It’s 9:30am on a warm Sunday in November. Time for our penultimate flag football excursion, a weekly quixotic attempt to capitalize on a passing interest Jack showed in the sport but nowadays seems to find excuses to try and wheedle out of going, mainly so he can stay at home and play with his toys.
Jack is whining about not wanting to go, but I’m urging him to go. Sheesh, there’s only two more weeks, and it’s nice out, and what am I going to do you and Peter for 2 hours otherwise? After all, he’s blown through his allotted Wii time for the morning. Besides, these kids are hopped up.
Jack does have one legitimate excuse though — his loose upper tooth is hurting him, and it might not be possible to bite down on the mouthguard, and what if he loses his tooth while playing, and… and… Clearly Jack is worried about this, but I browbeat him into agreeing to go this week. Besides, it’s time to leave.
To this point, I’ve succeeded in my heroics to get the boys ready. I find Jack’s uniform and mouth guard. I get him and Peter dressed. I’ve got a stack of things to put in the car at the door: folding chairs, diapers, sweatshirts if it gets cold, toys to amuse Peter, juice boxes and snacks… ooh but I need to get the water bottles. I’ll get those in a moment. Let’s get the boys in the car. “Jack, put your shoes on, we have to go.”
“I can’t find my shoes, remember?”
I *do* remember… we couldn’t find them yesterday before his gymnastics outing, so we just threw on his boots at the time. He can’t play football in boots. I spend 5 minutes… 10 minutes… scouring the house with him, checking every room, looking under beds and sofas, peeking in closets and below tables, wandering the house like a crazy person. No go. No shoes. We try to retrace his steps. 15 minutes. 20 minutes. We’re late. We’re hopelessly late. He had them Friday after school, right? “They were right here on a chair in the dining room,” Jack claims… but he also claimed before that that they were in Momma’s car (she’s at her church job), which was patently false. So this witness is untrustworthy.
Sigh. No flag football. I rationalize that with his sore tooth, this is the decision we needed to make anyways. I point them at their play room and everyone is relatively happy not to be trekking out to the field.
Fast forward to Katherine’s return from her church singing gig. Jack’s tooth has fallen out, further confirming the decision not to go. I hop in the car to head to a football-watching birthday party with friends. Within ten minutes of her arrival home, Katherine has a conversation with Peter.
Katherine, remembering Peter grabbing Jack’s shoes on Friday at one point, asks him, “Peter, where are Jack’s shoes?” He responds, “A robber took them.”
Hmmmm. “Where did the robber put them?” “In the jail.”
“But where’s the jail?” “At the police station.”
At this point, Katherine does a great job of maintaining her composure, so as not to scare the witness off. “Okay… WHERE is the police station?”
“Next to the playground we go to with Tristan.”
Katherine stops this line of questioning as she realizes this makes no sense. She tries a direct line of questioning. “Do you mean… under the table next to the couch in the den?”
Peter: “……… Yes.”
This is one of Peter’s favorite places to hide, since he can just barely fit underneath the table. It never occurred to me to look there, since why would Jack’s shoes be there? Why would a three year old decide that he needs to steal his brother’s older shoes and then not say anything while his dad and brother tear the house apart looking for those shoes?
Because… all together now… KIDS ARE WEIRD.