Lily woke up at 3:30 Sunday morning to eat. She's almost grown out of the middle of the night meal. When she does wake up, it is normally our practice to attend to those nightly feedings in quiet solitude, but I woke Nate up this time. Two reasons:
1. There was a pumped bottle in the fridge and I wanted him to assume feeding duties.
2. The kitchen lights were on and as the one who "put the house to bed" I knew I had turned off all the lights before I retired.
I was nervous; who turned those lights on? And when? I brought this spooky mystery to Nate's attention and he began to poke around the house cautiously. From the safety of our bedroom, I heard the creeeaaak of opening doors, the swish of the shower curtain -- the prowler, if there was one, was not in the bathroom. Then I heard the turn of the back-door dead bolt. Gulp! Had I forgotten to lock it? I started to feel nervous for detective Nate -- we are completely unequipped to deal with a burglar or boogie man of any sort, there's not even a baseball bat on the premises that would make for suitable self-defense. Perhaps I should fetch the 9 iron golf club for him, I thought to my scared little self. Before I had time to formulate a creative defense or retrieve a make-shift weapon, Nate returned to our room, a quiet chuckle escaping.
"I found the culprit," he announced.
"What happened?" I inquired anxiously.
"Why don't I tell you what I found and we'll see if you can guess. I got pretty nervous when I saw that the back door was open, so I started poking around the house, thinking I might find an intruder crouched in a corner somewhere. When I was pretty sure we didn't have an unwanted visitor, I went back to the kitchen and noticed something I'd missed the first time through -- a chair was out of place, pulled up to the counter by the fridge. The chair led me to the next clue (the giveaway) two cinnamon gum wrappers crumpled on the counter. Any guesses?"
"No way. Henry! He sleepwalked (what's the proper past tense?) into the kitchen? For gum?"
Nate continued, "When I saw the wrappers, I went straight to his room; I could smell the cinnamon as soon as I walked through the door. And sure enough, there was a little red wad right next to his head on the pillow -- and a tiny bit was stuck to his hair, but hadn't really worked its way in yet."
We laughed. My blood-pressure plummeted back to its normal rate. And we all went back to sleep.
Maybe the midnight marauder was a harbinger of spooky things to come this Halloween season!