On Thursday, Nick and I went out to dinner to celebrate twenty years of being together. We found a new (to us) gem, a little Cuban spot with scrumptious food and festive decor, leaving the girls with a sitter, B, who is also (relatively) new.
Upon arriving home – stomachs uncomfortably full, but feeling quite content – we relieved B of her responsibilities and got to the rest of our romantic evening. Meaning that Nick went upstairs to use his iPad while I tidied up downstairs and edited some photos.
See? After twenty years, that spark is still fresh.
Nick hadn’t been gone more than a few minutes when he called me up, saying I needed to see something. I obliged, assuming that perhaps the girls had fallen asleep in some strange or adorable way, and was surprised when he led me to the master bathroom.
Um… What am I looking at?
“All of this stuff is out!”
“I think that B was going through your jewelry.”
“Your jewelry is all over the counter!”
I can see that, but I really don’t think…
“She must have heard the car and run downstairs in a hurry.”
I’m pretty sure that’s not what actually happened.
“She’s a lousy thief if she thought we wouldn’t notice.”
That’s because she’s not a thief at all.
I think that the girls must have been in here, playing around with my earrings.
“Why would they do that??”
Because they’re girls?
Ella, especially, really likes to try on my earrings.
“But why would she have come in here instead of using the other…”
I don’t know, but… Yes, look! That’s it!
Those earrings, the big hoops. They were in the girls’ bathroom and now they’re in here.
“And that means…?”
It means that Ella brought them in here and was trying them on. B wouldn’t take the time to rummage through the earrings in another bathroom and then bring them in here if she was just going to steal them.
“Okay, fine. But why are the cabinets open?”
Uhhhhh… Maybe I left them open after I got ready? I sometimes leave things open and don’t remember…
“Yeah, but I was in here after you. They weren’t open.”
Well, I’m not sure why they’re open, but…
“Do you think B was going through our prescriptions??”
Yes. She was probably trying to steal my Xanax…
“Do you think we should…”
… which is a bummer for her because I don’t keep my Xanax in here.
“… check to make sure everything’s okay?”
No! I’m telling you, B had nothing to do with this. The girls were here. I don’t know how the cabinets got open, but I’m sure that it wasn’t B.
Later that night, my assumptions were confirmed when I discovered that my makeup – which is kept in the girls’ bathroom (it’s confusing, I know) – was scattered all over the place and nearly every one of my hair products had been moved. At first, I thought that perhaps everything was missing (and, I’ll sheepishly admit, I had fleeting thoughts that perhaps our sitter was, in fact, a cosmetics thief), but a closer inspection found everything still in the cupboard – just in a completely random spot from where I’d left it.
Ella and Annie were all over this. I knew it, but I needed to hear it from them, and I was concerned that if I accused them of being messy boors, they might not ‘fess up after all. (I’d love to say that they’re honest and forthcoming all of the time, but… well… I’m trying to model such behavior by not lying, myself.) So I decided to try a different approach.
Hey – how was it last night with B? Did you all have fun?
“Yes, it was great!”
Awesome! What did you do?
“Oh, you know. The usual. Ate dinner, watched a show, played a couple of games.”
“We also tried on some nail polish, but we used the wrong kind – you know, the kind that peels off instead of regular? – and so now both of us lost all of our polish while we were sleeping, so that’s kind of a bummer.”
That is a bummer. You know what else is a bummer?
We don’t think we’re going to be able to ask B back to babysit anymore.
Because we think she was stealing things from us.
(In case you’ve ever wondered – yes, people’s mouths do actually drop open in surprise. I saw it with my own two eyes. Twice.)
When we got home last night, all of my make-up and hair stuff was in new places. B must have gone through the cupboard looking for things.
“Um, mom…?” (eyes down, voice quiet)
“B didn’t go through the cupboard.”
How do you know?
“We… might have… been looking for more nail polish remover. So we might have moved your stuff.”
And you didn’t think to put any of it back?
“I guess we just forgot. But B didn’t do it.”
Okay, well that’s good. But I’m still concerned about the stuff in my bathroom.
Yes. My earrings were all over the place. I think that B was rooting through them.
“Actually… (even quieter than before) That wasn’t B, either.”
“Because it was… me. I was in your bathroom. With the earrings.”
You were? What were you doing?
(* crickets *)
Were you trying them on?
(still crickets from Ella)
(rapid, vigorous head-nodding from Annie)
(*side note: only Ella has pierced ears)
Is that why you were in my bathroom?
“Yes. I’m really sorry.”
Have I ever let you try on my earrings before, just for fun?
Exactly. You just had to…
Right. And when you were done, you needed to…
“Put everything away.”
“I’m sorry about that.”
Well, I’m glad to know that it wasn’t B, but I’m still concerned about my medicine cabinet.
The cabinets in my bathroom – the ones with the mirrors – were wide open. I’m glad to know that B wasn’t in my jewelry, but it looks like she was in my cabinets.
“Well… Uh… That’s not true, either.”
Then why were my cabinets wide open?
“We, um… We miiiight have been looking for more nail polish remover.”
“And we miiiiight have looked for it in your bathroom cabinets.”
“And we miiiiight have forgotten to close them when we were through.”*
I see. (*mystery solved!)
“But B didn’t do any of that. She didn’t go through the cabinets or your jewelry or your hair stuff or your makeup.”
“She can still be our babysitter.”
I’m really glad to hear it. That was a close call. Phew.
So, on the bright side, my children were unwilling to let the babysitter take the fall for their indiscretions. They owned their behavior, apologized, and said they’d do better the next time around. All good things.
On the other hand, there was a little stretching of the truth. Plus ransacked jewelry. And remodeled cupboards.
But perhaps most disappointing of all: they weren’t even remotely capable of covering their tracks. I mean, if you’re going to root through your mom’s earrings, open up your parents’ medicine cabinets, and rummage through and rearrange your mom’s cosmetics in the search for illicit nail polish, the least you could do would be to hide the evidence, you know?
Ah, well. There’s always next time.
This wasn’t taken the night we discovered their shenanigans, but it may as well have been, because they sleep this way all the time.
They may be lousy rule-breakers, but they do have good taste in nighttime headgear.