I’m on to my 3-year-old son’s superpower scheme.
It is not the ability to access some secret nook or cranny or crevice or closet or room or universe in our home. It is, instead, the ability to trick me into believing he has such a superpower and that such a place exists.
I have found his hiding spot. I, too, can access it.
If you recall, about two weeks ago my son lost his skeleton shoes as we were preparing for a long drive to see his father. Three adults and one child searched the entire house for far too long and could not find them anywhere. So I convinced myself Holden was privy to some hidden abyss and used it to stash all the items that go missing in my house.
Even though I was certain of this wormhole my son had somehow opened, I continued to check the house over the next few days. I will admit that while I said I was searching for the shoes, I also may have been using them as an excuse to search for The Room Of Lost Items.
So I glanced around to see if they were hiding in plain sight (and to look for unusual spaces that would be perfect for hiding a secret passageway); searched in toy boxes (and behind them); crawled under his bed (to feel for cracks). I moved things around in the fridge (and skimmed around the edges); opened the broken, unused-for-years stove (paying special attention to every nook); went down to the basement (with a magnifying glass); and, again, checked the washer and dryer (spinning them both aggressively).
I repeated this routine day and night. I inspected the same places again and again. The shoes had disappeared and the secret universe was nowhere to be found.
I started attempting to pull decorations that might serve as levers. I pushed anything that could possibly be a button. I arranged random items in the hopes that maybe the opening door process was like a puzzle. I prodded and poked nearly everything in the house. I also asked Holden several times where he hid his shoes.
He gave me one of three answers, every time: someone ate them, they were on the ceiling, or “they’re gone!” Only the last one was plausible, so I started to believe it. They were gone. For real.
And then one day we were playing in the living room. On a whim, I reached over, grabbed Holden’s giant Mega Bloks toy fire truck, brought it to me, pushed the clunky plastic play ladder to the side, and glanced inside the little compartment in the middle.
Behold, the missing shoes! (And the bottle of water I knew I had given Holden 3 minutes before he started screaming for water.)
This fire truck is an incredibly common place for my son to stash miscellaneous lost items. 90% of everything he hides, he hides in there. I am so accustomed to looking in there immediately when I can’t find something, I assumed either Jack or I had already checked there at least several times. It seems we did not.
I’m not giving up on the whole secret universe thing, though. I still glance around for out-of-place divots or gaps or odd-looking anything. Because, while I mentioned a part of my mind was missing in the last post, even more of it has gone missing since then and I fear it may be completely nonexistent soon.