The thing about children is that each of them finds a new way to make trouble. Think you’ve got the forbidden snacking under control by virtue of putting all the food up high? Well guess what — the next toddler doesn’t care for snacking, he likes getting all the shoes out of your closet and clomping around the house in them. Finally got that closet door sealed tight? Big deal, because this one has a thing for getting hold of your phone and dialing up strangers in Singapore.

I write this upon recently discovering, with Wife, exactly where all the missing pens, notepads, forks, spoons, ornaments, books, toys, cups, and other sundry items have been disappearing these past few weeks. It’s not so much a discovery as a deduction, based on finding Isaiah’s entire castle playset — which is roughly a third of his body size — in the kitchen trash can.

Apparently, throwing things away gives this boy a sense of completion. I’m for keeping him in a closet until he’s five, but Wife says children, much like hydrangeas, need sunlight. So instead we’ll be ordering an expensive custom door for the alcove where our trash can resides. At which point this child will likely switch to putting my car keys in the toaster oven, or stuffing my socks in the toilet, or otherwise sabotaging the undisturbed tranquil bliss that was once my undisputed domain.

Because he is a child, and moreover a boy, and this is what they do. Not that I ever did anything like that. At least not that I can recall.


  1. Chris Harwood

    My brother had a habit of, as my mom says, “putting things in other things.” She would find old ice cream cones in crockpots, dimes in the VCR, etc. One day she was pre-heating her oven when she smelled something terrible. Turns out my brother had opened the oven and taken it upon himself to weave my father’s (expensive) shutter cable into the rack, which had promptly melted at 350F.

  2. nichole

    How true! At 2 our son put anything he felt was special to him in the “trunk” (under the seat) of his ride-on truck. It took us awhile to find the keys, screwdrivers and other items he had stashed away.

  3. karen

    His name is Isaiah. Prophets are nearly always difficult. I’ve a friend who walked where you walk now, dismayed and amused at his child’s behavior. His mother laughed and laughed one day as he shared a ‘peanut butter sandwich in the vcr’ story. After that good laugh with his mom, he started calling this child ‘my mother’s revenge’.

    Hold fast.

  4. Donna B.

    Children are very logical. If they are through with something, the trash can is a great place for it.

    What they are not so great with is planning ahead… and wondering whether they will ever need/want that something again.

    Still that might be better than the pack-rat ideation I have: If I throw it away, I will need it tomorrow. So I keep it, even if I don’t have anywhere to keep it.

  5. Tall Texan

    Having raised three teenagers, be warned that finding ways to create trouble as a toddler morphs into finding ways to flirt with catastrophe once hormones begin to rage. The teenager who thinks that you as a parent are a sub-human cretin will themselves do things that make you slap your forehead in a “what were you thinking!” spasm. My kids are great kids who have grown into fine adults, but even the best kids scare you to pieces at times.

  6. Kim J

    Our 6 year old calls the 23 month old a “walking disastrophe”. My previous theory was that you should “house-proof the baby, not baby-proof the house.” It worked well for the girls, who were teachable and had self restraint, but the youngest finds trouble I hadn’t even dreamed that he would get in to. His desire to know and do outweighs any small modicum of sense he may have picked up in almost two years of life.

    One example: he climbed over the short wall between the stairs and the kitchen sink, over the dish drainer, and stood up on the counter in front of the baking cabinet. He took out the baking powder, opened it and dumped it out into one of the bowls in the dish drainer. He put the empty baking powder container back, because he likes to be neat while he cooks. He then started taking out the spices and throwing them on the floor when they proved too hard to open (none broke). I arrived as he managed to open the basil and was about to add it to the baking powder. This was all in the time it took me to help the 4 year old with bathroom issues.

    I guess baby-proofing wouldn’t have helped much anyway. Parenting is definitely an adventure.

  7. Bobbi

    Today, after a five hour haggling session at the mobile phone store, my husband brought home my replacement Blackberry.
    A new one was needed because I don’t remember to bring a phone without email with me, and it drove Hubby nuts that he couldn’t reach me. -That’s not stalking when you have 5 kids under the age of ten, it’s prudence.
    Anyhoodle, when Christmas was upon us the electric cords and plug-in were redistributed to accomodate the strands of lights ringing every possible shape in our home, I had to be careful not to overload certain plug-ins. That meant for my Berry to be plugged in and charged it had to be placed on my desk, in reach of the 2 year old. Oh yeah, he speed dialed hubby’s cell phone, left a full 20 minute message in his inbox, drained the charge on the Berry and it was never seen again.
    I got a Curve to replace my Pearl, there was some small good in it all.

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