Thursday, September 27, 2007

Search and Destroy!

There are some things in life I find very, very annoying. One is looking for things when I can't remember where I last had it, where I may have hidden it from myself. By the same token, some things that get put up, misplaced, (not always by my hand though) and can't be located when needed - now that really tends to annoy me.

But some things too, when I have a general idea where they would be found -regardless of who used said item last - and ask someone to take care of something pertaining to said item that person tends to expect the item to just jump out at her!

I should by this stage of my life be well acquainted with this syndrome - having raised three children to adulthood myself and now, there's a teenager here - along with the two little ones who aren't responsible for misplaced items. (Although --Maya did discover the little opening in the hearth of the fireplace here and figured out that the two plates there will open and reveal what appeared to her to be an excellent place in which she could stow away most anything from matchbox cars, blocks, shoes, socks, etc. We also learned once we realized she was putting things in there that quite often when asked if she put such and such an item someplace or in that spot, she would tell us, or lead us to it and point at it. Her Dad subsequently closed it up so that if she does try to stash anything in there now, it will only land about two inches from the opening and is then easily retrievable.)

However, back to my origin of this post - when my kids were growing up and I would ask them to go get such and such an item for me, they rarely were able to find the nose on their faces. I used to tell them to stop looking at the ceiling when hunting for things because the only thing that would be found there would be spiders and cobwebs - which obviously were never on my list of things I wanted them to look for either. And, if the did look up at the ceiling and see those type of things - the spiders, etc -unless specifically told to take something and wipe them off or dust them down, that idea would never have crossed their minds either. Direction - very STRONG direction was always necessary then.

Apparently it is something that all teens are afflicted with though - the lack of being able to see things, to search for things, to find things. Mainly this is caused -or so I believe - by the fact they don't want to do anymore physical things than necessary. And what they believe to be necessary there extends only to walking to said area where a missing item may be and then, just casually strolling around, perhaps lifting something here and there, as long as there is no extra movement required - like say, bending over, actually moving things a bit to find the missing thing.

As an example here, we have two telephone lines in this house and each line has two phones attached to it. With each line, one of those two phones is also a cordless phone and it's a difficult concept to remember that cordless phones also need to be recharged -sometimes frequently but usually regularly at any rate.

Now, the one cordless phone and the corresponding second phone to that line rarely get used unless someone has to make a long distance phone call. The reason being that my computer runs on that line and since my computer is generally on line almost all the time, that cordless phone rarely leaves its pedestal charger in the kitchen. This phone is generally referred to as the "White" phone -because -another difficult concept here - the phone is white. (The desk phone on that line is the "green" phone also so named because of the color.

Now my daughter Mandy's phone line is one that has no long distance service available and the one outlet for that line is in the basement - referred to as "the basement phone" and the other outlet for the cordless phone to that line is in Mandy and her husband's bedroom and it is the "Black" phone. There are times when it is quite difficult to locate the black phone simply because some people cart it around the house and leave it laying - face down too - in areas where one wouldn't always think to look for it - like in between the couch cushions is one particular hiding place some seem to favor - the bathroom vanity is another one -or just put it face down on the island in the kitchen, in between oodles of papers and dishes and stuff. When that phone is placed face down it also muffles the sound when it rings which can hinder locating the darned thing before the caller decides there is no one home and hangs up too - a habit that greatly irritates the living daylights out of ME!

This afternoon, I heard the teen coming up out of the basement and figured - since she has no other reason to go into that hinterland of the house - she must have been having perhaps a top secret phone call and couldn't use the black cordless phone and take it out on the deck because it is raining - also a bit of thunder and lightning too, I might add.

But I came into the living room and the black phone was laying on my desk and I happened to pick it up thinking I'd make a call but it was dead - deader than a doornail. So I called upstairs to her and requested that she, when she knows the phone is dead, to please put it on the charger in Mandy's bedroom. Her response was that she was going to do that earlier but she couldn't find the charger.

Now I will concede that finding things at times in Mandy's room can be a bit tough - she's got all kinds of stuff scattered about -hither, thither and yon. But the phone charger and being unable to locate that? That puzzled me cause it HAS to be in that room because that is where the outlet is for it.

I told her to look again because it has to be there - look on the floor by the door, as that's where Mandy had been placing it most recently. The teen's response was that it wasn't there; she'd already looked there and it was no where to be found.

I think I have mentioned on a few occasions that I try to avoid the stairs in the house at all costs - going up the steps creates more aches and pains in my back and going down steps, causes my knees to give weird painful sensations like they are going to go out on me. And, all things considered, one thing I don't need in my life right now is to fall and break a bone - any bone -but especially one that would hinder my mobility further.

But since the teen was unable to find the darned phone charger, and I know darned well too that it is in Mandy's room, I had to venture upstairs to find it. First thing I did was show the teen where the outlet is and the wires coming from that would lead us to where the charger was tonight. She protested that she had looked, really hard too, but imagine her shock when within five seconds of following that little bit of cord, I found the charger there on the floor with one little piece of clothing over it. Not really well hidden or anything like that -just that someone doesn't know how to pick anything up and look beneath things.

But the charger at least had been located and the phone placed on it so it will soon be usable again.

Moving on to other lost and found things, about ten minutes later the teen asked if we were having leftovers for supper tonight, to which I replied yes. I told her there was roast beef along with the kluski noodles and gravy leftovers from supper two days ago in the fridge and she could heat some of that up. Off she headed to the kitchen and within less than two minutes, she was complaining that there was no meat, no noodles to be found.

Again, I knew it was in there and restated that fact to her -adding that she might actually have to bend over a bit, move a couple things around to locate it but it was there. More whining, complaining, statements that it was not there and yes, that she had moved things and looked.

Off to the kitchen, move on beverage pitcher aside, move a gallon container of milk to the left and presto magic, can you believe it, but there was the container full of the noodles and gravy -right beside the casserole dish containing the left over roast beef too.

So much for the teaching of a teen how to go on a search and destroy mission for tonight!


Gene Bach said...

I think we live in the same house! We have a green room and a white room...according to carpet color. Of course we changed the carpet in the front room so maybe now we should rename it the brown mottled room?

Our phones seem to grow legs every day and I can not count the amount of things I've set down and never seen again.

You sure we aren't just living in parallel universes?

Vic Grace said...

I am truly glad I don't have any kids around. I just don't have what it takes anymore. Bless you Jeni with extra patience.

Debo Blue said...

Okay, I'm gonna be a bit of a meanie here:

next time she can't find the food, tell her she'll starve before you get up to find the food for her. You'll be amazed how quickly her deduction skills will develop.

Next time the phone is dead, don't let her use the other until the charger is found and the dead phone is sufficiently charged.