I lost Ike in the house this morning. For about 20 terrifying, heart-pounding minutes. Goddamnit, child.
Yellow House is obviously a bit...bigger than what we're used to, both in number of rooms but also floors and hallways and nooks and crannies. It's technically classified as a colonial but it definitely has some split-like features, with a lot of half-levels and mini-stairs.
The lowest part of the house is the unfinished area of the basement. Up just a few steps is the finished area (rec room, office, etc.) that opens to the backyard. Up from THAT is the family room, plus a powder room/laundry area/exits to the garage and lower deck. Another mini-stairwell takes you up to the kitchen, dining room and front living room. (This level also has the front door and an exit to the upper deck.) Then it's up again -- make a right to the kids' bedrooms (pause to gaze over the railing and upon the lovely family room several flights down and see that lo, it is once again full of Lego). Make a left and go up the final few steps to the master bedroom suite.
(We parked the ladder outside just in case you feel sad that there aren't any more stairs to climb.)
It's a funky floorplan that we fell completely in love with, but I admit there's always that feeling of perpetually being on the wrong floor. I can never figure out which bathroom is the closest, and the big open stairwell and echo-y high ceilings on the upper levels makes it impossible to figure out where someone is calling to you from.
"WHERE ARE YOU?"
"I'M RIGHT HERE!"
"WHERE IS HERE? ARE YOU IN THE BASEMENT?"
(Starts walking downstairs)
"NO I'M IN MY ROOM."
(Sighs. Reverses course. Tells self this house is great exercise.)
Anyway. Back to this morning. I was working in the front/formal living room, because after spending all that time setting up an office in the basement, I totally prefer working from the couch in one of the bright and sunny rooms upstairs, because I am a princess.
It was not our best morning, by far. The boys all woke up super weirdly early and yet moved through the morning routine at the speed of Ambien-doped snails and barely made it to the bus on time. (School starts so much later here, and so far we're either ready to go 20 minutes too early, or assuming we have a ton more time only to fall apart at the last second.) Everybody was grouchy and I yelled a lot and then of course immediately felt bad about it, but wasn't able to apologize because I was too busy hollering at them to GET TO THE BUS STOP NOW RUN GO!
After that, I don't think Ike wanted much to do with me, and headed off to play somewhere else. I assumed he was somewhere...basement-y? I guess? Or maybe in one of his brothers' rooms, touching and messing with all the Forbidden Toys.
I don't know how much time passed until it suddenly occurred to me how...quiet he was being. Too quiet. Hmm. OKAY FINE. BENIGN NEGLECT TIME IS OVER, TIME TO GO HALF-ASSEDLY SUPERVISE.
And...yeah. I totally couldn't find him. I ran down, then up. Then up again. Then okay, I must not have checked everywhere in the basement, so back down and down again. Maybe our room? Up, up, up and up again. Frantic circles. Back down. I'm calling his name the whole time, waiting to hear his faint reply of "I'M RIGHT HEEEEERE!"
All the doors that open to the outside have sensors that beep through the security system when opened. But I didn't hear any of them beep. Or did I? Maybe I did and just thought Ike was letting Ceiba outside? Oh my God. Is he outside?
So I ran outside. No sign of him in the backyard and the side gates were both closed. Oh my God. He's trapped himself in the garage! He climbed into the sweltering hot car to get a toy! He's out wandering through the neighborhood in Christmas footie pajamas right now OH MY GOD.
After a fruitless, panicked run around the entire outside of the house, I dashed up the deck stairs, up the other deck stairs, came back inside and just started screaming his name from the foyer. He had to be inside. But he wasn't answering. My brain started flashing through all kinds of State-Farm-at-the-Superbowl household accident scenarios, and I hit the stairs again to search the house once more.
He was asleep. Sound asleep, up in Noah's bunk bed, curled against the back wall and surrounded by Forbidden Bionicles.
I climbed one last flight of stairs, up to my bedroom, where I promptly hurled myself onto my bed until I could get my heart rate back to normal.
When I came out, I realized that someone had come looking for me as well, and admitted defeat when faced with all those stairs.