Guess who is back?

I live in a household with a 17-year-old son, a 43-year-old husband and a 6-year-old dog. Imagine my surprise when I discovered over the weekend that a familiar old nemesis had returned to our home.

That’s right, folks. Not Me is back.

Maybe I just haven’t been paying attention. Maybe Not Me never left and has just been hiding in a corner. But when I turned on my oven Friday night to whip up a quick snack and black smoke started billowing out, I peeked inside and found somebody had let something overflow and left behind quite a mess. When I questioned the usual suspects the next morning, all fingers pointed to Not Me.

Well, technically, the teenager pointed a finger at his father, who swore up and down he hadn’t used the oven and gave his son a suspicious look. Since the dog just yawned and went back to chasing bunnies in his sleep, who else could be to blame but Not Me? After all, Not Me has always been a mischievous fellow, known to walk through the freshly scrubbed kitchen in muddy shoes, smear peanut butter in the living room, knock folded laundry off the table while building a fort, pop a hole in the window screen, spill BBs down the basement steps and break knick knacks all over the house.

Not Me has single-handedly eaten an entire box of freezy-pops, often forgets to flush or replace the cap on the toothpaste, occasionally turns off the washer to take a shower and forgets to turn it back on and has even been known to take the scraper out of my car and not return it. Apparently he has learned to use the oven these days, so I’m going to have to keep a closer eye on things.

I always assumed when my children got older and left home, Not Me would accidentally get packed into a box and stay out of sight until a grandchild let him out, but it seems I was mistaken. I realize now he is going to linger, always ready to sneak into any situation and cause a bit of trouble.

It’s all right. I let my guard down for a bit because I thought he was gone. But now that I know he’s still around, I’ll be more vigilant. He usually seems good-natured enough and doesn’t mean to cause harm, so I’ll just have to put up with his absent-minded ways.

Welcome home, Not Me. It’s probably best if you stay away from the oven.