Maybe it was the boogeyman

Spouse is out of town, and I get very nervous when I’m here alone. It’s better with Peanut here, but I still hear noises, triple lock the door, get weirded out by windows. That kind of nervous.

When the wee one and I got home from the grocery store this evening, I couldn’t find the compost. I could swear Spouse took it out last night and left it clean and empty, just waiting for eggshells this morning. I swear. Where is it? Nowhere.

So I start to get a little paranoid. What if some freaky creepball has figured out how to get in. Doesn’t rob us, doesn’t harm us. Yet. Just plants the seed in my brain by taking the compost. A little teaser. A I Know What You Put inthe Compost Last Summer kind of thing. I start to get freaked out. I look in the garage, I look in the rooms, I check closts. Because serial killers who get their jollies knowing how scared their victims are often hide in closets. Or garages.

Then I look at Peanut. He’s holding, metaphorically, Occam’s Razor in his hand, and trying to stuff it into his new fire engine. To wit: one should not increase, beyond what is necessary, the number of entities required to explain anything. Or, in laypeople’s terms, don’t make up serial killers when you have a garbage-fascinated three-year old right next to you.

Me: Did you move the compost?
Pea: No.
M: I can’t find it. Have you seen the compost?
P: No. I no touch compost. Trash dirty. No way touch it.
M: I know, sweetie. I’m sure you wouldn’t touch it. But did you move it?
P: No. Maybe cats do it.
(Oh, crap.)

I search until I find it behind the couch, crawling with about three trilion ants. I explain again why we don’t put food in the living room. I explain again why telling Mommy what really happened is important, even if we want the answer to be different.I explain surprisingly calmly, considering it took me three weeks to get these same ants, or the little bastards who look just like ’em, to leave the house last month.

P: [thinking] Maybe the cats move it.
M: Well, Peanut, the cats don’t have hands, and the compost weighs more than they do. So I don’t think that’s what happened. Why did you move it to the living room?
P: Uuuuuuummm, I take it for walk, walk, walk, walk, put it in living room, there no room my train, I put it next couch.
M: I see. Well, thanks for moving it out of the way, so nobody trips on it, but compost stays in the kitchen. I know it’s fun to go walking with a big bag. Next time you can ask Mommy and we’ll find a good bag, one that’s empty and that you can fill up, okay?

That is, unless the serial killer hiding in the closet moves the bags before we can get to those, too.