Because most philosophies that frown on reproduction don't survive.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

In Which I Find No Rational Explanation

Darwin had a long-standing plan to take an overnight trip to Houston last Friday. The young ladies wept copiously at learning that Daddy was abandoning us for an entire night, which sobbing could only be soothed by my setting up the ancient tv/vcr on a dresser in my room and digging out an old videotape of Bringing Up Baby. Screwball comedy, it seems, is easily accessible to the under-six set, especially if it features a leopard, a dog, and a brontosaurus skeleton.

I didn't have the heart to disturb the pile of sleeping girls at the end of the movie, so I made room for myself on the edge. I slept lightly all night, thanks to kicks, murmurs, and the stupid cat crying to be let back in at 3 AM (at which point I made sure that yes, I had locked all the doors). At dawn, fed up with baby's hand grubbing up my sleeve, I detached her and made my way downstairs. Our staircase is the repository for all sorts of items in transition: any clothes found downstairs are thrown on the landing or draped over the banister, and the second stair is usually reserved for a stack of old newspapers awaiting the trip to the garage (all of two feet away). I'd been unusually virtuous a day or two before and had finally packed up the three-foot pile of newspaper in the garage to haul down to the recycling bin at church, so as I passed the newspaper sitting neatly on the edge of the stair I paused to see what section I'd missed.

And there, in my cheerful, sun-lit kitchen, I stood transfixed as I gazed down at that morning's paper.

I was the first one up; I would have noticed if one of the girls had gotten out of bed and gone outside to get the newspaper (which she would have thrown, wrapped, on the living room floor, not opened and placed tidily on the stair). It had not come bundled in with the Friday paper, because I got the Friday paper myself. All the downstairs windows were shut and the doors were locked -- and who would break into a house to bring in the paper? And if someone did enter the house, how would he know that we put our paper on the stair, especially since I'd taken away the pile that normally sits there? I don't recall if it was there at 3:00, when I let the cat in, but I relocked the back door, and we keep our back gate locked so that the girls won't run into the front yard. I asked Darwin if he'd brought in a paper Friday evening, but he had not.

Can anyone give me a rational explanation for how Saturday's newspaper turned up on my stair before anyone had been out of the house Saturday morning?


PB said...

It's possible the paper was there at 3am and you did this half asleep and forgot about it by morning?

Personally, I am such a heavy sleeper that I've had full blown conversations with my wife while she's up nursing the baby, and not remembered a thing about it the next morning. In fact, this morning I woke up in my 3 year olds bed with no recollection as to how I got there!

mrsdarwin said...

I'm absolutely sure I didn't get the paper at three. The cat came to the back door; I let him in and went right back to bed. I didn't turn on the light, so I don't know if the paper was already sitting on the stair at that time.

I slept fairly lightly on account of having three big girls in bed with me, and I'm certain none of them got out of bed without my knowing it. So this is a rather odd mystery to me.

Anonymous said...

With stories told of many a feat,
How Faery Mab the junkets eat,
She was pincht, and pull'd she sed,
And he by Friars Lanthorn led
Tells how the drudging Goblin swet
To ern his Cream-bowle duly set,
When in one night, ere glimps of morn,
His shadowy Flale hath thresh'd the Corn
That ten day-labourers could not end,
Then lies him down the Lubbar Fend.
And stretch'd out all the Chimney's length,
Basks at the fire his hairy strength;
And Crop-full out of dores he flings,
Ere the first Cock his Mattin rings.

Kiwi Nomad said...

You must have done a bit of sleepwalking is my theory!

Anonymous said...

Too creepy for me!!!
Though I do have a daughter who sleepwalks and has done all sorts of things in the middle of the night. She started to go outside once and we stopped her in time. She's taken a shower at 3 AM, moved the furniture in her bedroom and such. But it doesn't sound as if you have a history of that.
I thought you were going to tell us that Darwin had come home early and was sleeping on the couch or something....

Vitae Scrutator said...

For some reason, Olivia's favorite movie for the past two weeks has been Napoleon Dynamite. Lisa and Michael went to Paris last week and I had to sit through about six screenings of the thing before they got back. Dang!

mrsdarwin said...


Has she taken her bike off any sweet jumps?

Catholic Bibliophagist said...

Perhaps you've been adopted by a friendly Hob.

Anonymous said...

O_o... Creepy. I would have said that noogs did it, but as far as I can recall she doesn't have an affinity for reading the paper. Going out of the house: Yes.


CMinor said...

The paper carrier stopped by, noticed the door was ajar, then dropped off your paper and shut the door?

Only works if the paper was delivered before 3am, though.

Or maybe a house elf just moved in.

Codgitator (Cadgertator) said...

All I'd say is, to be on the discerning side, pay special attention to whatever news just happened to be on the page as you found it.

mrsdarwin said...

What caught my attention particularly was a big graphic of Barack Obama with the headline: "Whites' Great Hope?"

Make of that what you will...

Anonymous said...

The cat.