People always say you aren't ready to be a parent. Most of them are talking about the sleepless nights the endless toiling of changing and cleaning up and feeding and looking after ever possible thing a small human being could need.
I can honestly say I was prepared for all of that. What I was not prepared for was the tiny little things that no one tells you about. All the ninja training in the world does not prepare you for your tiny being to load your shoes up with hard plastic mickey mouse fridge magnets or pay attention to the three year old who, much like a rogue state laying claim to more ocean limit then is allowed by international law actually believes if she finds money in the house it goes in her piggy bank....even if the finding is in your shirt pocket while you are holding her.
I could go on endlessly but its impossible to prepare you for what your child will do. The possibly combinations of a child's mind and the conventions of the adult world are to numerous to even begin to try to generalize. Most recently this has taken the form of socks.
Socks? Yes. She likes to take her shoes off but its winter in the new england area and so....she needs socks. But socks to a child are only clothing until they are taken off. Then they can become anything. Hats for stuffed animals, food for invisible puppies, or the tiniest doll sleeping bags ever created. Once the house reaches calm (read: she is napping or sleeping) the adult mind begins to see the odd sock.
Funny thing about socks....there are two. So finding one means another is out there somewhere. In an adult mind you assume they are taken off at the same time or taken off together. This is not true. Even if they are taken off at the same time there is no telling what will happen in the life of a sock mere seconds later.
So after the goodnights....much like a house sized Where's Waldo I find myself discovering items that have been brought to the far reaching corners of the house that simply don't belong but are nestled with complete purpose (whatever that may have been at the time is unknown even to her) among things that a normal human brain would never guess at.
Sometimes you know something is amiss and you just cannot figure out what it is. And then all of a sudden as you are booting up your laptop you look across the living room and tucked beside a pillow on the chair across from you is a tiny bobble head kitten in what looks like a miniature cave on a wide expanse of green pasture cushion. There are no other toys nearby and no indication of why that cat with neck issues ended up in that location. Perhaps it was part of an elaborate lost kitten story, or the kitten was actually a jaguar (she loves jaguars) or to be quite honest the kitten could have been a school teacher who was going to get students but the staging of the whole event was sidetracked by a stuffy nose and the search for a tissue.
Last night I discovered tiny socks in my pocket. Not sure if I put them there or not nor how long they have lingered there. Tonight nearly without registering it she pulled her socks off before bed and handed them to me. She asked me to "not eat them" (long story) and mindlessly I put the socks in my pocket and said goodnights.
If I don't take them out now surely I will find them tomorrow or they will go through the wash in my pocket. But something strikes me about this event. My brain has been so changed by my kid that I am no longer sure who's is responsible for the sock.....or for that matter the kitten. In all likelihood she put that tiny bobble head here behind the cushion. But in reality.....it could have been me.
oh look a plastic caterpillar on the cable box.