For weeks now my family has been suffering from unaccountable temporal inconsistencies. For instance, two weeks ago I woke my daughter up and told her to come downstairs in five minutes for breakfast. She arrived twenty minutes later. I spoke to her about this, in no uncertain terms, but she insisted that she had only taken five minutes to arrive.
I know this new house is bigger than our little apartment in South Carolina, but it doesn't take fifteen minutes to trundle down the stairs, through the living room, and arrive at the breakfast table.
Last night we experiences another temporal anomaly. I told the kids to finish their chores and head up to bed for ten minutes of reading time while I put the baby to bed. The baby was fussy and it took longer than usual to put her to sleep, so when I left the nursery I was worried that I might wake the other children up. After all, lights out was thirty minutes ago. Lo and behold, the lights were still on.
I went upstairs and was met with bemused stares. "It's not lights out, mom. We've only been reading for five minutes." Uh-huh.
When I walked through the kitchen I saw the clock... 9:06. Really? I thought it was just after eight! How had I lost an entire hour? Obviously there is something wrong with the clocks in my house.
The answer came to me this morning when Eldest came to breakfast in a shirt I didn't recognize. "Where'd you get that one?" I asked, since I know I didn't pay money for a pink and silver striped Tinkerbell shirt.
"From the box," she said in between bites of cereal.
Of course. The Box. The one my friend told me was "a couple of outfits" her twins had outgrown and that wound up being eighty pounds of cast off Levi, American Eagle, and other brands whose price tags I don't want to contemplate. It hadn't been one box, it had been many, a parade of giant moving boxes packed so tight that any errant pencil would have been crushed into diamond.
We'd sorted the clothes, given away a good half, and then... I honestly couldn't remember what we'd done with the rest. "Where was the shirt?" I asked, thinking Eldest had done some spelunking in the garage. She does that sometimes, when the alternative is folding her own laundry.
"It was in my dresser."
After the children left for school I braved the time anomaly and crept upstairs, eyeing Eldest's ancient dresser with fear. Had she really packed all those clothes in there? Had she really managed to shove everything into those drawers that barely opened when weighed down by a mismatched pair of socks.
Eldest had stuffed everything in there, bunched up even tighter than the boxes the clothes had come in. Suddenly, all became clear.
There's a black hole in my daughter's room. All those clothes packed together so tight have caused the dresser to collapse in on itself creating a black hole. The reason that my children think Five Minutes is nearly an hour long is because they are living on the edge of an event horizon and suffering a temporal malady.
It's the only logical explanation.
Now... who wants some clothes?