It's 7:30 a.m., and I walk into a dark bedroom with lights off and shades drawn. Lumps in two beds stir slightly as I step on a couple of toys and find my way to the window. As I reach to open one shade, something crinkles beneath my feet. I look down and find the plastic wrapper from a package of peanut butter crackers.
"Wow," I say out loud. "I wonder how this could have gotten here."
It's gray and rainy outside, so only a small area of light penetrates the dark room as I lift one shade. From the 5-year-old's bed I hear a muffled: "Joshua."
"No," I say. "Josh would never take a snack out of the kitchen, eat it in his bedroom and leave the wrapper on the floor."
"Joshua," the 5-year-old lump says again.
Finally, the 7-year-old lump starts to stir.
"Oh no," I say. "It can't be Joshua. It must have been Ethan [the next-door neighbor who was at our house the night before]."
"Yup," says the 7-year-old likely culprit, speaking for the first time. "It must have been Ethan."
"No," says Matthew, slightly annoyed. "Ethan and I didn't have a snack yesterday. It was Joshua."
"Well," I say. "If it was Ethan, I guess he can't come over here anymore."
Now Matthew is incensed that his best friend might be banned from the house. "Joshua!" he screams. "Stop lying! It was you!"
Josh pauses. "Well, it couldn't be me, because I throw my wrappers in the trash."
Matthew: "Jossshhhhh! Stop lying!"
Josh pauses again. "Well, maybe I put it in the trash and it flew up here," he says.
I think about that for a moment. "No, Josh, I don't think that could happen. The trash is locked [with a child safety lock]. I don't think it could get out."
"Well," Josh says, still lying facedown in his pillow. "Maybe I just left it on the table and it flew up here."
I say, "Okay, let me see if this wrapper can fly." I lift it above my head, let go and watch it float down on top of Josh's bed. "Nope," I say. "It doesn't fly."
Without hesitation, Josh is ready. "That's because it has invisible wings, Daddy. You can't actually see it flying."
Oh. Well that makes sense.