In one morning -- a span of less than four hours -- my middle daughter dumped a generous bowlful of uncooked rice from her homemade maraca into the bathroom sink. Recognizing that the rice had lodged in the drain, she tried to right her wrong by pumping soap into the sink and running the water until all of the drain was packed with rice. I'm glad I arrived when I did. The drain still isn't entirely perfect, but with the help of a plunger and a plastic snake, I was able to dislodge the clog.
An hour later as I was reading books to the girls, she climbed off the couch and wandered away. I thought nothing of it. Perhaps she went to use the bathroom. Perhaps she went into the other room to play. Once I finished the book I left my station at the couch to toss a load of laundry into the dryer, and I noticed that she wasn't anywhere visible. I found her in my bathroom, coloring her face -- her whole face -- with my lipstick.
Later that same morning there was the brownie incident, which conjured in my mind the milkshake incident from the night before.
This isn't like her at all. In fact, she seemed as surprised as I was by her behavior, as if she didn't know why she was doing these things, either. I know this, which allowed me to be more patient and compassionate in my correction.
I think the root of these sundry acts of random disobedience lies in one thing: she misses her daddy.
Joel's been gone for eight days. We are blessed; his job doesn't often require travel, so the girls aren't accustomed to his absence. They tolerate it well enough on the surface and I keep them busy, but deep down they know that something's off. Weeks like this make me remember families who have dads and moms serving overseas in my prayers even more.
In roughly six hours, Joel is due to arrive back home. I can imagine the girls running into his arms, and how in that one moment, all will be right in their worlds again.
When I get my own welcome home hug -- and the I've really missed you kiss -- all will be right in my world again as well.
And he will know exactly what to do with the bathroom sink's drain.