If my kids were cast into an episode of the TV show "Lost," they would have to stay that way.
This is because I have a very firm rule in my house: I do not look for kid stuff. Period. Exclamation point. End of paragraph.
Some people think this one is among the strangest of my depraved parenting habits.
After all, what parent hasn't enjoyed spending 197 minutes of their lives they'll never get back frantically looking for one missing baseball cleat on the morning of the Big Game?
Frumpy Mom does not hunt for missing items belonging to children, nor does she search through drawers, crawl under couches, peek under beds, dig through closets or peer through microscopes.
She sits on the couch and reads a book, while encouraging the children to do their best to find it.
You might ask if there isn't a great deal of weeping, wailing and gnashing of teeth going on in the background.
Oh, yes indeed. But, really, I just don't consider that my problem.
After all, I didn't throw it, pitch it, crumple it, stomp on it, chuck it, kick it under something or otherwise fail to put it away properly. Therefore, I'm not really in charge of finding it, am I?
But, you might also ask, Frumpy Mom, what happens if the missing cleat is not found?
Well, then, I guess the kid can't go to the game, can he? Or the ballet recital. Or the pool.
Isn't that extremely mean? Well, yes, probably. You might want to call Child Protective Services.
Don't my kids hate me? Well, no, because that's been the rule in our house from Day One. But one of the nice things about being really old is I don't really care so much if my kids like me or not.
I'm sure if I were younger, I would want to be popular with my kids. I would be nicer. But at my age, I just don't give a horse's behind.
True, Cheetah Boy has sobbed into his pillow because he couldn't find his soccer jersey for the big game. But when he called his coach and confessed, a spare jersey was found. Later, of course, the errant jersey was found crumpled under his covers at the foot of his bed.
And Curly Girl has come unglued because her softball uniform was missing nanoseconds before the game.
But the kids spot for each other and have generally managed to find the missing item or a reasonable facsimile in the nick of time.
Luckily for them, Curly Girl has a truly uncanny ability to find missing items that may someday lead her to a brilliant career with the Psychic Friends Network or maybe the FBI.
We call her "The Finder" and unleash her skills on anything in our abode that can't be found.
Without a bloodhound's large nasal chambers or Sherlock Holmes' logic, she still somehow manages to detect objects that have mysteriously eluded everyone else.
If she had been put on the case of the S.S. Minnow that never returned from its three-hour tour, for example, there never would have been 98 episodes of Gilligan's Island, because those passengers would have been found before Mrs. Howell had a chance to wear even one of the improbable outfits from her bottomless trunk.
This makes it easier for me to sit on the couch and read, while the house is being turned upside down like cops serving a search warrant.
Also, our household operates under the "TV Remote Principle" of physics. It has been proved in many scientific tests by people much smarter than me that if a missing object simply must be found, like the living room TV remote, it can be located.
It's all a matter of motivation.
And checking the sofa cushions. After all, Spongebob is waiting.
Marla Jo Fisher was a workaholic before she adopted two foster kids several years ago. Now she juggles work and single parenting, while being exhorted from everywhere to be thinner, smarter, sexier, healthier, more frugal, a better mom, better dressed and a tidier housekeeper. Contact her at email@example.com. Read her blog at http://themomblog.freedomblogging.com/category/frumpy-middleaged-mom-marla-jo-fisher/