The Squirrel

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We have surround sound. Well my husband does actually but, since we’re married, it’s technically 50% mine. I don’t know much about it or what all the doodads and thingamawhats are called, but recently I performed surgery on one of the speakers. He wasn’t home at the time or I’d never have gotten away with it. But it had to be done, and you’ll understand why in a moment…

The particular speaker in question is the self-standing kind, the one that sits all alone on the floor beside the TV. It’s black, rectangular and not very tall, but just tall-or-small enough to have recently become a piece of furniture to my daughter Lyla. It’s quite stylish actually and fits in rather nicely with her other living room furniture, including her bean bag chair, rocking horse and Sit n’ Spin. To her, the speaker is a multipurpose table. She sits beside it, rests her snacks upon it, plays with her toys on it and occasionally climbs on top of it. But I hadn’t realized until recently that her new “table” also converted for storage.

While relaxing on the couch one day, my husband spotted something inside the speaker. He said (and this is a direct quote), “Hey, do you see that nipple?” I didn’t see it at first but on closer inspection, I did indeed see the nipple. The nipple in question was attached to a baby bottle. It was inside the speaker. How did it get in there? Well, we had an idea… the culprit had to have very dainty hands and fingers small enough to fit through the tiny, tight round opening. I imagine, to Lyla, it was like a toddler’s version of the board game Operation.

It took us a while to retrieve the bottle, since neither of us could fit our adult-sized hands inside. Once we finally got it out (a combination of gravity and kitchen tongs), we learned it was half-filled with moldy apple juice. Ewwwww! There was no way of knowing exactly how long it had been there. Let’s just say, the juice and the bottle had both seen better days and, sadly, neither was worth saving.

Every once in a while we run low on bottles. Nipple rings go missing too. It’s as if they disappear into thin air, and now I know why. Lately, other things have been disappearing too. I have a sneaky suspicion who’s to blame, but I have a feeling she has other hiding spots not yet discovered. Of course, the speaker continues to be among her favorites.

It’s only a matter of time before I find my cell phone in there.

Just yesterday, I was about to run the dishwasher and decided to do a last minute bottle roundup. I found two in her crib, one under her crib and, as suspected, one in the speaker.

But this time, it wasn’t just one lonely juice bottle. The speaker was completely full. Its contents included: 1 juice bottle, this time no mold; 1 Weeble Wobble; 1 red crayon; 1 sock; 1 piece of partially chewed celery; 3 animal crackers; 2 broken pretzel rods; 1 lollipop; 2 cubes of cheese (yuck!); 4 Teddy Grahams; countless Cheerios.

This is the reason why my husband has started calling our daughter The Squirrel.

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