Last night Ted announced that the DVD remote was missing. No wonder; our bedroom is an unholy mess, with everybody's laundry and diapers and whatnot everywhere, plus everything I have read in the last two months, 80 mummified hankies, 7000 dust bunnies, 12 pairs of shoes and a few miscellaneous Chanukah gifts stashed away (even though we don't do gifts).
Anyway, he searched EVERYWHERE. Literally, EVERYWHERE. Picking through the dust bunnies. Shining a flashlight low and high, rummaging through the mismatched-socks pile. Ugh... really must get laundry out of the bedroom someday. Anyway, nothing. A literal ransacking, and nothing.
And then I came in and searched, if not everywhere, in a few particularly suspicious places: the floor where it could have fallen between the mattress and the headboard, alongside my bedside table, in the "top-secret-gifts" bag that I hope Ted didn't find & search when he was searching. Nothing.
Total search time, to find absolutely nothing: easily an hour of our combined time.
And no remote.
I am SO careful with the remote, and it was particularly suspicious because the TV remote was right there; we always use them together and put them away together. But I figured Gavriel Zev had gotten ahold of the DVD remote and wedged it somewhere... and finally gave up searching. I used the DVD player with the buttons on top, but those only let you watch the DVD, not access any of the menus or special features, including closed captions, which I always turn on because then you can half-watch and/or half-hear and still follow the plot (plus it's also almost like reading a book WHILE watching TV - double the pleasure!).
No special features, bonus features, whatever. It was the Season Finale of Grey's Anatomy, Season 3. Very dramatic, kind of.
Anyway, tonight, I was in my bed at Elisheva and the Littles' bedtime, whining about how sick I am (yes, still sick, even MORE sick than before, if such a thing is possible) and stuck in bed with no DVD remote.
And her face lit up. "Oh! The remote!"
OMG, no. NO. Not... the remote control. There is absolutely nothing holy in my life and no area of personal privacy that they do not invade and Take My Stuff. They are worse than cats.
Cautiously, me, "Do you know where it is?"
"I have it. Well, it's in the car."
"In the car."
"In my knapsack. I needed it for my drama presentation. Do you want me to go get it?"
Gaaaaah! Kill!! Strangle!
"Yes, you go get it, please, while I announce to the world that I Have No Daughter!!!!"
"Can I have my dreidel first?" (I'd already told her my mother bought her a small dreidel in Israel's today)
When she came back in, I told her she had to apologize to Ted.
"For what? It's not my fault you didn't ASK me if I had the remote."
Gaaah! Do you have any idea what happens if I ask them if they have my stuff? You have not truly experienced self-righteousness until your ears have absorbed the cries of a teenager wrongly accused. Or, if not wrongly, as such, then accused in a slightly incorrect tone of voice that suggests that you no longer cherish them as precious little people.
Anyway, she did apologize to Ted, half-heartedly. Something along the lines of "Sorry, Abba, that you didn't ask me if I had the remote." I forget what her exact words were. Dumb. And yes, I was angry. So she finally apologized right, and I did give her my dreidel.
The excuse - ultimately? She needed it for the drama presentation and she was going out at "seven in the morning" yesterday and didn't want to disturb me "asleep in bed" by ASKING for the remote (she said "asleep in bed" in much the same way you or I would refer to a mother lying drunkenly on the sidewalk in front of her house), nor did she want to hunt for the little battery-less remote that Gavriel Zev uses as a cellphone. So she just did the considerate thing and TOOK it.
The only problem with her story is that yesterday morning, I happen to know she didn't go out until about 8:15. How do I know? I drove her to school. Oh, yes, and I wasn't "asleep in bed" at the time, either. I was awake and as alert as someone on her way to toivelling and then Second Cup possibly can be.
No, she just took it because either she couldn't be bothered asking, or feared the answer might be no. She just took it.
I HATE HAVING MY STUFF TAKEN!!!
Just today, going into her room for something, I found a roll of shiny tape I'd been looking for, some scissors (one pair mine, one pair Naomi's) and a few other sundry items that people have been searching for for weeks. Yet I never suspected she'd go so far as to just grab the ONE and ONLY DVD remote in the house... just because she wanted to use it in a play.
After Elisheva went to bed with her new 20-cent dreidel, Ted came upstairs with a library book of mine that he'd found in YM's room. I only just took the book out of the library three days ago; I haven't even had time to crack the cover.
We have told YM repeatedly for YEARS now... a) don't read my books without permission, and b) even if he has permission, ONLY IN THE LIVING ROOM. Never downstairs. What are we supposed to do - hide the books? Lock them up???
Anyway, I asked YM why he'd taken the book, and he shrugged. "I didn't have anything else to read."
At which point, I blew up. I called him "completely amoral, without morals, without values," without belief in anything beyond his own selfish desires. I told him to go to bed, immediately. I said if he wanted to say Shema to whatever it was he believed in, I would be happy to listen.
At which point, in a fit of self-righteousness, defending his right to TAKE "OTHER PEOPLE'S STUFF AT WILL, he stormed out of the room and said goodnight.
Believe it or not... believe it or not, and you are perhaps going to laugh at my naiveté when I say this... I used to have two cats, before I had kids. Their names were Tigris and Euphrates; they were brother and sister. Yes, I'm allergic to cats, but I liked them enough anyway. But still, we found other homes for them before YM was born because I figured I couldn't take care of too many living things at once. Got rid of the plants, for the same reason.
But the funny thing was, when we got rid of the cats, I remember thinking, "it's going to be so nice to go out and come home and find everything right where we put it." I was utterly tired of how the cats would knock stuff down, move stuff around a bit. They were born together and like all good siblings, wrestled their way through the apartment several times a day. "Without cats, things will stay right on the coffee table, or wherever they belong."