Welcome to the KingZoo and Funny Farm, where we learn to live, laugh, and love together. Here you'll find snippets of life in our zoo, parenting tips we've learned along the way, reflections on shining God's light in this world, passions in the realm of orphan care, and our journey as parents of a visually impaired child with sensory processing disorder. Have fun!

Thursday, February 5, 2015

CSI: At Home

Case 020515 - The Case of the Gum on the Ceiling

I was the first to notice it. An unmistakable pink patch right at the edge of the dining room, almost to the kitchen. Not quite round but clearly carefully spread out with a set of guilty fingers.

As each child entered the room and looked up, they confirmed what I was seeing. Gum. Plastered to the ceiling with a shocking deliberateness. Who? Why? How?

I had children stand on chairs to prove that they could or could not reach the ceiling, with or without help.

I asked children if they had any gum stashed away anywhere. I asked kids if they had been given gum by any strangers today.

I asked if anyone had seen a masked intruder run into the house at any time today, take his gum from his mouth, smear it on my ceiling, and leave without a trace (except for the tell-tale gum).

I asked if anyone had let Nana Bush, our beloved neighbor, into the house today so that she could dispose of her gum on our ceiling rather than in her own trash can. Well, she does keep a meticulous house and yard; it's not beyond the realm of possibilities that she would not want to soil it with Already Been Chewed Gum.

But alas, no one had seen anything.

So then I had to go down the list of suspects.  Victor was the first to be ruled out. Too young. Andrew was also declared not guilty. Too far away. Hope was cleared when she failed the standing on the chair test. Too short. Jesse and Ana were not home at the time of the first sighting so it couldn't be them. That left three suspects: Shoun, Isaac, and Eden.

Each was interrogated separately and each claimed their innocence. Although Shoun did give us a possible motive when he came home from school asking if I had any pine trees hidden away in the backyard because he needed pine tar for his hands so he could cheat at the up-coming Battleball Tournament. Um, no. But a child who wanted pine tar could very easily be testing out the stickiness of gum. Or so I thought. When questioned, however, he assured us that he was not allowed to chew gum at school and he had not accepted gum from any strangers he met on his way home.

That left Eden and Isaac, both of whom were trying to keep a straight face as we discussed this heinous crime.

With no evidence, no motive (other than that pine tar business), and no confession, I had to admit defeat and clean up the mess myself. Eeeeeew. I hate gum. I used to love gum. I was a pack a week chewer. It's what got me through high school and college. Trident. Cinnamon flavor. But I digress. There was a crime to solve.

I pulled over a chair (thus proving that I could not have committed this crime without the help of an assistive device), pulled out my knife, and started to scrape.

Except the "gum" came off quite easily. Too easily, in fact. It just chipped away.

And then it occurred to me. Victor had occupational therapy earlier in the day. She was bound and determined that he was going to eat with a spoon. I had just given her a glowing update on his new scooping-and-feeding-himself-with-a-spoon skills and she was ready for the show. Only he wasn't in the mood for showing off. In a fit of rage when I wasn't paying attention, he grabbed the spoon that he was determined not to use for its intended purpose today, and flung it far, far away. The yogurt (pink yogurt, I might add) that I had already scooped to make the task easier, landed all over the floor and on the OT's pants.

What we all missed but will have to wait for the televised reverse-action slow-motion version to witness, was the glob that flew into the air and landed on the ceiling. Just sitting there drying all afternoon. Drying into a perfectly pink, bubble-gum-ish color and glob. Victor was our guilty party; sitting in the midst of "the talk", likely laughing to himself because he had fooled us all.

At least I had 7 other witnesses that also saw the original gum on the ceiling. Guess we all have egg on our faces now. Or is it gum?

Case closed. I just love a good mystery with a surprise ending. Don't you?

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