On Sunday afternoon when I opened up our produce box to retrieve the two sweet potatoes I had ordered so I could cook them for dinner, I was surprised to only find one. That's weird, I thought, I know I had two on Friday. I asked Ryan if we had eaten sweet potatoes this weekend, but I was pretty sure we had not, since most of our food had to be removed from a paper bag and unwrapped before eating this weekend. He assured me with his non-progesterone-soaked brain that we had not.
But it was a sweet potato, not a live lobster. And it was there when I checked the order on Friday. Where on earth could it be? I called in Ryan for back up.
"Ryan, what did you do with that big sweet potato that was in here?"
Because obviously HE had done something with it. Something he was keeping from me. Obviously.
"What are you talking about?"
"That huge sweet potato that was in this box. It's gone!"
"Charlie, did you do something with the sweet potato?"
"No" he said quietly without making eye contact.
I tried again. "Sweetie, you're not in trouble, but we really need to know where that potato is or it's gonna start to stink."
"Wes took it."
Snickering at the absurdity of the situation, Ryan and I combed the house, carefully checking all Charlie's usual hiding places. In drawers, behind couch cushions, under the furniture, in the potty, in all the cabinets, in his back pack, in his space ship. No potato.
I returned to the scene of the crime and said "Rossby, I want you to tell me where you put that potato!"
Charlie replied (In Rossby's voice) "I didn't take it. I don't have any hands."
Charlie was adamant that Wes had taken the sweet potato and Ryan and I were equally adamant that he was lying. Charlie had the last laugh, though: when Wes came down from his nap he ran straight to the produce box, pulled out a bag of pecans, and took off through the living room.
Ryan and I shared a surprised glance. Maybe Charlie was right!
We followed Wes and were disappointed when he left the pecans in the foyer before toddling off to play with something else. Dead end!
I found someplace high to put the produce box and made a box of macaroni and cheese instead of the roasted sweet potatoes I had planned to make. I figured the sweet potato would reveal its location soon enough, what with it being eighty degrees inside our house most of the time. And then I promptly forgot about it.
Today (Wednesday) I was making lunch for the kids in the kitchen while Charlie knocked around downstairs doing nothing in particular. Wes was asleep. Charlie went into the playroom for a minute then flew out again shrieking "I FOUND IT!!"
I had no idea what he was talking about, but I was nervous because he's been bringing all manner of flora and fauna into my house recently. I could only guess what he had brought in that he had since lost track of. Or that had, gulp, escaped whatever containment device he had employed.
I asked, hesitantly, "What did you find, Buddy?"
He rounded the corner holding it high above his head.
Interestingly, it was discovered in a box known to all the land as "Charlie's Box of Treasures." I suppose we'll never know what really happened.