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Katy England Katy England
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That doesn't go there

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While looking for a piece of train under the fridge I found most of the alphabet and several math problems. This was along with more pieces of cereal than I'm comfortable disclosing in a public forum. Sure, the letters and numbers were from a magnet set, but it illustrates a strange thing that happens when you're a parent you find weird things in weird places.

Once, I went into the girls' room to find they were chewing on something like gum. Except it wasn't gum. It was fluff from one of their stuffed animals they had poked a hole in. I have two full packages of crayons in my purse along with an emergency bag of goldfish crackers. Most of the coats in the house contain some kid-friendly snack for doctor's visits or just for me to scarf when no one is looking.

One day, I found raisins in the lint trap in my dryer. I honestly don't know if one of my kids had them in his or her pockets or if I had them in mine. So far, I've only put two crayons through the laundry but that was plenty, thank you. I've lost track of how many tissues, baked beans and globs of oatmeal have gone through the laundry. I did stop the dryer once to retrieve a wooden block that didn't really need the delicates cycle.

I've found entire outfits that no longer fit children tucked away in the car. I won't bore you with the amount of crumbs also located in the car, though I did find a sippy-cup that had been missing in action for six months. Thank God it only had water in it. But it was frozen.

There are countless vehicles, musical instruments, boxes, books and buddies that are in beds, under shelves and behind furniture. One day, the girls' room looked uncharacteristically clean. All of their toys, puzzles, books and stuffed animals had been stuffed behind their bureau. I've removed the collection several times. But it always returns.

And then there are the things that I used to be able to find that have gotten more difficult after I had relocated everything from the junk drawer to places that were a lot less accessible. Tape is always floating away though, I do think I still have the remains of a roll of duct tape in my purse. You know for emergency book-binding/toy repair.

Being prepared means packing something you need until you forget about it until you actually need it, then hope you can find where you put it. Sometimes I've completely outsmarted myself by packing something I thought I had forgotten my past self saving my present self's butt. But I've also managed to do the complete opposite for the exact same reasons. It all comes down to how the cookie crumbles (or if I ate the cookie or if it went through the wash).

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