Wednesday, April 14, 2010

our own little cat burglar

dan and john with maria, james peeking in the back

Last night we were on the patio and James and Maria spotted a big nail pounded in the siding up above the kitchen. It's painted white, so it's obviously been there a while.

I told them John had done that back when he was in homeschool.

"Seriously? Why?"

Well, he had this little crystal radio he'd built and he took a long wire and climbed out his bedroom window onto the flat roof outside it, and then went around and over onto the kitchen roof, where he sat and pounded in the nail.

The best part of this story is that there was a stereo up there. He didn't have to hunch on his bed with a crystal radio at all.

The whole reason I even knew he'd been on the roof was because Kirsten had appeared in the kitchen and asked to go on the roof. When I told her no, she said, "John is up there."

Sigh. He is, hunh?

He also wouldn't sleep with the windows open, no matter how hot it was upstairs. The house is built...well, it's a grandma house. The walls upstairs are straight for about 4-5 feet, and then angled to follow the roof. There's whatever insulation was used in 1940, which could not have been much, and it gets HOT up there after a long afternoon of sun.

When I insisted he open the windows--why on EARTH NOT? He closed his eyes and did a funny thing with his little mouth, and then he said, "If I can climb over the roof and get in the window, I figure any decent cat burglar could do it." Goodness. A smallish cat burglar. And what do we have to steal anyway? Still. He slept with a broken pool cue in the corner by the headboard, just in case.

Fast forward, years and years later... one afternoon we came home and Heidi and Kirsten were sure someone had broken into their room. ??? It made no sense. But there was the evidence--the bent aluminum storm, the hook on their door--placed on the outside to keep little kids out when they were gone--was broken. The bed was rumpled and then neatened differently, the phone had been moved.

Jay insisted it was fantasy. "Nobody's been in here! It doesn't even make any sense." He left.

The girls were mad, going over the evidence, and here Dad didn't even believe it.

But I sat there on the bed, thinking maybe we should call the police.

As I sat there though, in their girly pink bedroom...with the blonde 40s dressers, the Barbie house in the corner... I started thinking... about a kid who could scale the house and get in the second floor. He did it for us when we were locked out a couple times.

He'd climb from the stair railing onto the mailbox and up onto the roof over the front door, where Heidi and Kirsten's window was... then he'd climb over the top of the roof and come down on the flat roof behind, near his own bedroom window, and climb in.

Hmm, hmm, hmm.

I called his cell phone, but he didn't answer, so I called Dan. He answered, and was actually at a restaurant with John. Dan had no idea what I was talking about, breaking in the house? What? But I told him to ask John.

"Yeah, I did! What's the big idea locking the door anyway! I had laundry to do!"

Excuse me? How about calling ahead? That made him laugh.

He said it was harder to get in the window than it had been when he was small. His belt hung up on the window sill and he had to kick and squirm across the girls' bed to get his long self in.

You know, we were sort of glad it was hard for him.

I told him we thought it was really, really weird...a second floor break in and yet nobody took anything? He confessed, "Oh. I did take your book 'Wedding Planning for Dummies.'"

The girls were disgusted at first, but relieved, and shortly thought it was all a good joke. Someone DID break in, but it was just JOHN.

Oh well, another dumb story, for another dumb day. Time to load the dishwasher and say good night. love, Val


  1. I am shocked at how clean our room was in that picture! It rarely looked that nice!

  2. You know, I'm pretty sure that's why we took a picture of it at all, lol. love, Mom