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I hate taking showers.

Okay, no.  That’s not true.  Let me clarify.  I hate taking showers when there’s no one else responsible in the house to keep an eye on the kids. 

And by kids, I mean Allie. 

Paige is now bordering on seven.  Not that I would leave her alone in charge of her sister, but when I’m running to work on a weekend morning, and Papa isn’t quite out of the shower yet, I don’t cringe at the thought of the things that could happen.  I pretty much know they’ll glue themselves to Disney Jr., and the mother inside Paige will keep Allie mostly on the straight and narrow.  Unless she finds something trouble-y she could make her do instead that would incur serious punishment.  You know, just for the whole entertainment factor. 

When the house is empty of all personnel though, with the exception off Allie and myself, the thought of taking a shower makes me cringe. 

Allie is….mischievous. Putting it mildly.  Allie will do something simply because she knows it makes your blood boil.  While looking you in the eye.  And sticking her tongue out at you.

She is also way too smart for her own good.  She can unlock all the doors in the house.  And higher locks would do nothing, because she would simply find something to stand on to get to said lock.  Seen it done.

Thursday morning, after quite a bit of stalling, I was brave enough to step into the shower.  I spent as little time as possible in there soaping up and washing my hair. I stepped out and wrapped a towel around myself, and peeked out of the bathroom door to see how great the damage was.

I peeked into the back room, where the cartoons were blaring stupidly at an empty space.  Allie was no where to be found. 

“Allie?” I called, tentatively.  She likes to hide behind the couch a lot, but usually comes right out when called.

Nothing.  Dead.  Silence. 

“Allie?” I called again, my voice an octave higher and a tad more frantic. 

Nothing.

I ran into the living room, looking at both the front and back door, confirming my worst thoughts.  But both were closed.  Doesn’t mean anything.  The front door, even when locked, can still be opened from the inside, and she would certainly close it behind her because she knows how crazy it drives me to have the doors left ajar.  As she left, she could probably hear me screaming, “Were you born in a barn?!” 

I was not giving up hope yet that she was in the house.  The thought occurred to me that my uncle, who is on the police force, was at least at the top of my street working a detail.  Surely he’d send her back if she got that far. 

I run upstairs, searching Paige’s room.  Searching Papa’s room.  All the while calling for her.  Both empty.  Both silent.

I run back down the stairs, and open the back door and scan the back yard, praying for a flash of pink.  Nothing.  I call for her.  Again, silence. 

I am now in full panic mode.  But I am not quite out of tricks yet. 

The mother in me tells me she’s upstairs.  I go to the top of the stairs.  Papa’s room is to my right.  Paige’s room is to my left, and the bathroom is directly in front of me.  I direct my comment nowhere in particular, I simply say loudly, so it can be heard in all rooms, “I HAVE CUPCAKES!” 

“Cupcakes?!”  I heard from somewhere in Paige’s room. 

I turn my head just in time to see a little girl, squirming her way out from under a bed like an addict who’s just been informed of the closest crack house.

“Yes.  And you’re getting NONE because hiding from Mommy is VERY fresh!” 

I know.  Awful. 

But now I know.  If Allie is missing, just call out that you’re in possession of some sort of bakery treat.  Works like a charm.

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