I had filled one side of my notepad with dot points, each detailing a single point in time of the night:
Taking a photo of the puppy when I discovered her in the remains of the bubble bath, happily sliding in the bubbles and eating great mouthfuls of soap.
Walking into my eldest daughter’s room, using my phone to email the pictures to her.
Walking out of her room shaking my head, as my youngest daughter stretched out on the bed asking to be photographed. (The answer was no).
Hearing a strange beep when I was saying my goodnights to my middle daughter, and then thinking ‘that sounds like my phone.’
Then the realisation.
I had lost my phone.
Standing at the bottom of the stairs, my hands devastatingly empty, I consoled myself with the knowledge that I KNEW it must be in the house somewhere.
I had even called it on the landline, straining to hear it in the sleeping house. Nada.
I stood in front of my iPad remembering the ‘Find My Phone’ app, but quickly walked away remembering I’d never actually set that up. Too hard.
After writing down my steps in great detail, knowing that in the morning I would have already forgotten what I did, I did one (or three) last checks of every room. I prowled around each sleeping child, checked the bathroom, my bag, the bench. The laundry. I turned on the outside lights and peered at the grass to see if the dog had taken it outside to chew on.
I admit it – I even checked the fridge. Who knows if this was actually the start of something more serious?
I went to bed the old fashioned way. I couldn’t check the weather for the next day. I had no idea what I had written on my to-do list. I couldn’t reply to my sister’s text message.
Hell, I couldn’t even bitch about losing my phone on Facebook!
My sleep was poor.
It was in the early hours of the morning when my door slid open and there was the telltale sound of small feet on carpet. I waited for the covers to be drawn back, but instead they retreated and the door slid shut.
That was weird.
I called out her name.
‘Don’t worry Mum,’ she called back ‘I’m just bringing you back your phone.’
I looked at the clock. 3.45am.
‘Wait,’ I called. ‘Why do you have my phone? Where was it?’
She avoided the questions like a pro. ‘Lucky I found it,’ she called. ‘Go back to sleep Mum.’ Her voice got smaller as she disappeared down the stairs.
Go back to sleep? Seriously?
I lay in bed for a few minutes, alternating between fuming and bewilderment. I could only guess why she took it. She probably wanted to watch Kids YouTube, or take a video of herself or who knows – check the weather for tomorrow or update my Facebook status. Maybe she was trying to frame me for a crime. Who knows what five year olds get up to these days.
But she obviously hadn’t counted on the whizzbang new technology of fingerprint identification. She knows her Dad’s phone password (I don’t)… but she couldn’t get into mine.
Why she chose to bring it back in the middle of the night shows a scarily crafty mind… did she think I wouldn’t notice? Blame myself for just being forgetful? She does seem to think I am going die soon now I am "old" (I just turned 40).
It’s now 4.40am and I have been up writing for almost an hour. There was no hope of me ever getting back to sleep, but she did – the face of an angel peeping out from under layers of blankets and toys.
I can’t wait to interrogate her.
And just a little afraid.