At the beginning of August I bought a set of English-Spanish early readers because we're interested in learning Spanish over here and I figured reading together would help us get more comfortable speaking it together. Zoë was particularly excited about these readers, and on the day they arrived we nestled together in my big comfy chair (with Alexander and, I suppose, Phoebe) and read a handful together.
Then somehow, despite my best efforts, the books—a boxed set of 25 readers!—ended up in Zoë's room. She swore up and down she would take excellent care of them because she's rather passionate about learning Spanish (despite how poor a Spanish teacher I make), and she did take good care of them...for about a day and a half...and then they disappeared.
Here's a fun fact about me: I don't like when things go missing.
Missing puzzle pieces make me want to scream. I hate having to search for library books. I wish my kids would just keep their sets of toys together like normal children (or was that just me?). I do my best to simply not think about the ever-growing collection of matchless socks in our laundry room. Once I lost my notes from a lecture I attended online and was frantic for days (Andrew found them just before my paper was due and I was overjoyed).
You'd think that my desire to always know where things are would lead to me being a clean freak, but that's unfortunately not been the case for me. I mean, sure, that might make keeping track of things a lot easier but...keeping things put away with this many people pulling them out all the time is exhausting. So my house is a little disorderly, but usually I know where things are.
We have rules, people!
Library books, for example, are only allowed in the music room. They get scattered all over that room...but at least I know they're in that room, right?
Anyway, I wanted to keep the Spanish books with our school things, but Zoë really wanted to be in charge of them and she...can be persuasive...so I allowed it.
One night she brought me a few Spanish books to read and they "got left" in my bedroom and when we went to put them away the rest of the Spanish books were no where to be found. We searched high and low and they were, simply, no where. We'd had them for a grand total of two days.
For two months now, all we've had was 4/25 readers and it's been driving me crazy.
We have cleaned the house countless times in those two months, basically turning Zoë and Alexander's room upside down looking for them! They were no where to be found. And they were, like, a boxed set of books. How does someone lose an entire boxed set of books?!
They were no where, which has mostly been okay but has also made me periodically grumpy.
Tonight I pulled out our little set of beginner readers for Alexander, which I bought when Benjamin was learning to read because, well, Benjamin is...Benjamin...and he had to bring home readers from school to read but they sent home this scary letter saying that if your child loses a book you'll be charged a $15 replacement fee. And this was Benjamin we were talking about!
He must have lost his lunchbox at least 50 times his first school year! I couldn't trust him to transport these readers to and from school every day! Was their school nuts?!
So I looked up the cost of these flimsy little readers and an entire set of readers was less than $15.
So I just bought it. And told his teacher that there would be no need to send Benjamin home with the readers because we owned them.
And I probably saved myself a good $100 on (outrageous) replacement fees.
Anyway, we used those books for Benjamin, then we used them for Zoë, and while it's true that the box is getting a little worn, we're using them for Alexander now. And they're all living together happily in their little box. As they should be.
Which only reminded me how frustrated I was that the same thing could not be said of our bilingual readers! So I expressed my exasperation once again and Zoë hung her head and mumbled some new suggestions about where she might have carted them off to (but they weren't in any of those places).
After we finished reading time, I sent the kids up to bed and then followed so I could sing lullabies and so forth (our bedtime routine is ridiculously long, I know) and while I was in there I decided I would look (or re-look) in a few places. And eventually I decided to look in their closet—which was cleaned out thoroughly not too long ago because I took the small chest of drawers from their closet over for Phoebe—and as I was pulling out everything they'd stuffed in there the last time they "cleaned" their room independently, I found the books!
They were zipped inside her little unicorn backpack (along with several other things) and this whole time no one had thought to investigate the unicorn's insides (that is a little invasive). But there they were—21 stories tucked snuggly in their box! Zoë ran to find the remaining four volumes from her bookshelf (she only found two...but all is well because I found the other two) and now we have a happy little set of 25 English-Spanish readers once again (or first of all—because we haven't yet had the chance to read them!).
You might think that the ending of this story is the happiest for me, but I think that the real winner(s) is everyone else! Now they don't have to worry about when Mommy is going to seemingly randomly be triggered into bemoaning our misplaced Spanish readers!