Finding Patience

Conversation overheard in my house:

“Mom it’s not where you said it is.” That’s Eldest, my eight-year old.

“Yes it is. Just look properly and you’ll see it. On the desk.”

“I AM looking properly! It’s not here.”

“If I come up there and find it . . .”

“Come look. It’s not here.”

Footsteps stomping up the stairs. . .

“You see mom. Nothing here . . .”

“Oh really? What’s this then?”

“Oh. . .”

“You look for things just like your father!”

Sigh. Somehow this is my fault.

“I just didn’t see it.”

“Then what did you look with? Not your eyes surely?”

Sound familiar? I suspect it does.

It’s actually not her fault, to be fair. That’s the way children are. There’s even some truth in the Wife’s reference to me in that exchange. Although I might not be on Eldest’s level, I’m definitely no Sherlock Holmes either. My mother used to say that I look with my mouth, because when trying to find something I’d use that organ to call her. I’m what they call loskop, which roughly translates to loose-headed. I’m not sure if the term was born from the idea that the person referred to might lose their head were it not attached, but you get the idea. Does it bother me? Just a little, but not too much. Besides, that’s what the Wife is around for.

This may seem a peculiar subject for a blog post, and I would agree with that sentiment were it not for the fact that I’ve noticed the same trend in most other families I’ve had interaction with recently. More than a trend, it’s a pandemic. It seems that kids all over cannot find pens when their parents are simultaneously cooking supper, keeping an eye on a sibling and taking an important phone call from which notes need to be jotted down. Nor can they locate that item of clothing they simply must have for their outfit that day. Husbands the world over are apparently incapable of spotting items in plain sight without the help of theirs spouses, if what the wives say is true.

I don’t know about yours, but in my house the hierarchy of being able to find things is as such:

The Wife – can locate pretty much anything in the mild chaos of our well-lived-in home. If something cannot be found by her, the reason is obviously that I must have “moved it someplace.”

Me – able to survive and will eventually find items such as car keys, cellphones or a child, given enough time.

Eldest (8) – wouldn’t find an aeroplane if she were standing on its wing.

Youngest (4) – will march off determinedly to locate the item. Ten minutes later to be found playing happily with her toys or running around the garden half naked, the unfinished task long forgotten.

It’s frustrating, I get that. But of all the things that you can lose,  don’t lose your patience. Especially with those you love.