I don't consider myself a control freak (No, really! Stop laughing, Mom!), but I think everyone has their trigger points. Some of us, like myself, have really stupid trigger points. Example:
People, this is the sort of thing that keeps me awake at night. The missing leg to the anatomy puzzle, the missing rod from Lucy's Goldieblox set, the missing magnetic octopus from the fishing game, the missing wooden knife from the play food cutting set, the "pencil" for the Magnatab, the missing ball for the top of the stacking rings...I could go on, but I won't. I know they're just toys, but I can't seem to let it go. All these missing things dance around in my head during the wee hours of the night like psychotic sugarplums, slowing eating away at my sanity. Okay, that was a little dramatic. However, I will confess that we are currently keeping an extra couch, partly because I can't get rid of it until I'm certain beyond a reasonable doubt that there are no toy fugitives lurking within. I have been known to spend my time after the kids are in bed armed with a flashlight, crusading on my hands and knees for the great cause of completed toy sets. It makes me feel rather noble, really.
Most of the time, the missing pieces turn up in due course. I have a checklist that I follow when searching for missing odds and ends:
1. Under the couch cushions
2. Under the couch
3. Behind the overstuffed chair
4. Under the china hutch
5. In my car (that's a terrifying prospect in and of itself)
6. In the girls' beds
7. In my bed
8. In the subwoofer (no, I'm not kidding)
This list has saved me time and time again, and every time I find a missing bit that I've been looking for, I do a happy-mama dance and sleep a little better at night, secure in the knowledge that I have helped humanity in some small way. Or, that I've somehow fed my growing obsession with order and completeness. Same difference, right?
But here's the weird part: how am I supposed to feel when the missing pieces show up on their own? What am I supposed to do when I've been turning the furniture upside down looking for the missing leg to the anatomy puzzle, and I walk out to this:
It kind of seems like it was waiting for me, doesn't it?
What's weirder (is that a word?) is when the missing piece somehow magically appears and puts itself back in its place, and no one seems to know how it got there.
Tonight, I'm happy to say that New York is back on the map, the Magnatab is usable again, Goldie can again build her spinning machine, and all is right with the toy world. But one thing will keep me awake tonight [cue: dramatic music]: where did that leg come from?