hide-and-seek! He's always giggling and jumping out and saying, "I'm right here!"

How did he manage to hide for so long without blowing his cover?! And WHY? Why would he hide like that first thing in the morning?

"I was just trying to get a good night's sleep," he said, feigning another I-just-woke-up yawn and stretch.

"Well, I suggest you be on your best behaviour for the rest of the day," Andrew growled. "Because I think you've already met your silliness quota for the day."

So, we'll see how he does with that. Pushing his silliness quota is one of his favourite pastimes.


  1. Well, as a child who did the same thing--I still don't know how to explain why I did it. I just don't know, honestly. I regret it, though. It was very mean of me.

  2. Do you notice a pattern here? B does something naughty--I, too, have done it. Z is a big grump--I, too, have done it. A bites you--I, too, have done it. I am feeling a bit guilty here, spreading the naughty genes around.

  3. Hahaha! Perhaps we need to stop studying genetics...