The Scavenger Hunt You do NOT Want to Win

As a child I loved the thrill of a scavenger hunt. What special treasures were waiting just around the corner? What hints would I be given on my quest to find the treasures? I could hardly stand the excitement! Kids all around me would be running and laughing, gleeful at the thought of being the winner.

As a mother, all that has changed.

I now pretty much HATE scavenger hunts.

My husband is not a big fan of them, either. Each of us try to overlook the obvious clues we find in our home, hoping, praying, silently willing the other to find the "treasure" first.

Here are the top 10 things I do NOT like to find in my house:
1. Table place settings for four in my carpeted hallway.
I know it looks all sweet and little girl cute, and it really is, but I am not fond of these impromptu tea parties because some members of our family are insistent upon using real beverages. Which would be fine, except that these same members of the family tend to spill said beverages. On my carpet. Sadly, however, they much prefer the hallway to the kitchen for tea parties. I don't know why.

2. Opened bottles of fingernail polish.
It's one thing to have a mani/pedi party together, but unauthorized use of polish is a serious breach of the child/parent contract.

3. My jewelry placed precariously close to the sink drain.
Also unauthorized because my jewelry box has been strategically placed out of reach and the presence of this ring indicates a violation of the jewelry box ban.

4. General mayhem.
I mean, really, what in the world kind of house are my girls playing that the refrigerator needs to be laying on the floor? And what were they doing playing with wire clothes hangers? Mommy Dearest?

5. Dress-up disaster.
WHY do we have so much dress-up stuff? Where does it all come from? I don't remember actually buying any of these things. It's like the widow's jar from the Old Testament that just supernaturally produced more and more flour.

6. Children's clothing on our front steps.
Or anyone's clothing, for that matter. It is not difficult to surmise the condition of the child running around the cul-de-sac who placed these clothes here. I did find her momentarily after this pictures was taken, but I do not want to be banned from my blog site so I cannot show it to you.

7. Coming downstairs to find this:

The 3 and 5-yr-old watching a show I have recorded on TiVo. Is it one of the plethora of children's shows I keep on hand for just such an occasion? Nope. The ONE show I currently watch. The ONLY show I watch. Modern Family (Before you judge me, I think you should know one of my pastors also confessed to watching it. Go after him first.)

8. Scissors which I have not used and are out. Anywhere. Ever. But particularly not fond of finding them in the playroom.
It seems as though I recall another time these scissors experienced unauthorized use in this house:

9. My child's absolute favorite (almost obsession level affection) princess gown wadded up in the closet and clearly soiled. It would not be pleasant, but okay, to make this discovery during waking hours. The universe could continue. Trouble is, I always seem to find them at BEDTIME, just as I'm ready to tuck the little darlings in and call it a day. Does she not have 14 other pair of pajamas? Why, yes, but clearly none of THEM are acceptable. Ensue drama.

Okay. We all know that in a few years I will miss these minor inconveniences in my house. I will long to spend a few minutes each night cleaning up the playroom or dabbing up water from tea parties on the floor. I'll wish for just one more discovery of even nail polish.

But this? This I don't see ever missing.

10. And the top thing I kinda don't love to find in my house:

Enough said. Roughly 14-16 years left of this one, I'm afraid.


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