The list starts out sounding pretty innocent, like casualties of any child's normal growth and development:
-Kyle's glasses, several of my pearl bracelets- All casualties of the grabby baby/toddler days. These things you expect; they're the kind of thing that fuel advertisements for flexible glasses frames.
-Various plates, cups, and other kitchenware- Some of this is drops, spills, normal wear-and-tear. Others are more extreme, like how Daniel used to bite completely through soft-spouted sippy cup tips as a baby. This sheds some light on why he was promptly weaned at 1 year old.
Other things just sound merely inconvenient:
-The pull chain controlling the light on the ceiling fan in my bedroom- Turns out that when you can't reach the chain to turn the light off, jumping off the bed and grabbing it on your way down is effective in the short term, but renders the light useless thereafter. At least the light's stuck in the off position so we can still turn on the switch and use the fan at night.
This summer was an expensive one for broken things, like:
-Our laptop computer- Daniel made up a new game. You might call it “Slamm-o!” To play, you see how many times you can loudly open and close the computer in a minute.
-The paint job on the entire driver's side of our neighbors' car- All at once we learned that Daniel was not as capable of steering or braking his new bike as we thought he was.
-Eva's leg- There were only two of them in that room, and that leg didn't get broken (as Daniel originally claimed) by just standing there in the middle of the room doing nothing.
Today, though, we can now add:
-The law- We ran some errands this morning, including a trip to the resale shop in town where I was selling some of the kids' clothes. There is a nice little play area there, right next to a display of bottle-cap necklace charms. Imagine my astonishment when, at our next stop, the kids each pulled a bottle-cap out of their pocket. I don't think they fully understood at the time that what they did was stealing, but they definitely had carefully chosen their loot, as Daniel's had a Toy Story picture on it and Eva's a princess. The ride back across town allowed me plenty of time to semi-hysterically lecture about what jail cells are like and what the Bible says about stealing. In the end the owner of the resale shop was a little TOO nice about accepting their apologies and brushing it off as no big deal.
We'd had kind of a rough morning up to that point anyway, and a difficult afternoon the day before, so this was the tipping point for me. I think probably the biggest thing that will deter Daniel and Eva from a future in crime was having to listen to my breakdown in the car on the way home. From the (amazing for them) silence and the size of their eyes, I'll assume they'll remember that for a long time.
So while I'd love to end this by adding one last thing to the list:
-Their poor weary mother's heart!!
That seems a little melodramatic.
Instead we'll just say that I'm just adding this to their tab. Maybe one day I can figure all this stuff up, add in a little bit for pain and suffering, and send them a bill.