Momma's Dramas

Real Stories with Humorous Perspective

“KEY”-ping the Peace

Posted on Sep 25, 2011 07:36:22 PM

TRAGEDY OF THE WEEK – September 24, 2011

Sponsored by: Family Hidden Treasures – These are things that you have with you almost all of the time like keys, wallets, glasses, or shoes that suddenly disappear without a trace. You will search for hours in all of the logical and realistic places, and then you will spend hours looking in every illogical place you can think of. These items often turn up days later in unusual places, or in places that you are certain you have searched previously. No one ever takes responsibility for having lost the missing items, and there is never an explanation as to how they re-appear. It is simply the special magic that happens in the world of a family’s, hidden treasures.


“KEY”-ping the Peace

“Ellie!” I heard Tom call. “Have you seen my keys anywhere?”

I rolled my eyes to myself. Here we go again, I thought. Another lost item that I would get blamed for. This happened about every five minutes in our house because between Tom, and the five children, the only one who seemed to know how to organize and put things away was myself. If someone couldn’t find something, I was blamed because, surely, I had put it somewhere. However, I always put things away in their logical places so if someone couldn’t find something, I would conclude that it was because I hadn’t touched it.

“Ellie?!” Tom called again, but I still didn’t answer. I was hoping that he was just asking carelessly and without really looking for the keys himself. I was hoping that he would just stumble upon them and stop calling to me to try to find them.

“Ellie!” Tom yelled again, but this time his voice was louder as he walked into the playroom and found me with Elsie.

“Oh, sorry, Tom,” I quietly lied, “Elsie was babbling, and I didn’t hear you call me.”

“Yeah, have you seen my keys?” Tom said quickly while taking a half-glance around the floor.

“No,” I said. “I haven’t seen them.”

“Are you sure? I think they were on the counter last night,” he said, as if this was a special clue to jog my memory.

“I really haven’t seen them,” I insisted, because I really hadn’t. “Did you check in the door, or next to the bed? And what about the pockets of your pants from yesterday?” I suggested, listing the places where keys were often found in our home. I didn’t bother to ask him if he had checked the key hooks on the wall by the back door. I knew Tom would never have put them there.

“Are you sure you didn’t notice them on the counter? I was carrying the mail in yesterday, and I’m sure that I dropped my keys on the counter when I put the mail down.”

“Tom,” I said, with adamant denial, “I haven’t seen your keys, and I didn’t touch them. If I had touched them they would be on the hooks by the back door. That’s where keys are suppose to go, and that is where I always put them,” I said lecturing, as usual, about organization.

“Oh, okay,” he said, nodding his head as if he was agreeing with me over something. “I’ll go and check on the hooks,” and he optimistically left the playroom, thinking that I had put his keys away for him. He had obviously misinterpreted my criticism for his lack of organization, as a confirmation that I must have touched his keys and hung them up. I was feeling a little frustrated and annoyed.

“Can I play computer?” Tucker asked as he interrupted my slight aggravation and walked into the playroom. He saw Elsie struggling to reach her toy phone, and quickly handed it to her because I was not paying any attention to her grunts as she stretched her little arm. I had been lost in frustrated thoughts. “Here, Elsie,” he said, cheerfully handing her the toy. “So, can I play?” he asked again.

“Fine,” I said to Tucker, letting out a heavy breath.

“What’s wrong, Mom?” Tucker asked.

“They’re not here, Ellie!” Tom called from the back hall.

“Try next to the washing machine,” I said. I wasn’t really trying to be helpful. I knew that the keys were not by the washing machine, but Tom was so insistent that I must know where his keys were that I felt like I should keep making suggestions. I hoped that maybe he would just get tired and stop bugging me.

“What’s Dad looking for?” Tucker asked without turning away from the computer game he had just started.

“His keys,” I said.

“Oh,” he answered, rolling his eyes as I had done. I thought his eye-rolling was confirmation of Tucker’s recognition that his father almost always misplaced his keys, but, suddenly, without even looking in my direction, Tucker surprised me by saying, “So where did you put them?”

“Ellie, they’re not there, either. Are you sure you didn’t put them somewhere?”

“I didn’t put them anywhere. You did. They are your keys,” I insisted.

“So, Mom lost your keys, huh, Dad?” Tucker said, and this time he actually tore his attention away from his computer game to give his Dad a knowing smile. I was getting angry now, and although I tried not to satisfy them by being defensive, I really couldn’t help myself.

“Why is it that every time someone in this family loses something they blame me?” I questioned with annoyed energy.

“Because you’re the one who touches everything,” Tucker blurted out with delight. He was really enjoying teasing me. He knew that nothing got under my skin more than being accused of misplacing or losing things. I prided myself on being the organized one in the family, but my family was always trying to sabotage my efforts.

“Look, you two,” I said with some serious anger as both Tom and Tucker tried to hide the smiles that emerged on their faces every time I got worked up about this issue. “I don’t randomly touch things in this house. I actually put things away. In fact, I put everything away. I am the only reason this family has not become a candidate for “Hoarders!”

“Right, Mom,” Tucker said, but he was smiling sarcastically, and I knew that he thought I was just full of it. Tom was now looking around, under the papers by the computer, and around the desk for his keys.

