The Monster Upstairs

When your boy comes down from his room after having played quietly for an hour, standing in front of you, naked from his bath, saying, “I want broom and dustpan, please,” it’s a moment of conflicting emotions.

On the one hand, you’re thrilled with the clear language and request for tools that don’t often get asked for.

On the other hand, you suddenly know how Brad Pitt felt when he asked Morgan Freeman, “WHAT’S IN THE BOX?????” (Yes, it’s an old allusion. Google it, if you need to.)

Suffice it to say, as your boy takes your free hand that isn’t holding the broom and dustpan, and leads you upstairs, there’s a growing sense of despair. You just know you should have gone up sooner to check on the quiet . . . .

I walk in and find the culprit. All this time, I assumed the boy had done whatever the deed was.

But no. It was another little monster . . .

As we shove open the door that’s blocked by basically every blanket in the house, I notice that his room smells a bit nicer than normal. A bit sweeter. Not unlike a chocolate chip cookie.

Then it dawns on me. The container of cookies was missing from the kitchen during dinner.

And there they were.

And the culprit was caught . . . Covered in cookie powder. With all the cookies crumbled to powder and mixed into the blankets and carpet.

Cause Cookie is a messy eater.

But this is what we call progress in our house. While the boy loves turning poptarts to powder at school lunch, his new teacher has taught him to clean up after himself by asking for, you guessed it, the broom and the dustpan, please.

Ah the joy of childhood, and the bittersweet chocolate of growing up and learning to clean the messes that monsters make.

"Children see magic because they look for it." --Christopher Moore, Lamb: The Gospel according to Biff, Jesus' childhood pal.