Since becoming a mother, I’ve had to accept that nothing belongs to me anymore. Everything I own is fair game for the children. Here are a few of the most commonly pilfered items:
1) Scotch tape. I used to have my own roll of scotch tape. It was so nice. Whenever I needed tape, all I had to do was open the kitchen drawer and voila! Now I have to go on a hunt for the missing tape, which I usually find on Bee’s desk, because she has “borrowed” it for one of her projects.
2) Scissors. I once had a half dozen pairs of scissors, and I have absolutely no idea where they all went. My husband actually bought me three pairs for my Christmas stocking, because he was tired of hearing me mutter under my breath about how I can never find any freakin’ scissors when I need them. Maybe they went to live with Jesus in office supply heaven.
3) Dry eraser and markers. We have a dry erase calendar and board on the refrigerator, and I use it every single day….or attempt to, after I’ve done a complete search of the girls’ room for my marker and/or eraser. The girls have a dry erase board on their bedroom door, but they always lose their supplies in the pigsty that is their room. Naturally, rather than looking for their stuff, they just help themselves to mine. My husband always knows when I can’t find the dry erase marker, for the 10th time in one day, because I go out to the kitchen to write something down, and a few minutes later he hears me yell, “Those rotten kids!”
4) Step stool. I have one in my closet. It’s just for me, because I’m short, and I have trouble reaching the top shelf. The girls have their own step stool, and yet they always “borrow” mine, because they can never find theirs (it’s usually in the pantry, where Cakes has used it to reach something she isn’t supposed to have). Every time I open the closet to get my step stool, it’s gone. Every time!
5) Candy. My husband often buys me my favorite candy on holidays…marshmallow pumpkins at Halloween, Lindor truffles at Christmas, Russel Stover chocolates on Valentine’s Day. I have learned, the hard way, that I cannot leave these things out where the children can find them, because to them, anything of Mommy’s is community property. They will eat it all, and not give it a second thought.
The children simply cannot understand why all of this bothers me so much. As Bee said one day, when I was reading her the riot act for taking my dry erase marker again, “But Mom, I only borrowed it!” I replied, “No you didn’t! Borrowing implies that you will return it. I shouldn’t have to go digging through the piles of stinky socks under your bed in an attempt to find it!”
I mean really, is it so much to ask? I just want something of my own! I don’t recall, when I signed up to be a mother, agreeing to a “What’s Mine is Theirs” clause. I think it’s very sad that I fantasize about reaching for one of my favorite pens (Bic Cristal, in black. I buy several packages every year at back-to-school time, because they all miraculously disappear) and actually finding one in the pencil cup on my desk. It’s the writer in me. I take my pens seriously.
I dream about the day when I reach for the Blistex Lip Medex (my favorite), which I always keep on my nightstand, and it’s actually still there! Or my dental floss. Or my bookmark (Bee has 25 bookmarks, but she seems to prefer mine).
I fully expect, as the girls get older, that they will “borrow” my makeup and hair accessories, and I will have to fight for the right to my own bottle of shampoo. I’ll probably have to hide a few precious commodities, like tampons and Tylenol, just for emergencies.
Incidentally, my children are not the only ones who are guilty of taking my stuff. I have my own little tool kit in the utility closet, and my husband often “borrows” my pliers and/or screwdriver. But does he put them back? NO! He’s also used scrapbook supplies, like my craft knife or tiny scissors, and I’ve had to search his modeling desk for them. And you don’t even want to get me started on the chocolate chips, which have been a bone of contention between us for years. I buy several packages of chocolate chips when I find a good sale, because I do a lot of baking and like to have them on hand. When I go to the freezer to get a package, I usually find that my husband has eaten them. Then I yell at him about eating all the expensive chocolate chips, and as a result, the next time he eats a package, he’ll leave 2 or 3 chips in the bottom so I can’t say that he ate them “all.”