“I remember putting my keys on the kitchen counter,” he said, frustrated with his own attempts at looking futilely in the area of the computer.

“Maybe it was the bathroom counter,” I suggested, thinking that Tom was getting confused because I had put the mail away after Tom dumped it on the counter, and there were no keys.

Keys - Momma's Dramas

“Ellie,” Tom said, sounding a little frustrated himself. “My keys were with the mail. I didn’t bring the mail into the bathroom.” His annoyance at my suggestion was very obvious.

“Well, I don’t know,” I stated firmly.

“Charlie, have you seen my keys anywhere?” Tom asked, as Charlie came down the stairs.

“No,” he said, as he accidentally hit the stair-step basket with his foot, sending it tumbling off the stairs and onto the floor, spilling its contents everywhere.

“Charlie!” I yelled with frustration.

“What?!” he yelled in defense. “Do we have to have this stupid thing here?” he said throwing his hands in the direction of the basket.

“Yes,” I insisted, “because that is where I have to put everyone’s things because none of you ever put anything away.”

“Your keys are probably in there, Dad.” Charlie said in an attempt to, kind of, help his father, but mostly to take a little dig at me.

“The keys are not in there. Those are just toys and things that need to be put away upstairs.” I was starting to sound defensive, and although I didn’t like that my words had this tone, I still added, “I would have put the keys on one of the hooks if I had touched them,” but Tom wasn’t listening. He was already glancing at the things that had spilled out of the basket.

“Oh, those are the toys that were on the counter near the mail,” Tom said, as he looked on the floor and went to help Charlie pick up the basket so he could search through everything. “Maybe you put them in here, Ellie, and you don’t remember,” Tom said gently.

“Yeah,” Charlie confirmed. “I heard that older women are forgetful,” Charlie laughed, as he picked up the toys.

I was livid. “I am not older or forgetful!” I insisted to myself even more than to Charlie and Tom.

“Charlie, stop,” Tom said unconvincingly, as he tried to stifle his amusement. “Stop giving your mother a hard time,” but I saw that he and Charlie were both laughing, thoroughly enjoying the teasing at my expense.

“Hey, Mom, you remember that Elsie is in here playing by herself right, ‘cause I’m not really watching her,” Tucker chimed in, obviously listening and wanting to be ‘one of the guys’. At this point, Charlie and Tom erupted into laughter that they unsuccessfully tried to control.

I grabbed Elsie’s purse that had spilled out of the stair-step basket, and brought it to her in the playroom. I needed to get away from Tom and Charlie who were delighted with themselves and the hard time that they were giving me. I could still hear them whispering and laughing in the hallway.

“Were your keys in there, Tom?” I needled, trying to sound playful, but realizing that my tone was still whiny and defensive. There was no answer, and I wondered if Tom and Charlie had left, and if they had even finished cleaning up the mess from the basket. I left Elsie, again, and went back to the hall. Tom was still picking through the contents of the basket without success.

“See, I told you,” I said, oozing with the immaturity of a seasoned three-year-old.

“Okay, yeah,” Tom said, but I don’t think that he agreeing with me. He just wanted me to stop talking and lecturing about organization. “I’ll have to borrow your extra car key.”

“That’s fine,” I said, still in my little tizzy. “I have no idea where your keys are. I didn’t touch them,” I reiterated just to make one more point.

“Hey, Dad,” Tucker said. “are these your keys?”

“What?” I said, as Tom and I went back to the playroom. Tucker was still at the computer, engrossed in his game. “What, Tucker?” I said, annoyed that he had called to us, but that he was not really paying attention now that we were in the room with him. “Where are the keys?” I asked,

“Right there. Are those Dad’s or Elsie’s?” he said, pointing to the floor where Elsie was chewing on something that did not resemble her usual baby toys.

“Where did she get those?” I questioned Tucker, assuming that he had the keys and had given them to Elsie to avoid confrontation or punishment. “Did you give those to her?” I accused.

“No,” he said with the relaxed look of complete innocence. “You did,” he said shrugging his shoulders and glancing at me.

“I did not,” I stated. I was really angry now. Tucker had joined in this ‘teasing of Mom game’ whole-heartedly, and he was enjoying it thoroughly.

“Yeah, you did, Mom. They were in her purse.”

“How did my keys end up in Elsie’s purse?” Tom questioned, and then he and Tucker both looked at me.

“Well, I didn’t put them in there,” I said, unconvincingly. There was silence for a moment, and then some whimpers as Tom had to try to get his keys away from Elsie who had decided they were quite special and much better than her usual plastic ones.

“What?” I continued to say, as Tom and Tucker nodded their heads in some kind of silent agreement. “I didn’t put your keys in there,” I continued to say, but I was still unable to convince myself of this, so my words did not carry much weight with them.

“It’s fine, Ellie, we found them,” Tom said kindly, but I felt like he was coddling me.

“Did you figure out where Mom put your keys, Dad?” Charlie called from the kitchen.

“That’s enough, Charlie,” Tom said, and then he added, “Elsie had them,” as if blaming Elsie would somehow get Charlie to stop teasing me.

“Sure she did,” Charlie joked. He just had to get one more little comment in before shutting himself up.

Tom went to work, and I spent the rest of the day wondering if today was my surprise graduation from “busy, young Mom,” to “older, forgetful woman.”

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