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fend for yourself

February 4, 2008

I think the littlest member of our family is beginning to realize that in a house full of boys, self-sufficiency is necessary for survival.  A couple weeks ago my 13-month old discovered for the first time how to take care of himself while everyone else is too busy too notice. I was a little behind in getting dinner started, and he was playing contently so I left him alone downstairs (everyone gasp) while I looked up a recipe on the computer. I fully expected him to follow me upstairs as soon as he noticed that I was missing. But when he didn’t follow after a few minutes, I peeked down the stairs to check on him. I couldn’t see him from where I was, so I headed down the stairs to see what he was up to. About halfway down the stairs, I heard some myserious noises coming from the kitchen. I discovered him sitting in front of the open pantry door with an open box of cheese crackers, his mouth overflowing with crumbly bits, and cheese-cracker drool all over the floor.

This morning we had a similar incident, but this time it was far less amusing. Again, I was a little behind in getting his meal on the table. The older boys were playing as usual, and I assumed he was with them. When I hollered up the stairs that breakfast was ready, the boys appeared without their pint-sized sibling. When I questioned them about it, they had no idea where he was. I checked all the usual places – in my closet, in my bathroom, in the boys room, in the school room – all to no avail. I called for him, but I didn’t hear a sound. I was beginning to panic, when I noticed our dog, with a very curious expression, waiting patiently outside the powder room door. When I finally discovered the baby, he was sitting very quietly helping himself to the dog’s breakfast. I guess he got tired of waiting for his own. 😦

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