The phrase "Umm..." has begun to elicit what I would like to refer to as the "Wolf Family Emergency Response System".
When any member of the family responds to the question, "Where is Ivan?" with "umm...", we know we are in trouble. Really this is not new. It is just getting a bit more intense. I wish I could video a real time enactment of one of these situations. We will all be standing near the kitchen, setting the table, getting ice in the dinner glasses, and suddenly we realize one of us is missing. Gone. QUIET! We look around, call his name, and then scatter, searching for what havoc has been made and where.
This happened recently on a peaceful afternoon. Maggie had a friend over to play. Ivan was in the kitchen with me and then told me he wanted to "play Maggie". "OK", I responded, "go knock on her door and see if you can play with her."
Ivan scampered down the hallway with a smile. I heard him knocking on her door, "Me come in?" I hear him ask. He asks twice and then I assume she opens the door and willingly invites Ivan to play.
It was a few minutes later. Truly, 3 or 4, when I sensed an eery quiet. This happens often and always sends me into the same quick search. If Ivan was really with Maggie, there would be giggles, or screaming, or tears by now. I rushed to her door and opened it.
"Oh No!" I said. "I thought Ivan was with you..." "Ummmm.." Maggie replied, "We better find him!".
I then opened my bedroom door to find this.
I stood in the doorway looking at the baby-powdered wonderland. "NO!", Ivan said with his hand extended up in front of his face. "No panking!" he shouted through a frowning mouth.
Seeing that he had done all harm he could do, I grabbed my camera and photographed the little baby-powdered monster as he said, "No panking, no panking, no panking!" I lowered my camera and he changed his tune slightly; "Little panking Mommy?, Little panking."
I would love to tell you this is an isolated event. It is not. Ivan has squeezed out toothpaste, emptied shampoo bottles, filled the toilets, poured out an ENTIRE bottle of liquid laundry detergent, played in diaper rash creme, and countless other fun, messy, naughty things. These often happen when he "was just right here!..." I have to tell friends and babysitters that he must be watched every single second. "I take him to the bathroom with me when I go. I put him in the shower with me if he is awake", I say. "He literally can't be out of your sight for any amount of time." They usually smile and think I am over-exaggerating. And a few messes later, they realize that I am only trying to spare us all from the perils of his curiosity.
Let's hope there is something in his future that can turn his sneaky mischief into an asset. And I am not thinking anything against the law here :)
I better go find him.