We left yesterday afternoon at 4pm to visit friends. We returned home at approximately 8:30pm to an unusual scene. Through the windows of our garage, I saw that the door from our house to our garage was open and that a fake pumpkin that was not ours sat in the doorway, seemingly glowering at us.
After deciding it was probable that someone had broken into our home, possibly as a Halloween prank, John resolved to go all vigilante on them.
I should probably tell you now that John has been waiting for an opportunity to go all vigilante since he was born. I won’t get into details, but should anyone break into our house in the night, let’s just say he’s “prepared.” Well, mostly prepared. If he doesn’t actually HEAR said prowler break into the house, then I guess all of his preparations are in vain.
Let me hearken back to Halloween morning, early, 3am, circa 2004. We were residing in our village home, a creaky 1918 colonial. I was slumbering peaceably when I was awakened by the sound of someone or something slowly slinking up our wooden staircase. I immediately tried to rouse my “prepared” husband. He did not actually open his eyes until the skulking figure was sitting in the hallway front of our bedroom door staring at us, eyes glowing in the dark.
It was a black cat. On Halloween morning. It had sneaked through a slightly ajar basement window.
John totally went all vigilante on it. (Don’t worry… I’m quite sure the black cat is still around, terrorizing our neighbors every Halloween.)
So last night. We decided the sensible move would be to call the police, who came quickly and entered our darkened house. The kids were understandably confused and frightened. Here were Ella’s feelings about the whole matter:
I don’t understand. We were in our driveway, and then you didn’t let me out of the car. I wanted to get out of the car. I don’t like the car. I want to go inside. I WANT MY BLANKIE! What kind of a mother are you, anyway, who would keep a sweet little girl from her blankie? Dear God, why are we just sitting HERE? In the dark, in front of our house? I SEE MY HOUSE! I WANT TO GO IN MY HOUSE! LET ME OUT! LET ME OUT LET ME OUT LET ME OUT LET ME OUT!
Only she didn’t say all of those words. She said “WAHHHHH! WAHHHHH! WAHHHHH!” at decibels dogs felt compelled to respond to. She did this for twenty minutes straight.
I sat in the van with the kids, annoyed at their impatience and slightly exhilarated by the whole experience because, I will admit, this is the most exciting thing that’s happened to me in a really long time.
The police shined their flashlights through every room in our house and reported back to John. We were given the all clear. Then, they said this:
“We’re not sure if your house has been vandalized or not.”
And this is why you should always straighten up before you leave the house. It is within the realm of possibility that someone might decide to break into your house to vandalize it only to be utterly disappointed because it has already been vandalized. By two-year old twins. And that is embarrassing.
Our kitchen table still had dishes on it, there were mounds of laundry ready to be folded in heaps in the dining room, toys were strewn all over the place, and the upstairs looked like we were recovering from a tornado. That went directly through the upstairs.
Now don’t get me wrong. My house is very clean, just messy. I KNOW it is clean because I pay a very fastidious and competent individual to come and make it sparkle once a week. This costs me about half of what I make freelancing and is totally worth every penny.
Still, when a cop tells you he’s NOT SURE whether your house has been vandalized or not, things are probably out of control.
Nothing appears to have been taken or “vandalized.” The cops were friendly and very kind to my kids. Caleb, I think, was star-struck when talking to an actual policeman in uniform, the same way he is about Spikes the Red Wings mascot and President Obama.
We were a little shaken up but quite relieved.
In the confusion, I left the lights on in my van. I was exasperated when the car would not start this morning. We were very late for preschool. Again.
So I called John and informed him he should no longer leave the house in the morning without checking to make sure the minivan starts.
Surprisingly, he agreed to do this. But only after nights when we’ve called the police because of a break-in.