This morning I flushed another dump that wasn’t mine. I didn’t bother asking whose it was, because all three of my cherubs have mastered the childhood battle cry, “It wasn’t me.” “It wasn’t me” is in the sisterhood of “I didn’t do it” and “Not my fault.”
These time-honored statements ring often for pilfered pantries, drawers hanging open, plates uncleared, spills soaking into the floor, and the one that continues to surprise me, faucets left on. Who turns on a faucet, washes their hands, then runs off with the water still running? The answer is “Not me.”
Things keep happening around here, and my kids seem shocked and concerned. They would never, say, eat an entire package of Babybel cheese, leaving the wax wrappers all over the family room floor, which I discovered when our white Maltipoo, Khaleesi, trotted over to me with bright red globs smashed throughout her hair, chewing a huge wad of wax like bubblegum. None of my kids had left the mess, and they offered me thoughts and prayers as I commenced scrubbing the dog. Who could be responsible for this cheesy gluttony?
We have a ghost, clearly. Some specter roams the hallways of our suburban two-story, which is shocking since our house is only a couple decades old and I’m pretty sure no one has died in it. I have armed myself with salt, several iron pokers, and some goofer dust, per my research watching fourteen seasons of Supernatural. Our ghost is particularly sinister, because how evil do you have to be to unroll someone’s toilet paper and leave it soggy on the bathroom floor? That’s a whole new level of evil that surpasses even The Conjuring.
Electronics go missing, only to show up days later with the batteries removed and the buttons smeared with yogurt. Bags of marshmallows spill in the pantry. Entire bags of chips disappear without a trace, only to turn up under my innocent kids’ beds. They have no idea how they got there. They didn’t do it. The ghost must love Doritos, and who could blame it?
One time I found hot pink nail polish painted all over the bathroom counter. And since none of my kids would take credit for it, I assumed it was our wily friend. Dick move, ghost. Unbelievably tacky, even for the undead.
I wish our ghost would just move on to the great beyond. Up or down, ghost. Pick an afterlife and move toward it. But I have a sneaking suspicion our ghost will continue to haunt us, unfolding my laundry and opening all the cans of frosting in the pantry, for about nine more years, when, coincidentally, my last child moves out.
Until then, I’m stuck with our ghost, and we’ve fallen into a rhythm. The ghost messes with my stuff, I make passive aggressive threats at the ghost, and when my back is turned, the mysterious ghost pulls its crap together and takes care of business.
Meanwhile, my kids remain unharmed, and I will stay vigilant. No one wants what happened to Carol Anne Freeling, although as I flush those morning ghost dumps, I catch myself muttering under my breath, “They’re heeeeere.”
Photo by Ashlee Gadd.