children in hiding
i am sure that every parent with more than one child will understand when i say i have extra children in my house. i didn't give birth to them, and they don't eat much or require a bedroom to sleep in at night or even seem to need clothes. i have never seen them. yet they are here none the less. three of them. their names are "i don't know", "not me" and "i didn't do it", and they are at the bottom of every mysterious thing that happens in our home. should something break or disappear, their names are brought up with unerring consistency. sometimes they are even mentioned when we just call upon a child or mention something unusual in passing. saxy will say something like, "honey. who ate the last of the...", and child number one will say, "not me!". the fact that no one was asking her opinion seems to be beyond her understanding, and we do try to be grateful for her and the other kids' offering up this information. after all, these three little hellions who live with us secretly appear to be at the bottom of a number of mysterious disappearances and problems in our house.
still i worry about these kids. i have never seen them. i haven't hugged them, played with them, disciplined them, spoken with them or done any other of the things parents do with their children. since they do live here i am responsible to raise them to be responsible adults. so far it's not working. they get into food they aren't supposed to, race around the house like little elephants (even though rough housing isn't allowed indoors), use my make up, and get into just about anything that my children are not allowed to get into.
i have nightmares of these three growing up and landing in prison for major crimes. and i won't even be able to go and bail them out. when the officer asks me if this child is mine i will have to respond, "could be, i am not sure." the officer may not find this amusing, but how can i identify a child i never saw grow up? besides, he (or she) may not even be mine. i hear a number of other households also have children going by the same names. none of these households have less than two kids, and they cause as much a ruckus in their other homes as they do in mine.
i'd like to think that if i could just mother these kids their behavior would improve. i want to share moments with them like i have with my other kids, days in the park together, reading together, playing together. i can't help but think that if they have those special family moments with me and my husband as parents that things would improve. if i could get them to sit down at the dinner table with the rest of us they wouldn't have to pilfer at other random times. besides, then i would be sure they are eating enough and getting the right nutrition. the costs in food, clothing, school supplies and a few other things would go up, but i would have the satisfaction of knowing i was doing my best to raise them right and that they would have a much better future than what i envision for them now.
we even made an attempt to do something for them today. my husband bought water guns, had filled them and set them on the kitchen counter for use later in the day. my oldest came and asked me if they were for her and the more visible siblings in the house.
"no, they're not."
"then who are they for?"
"they are for the other kids, not me, i don't know, and i didn't do it."
she was shocked, "mother!"
fortunately for her and the other children, not me, i don't know and i didn't do it never showed up for the bar-b-que or to play with the water guns. in fact, they have been mysteriously quiet today.
maybe they moved in with another family for awhile. perhaps one that doesn't believe in their existence. at least that way if an officer does come to my door asking if i know who's kid this is i can honestly say, "i don't know."