His eyes flitted around the kitchen. Feeling sure no one was watching he quickly slid the now empty toy bin against the counter. Upside down it provided the perfect elevated platform to stand on and reach what was on the countertop. Although it was tucked just out of view, over time he figured out the location of the precious treasure he was currently in search of. He knew it was there, if only he could reach it, without anyone noticing.
Climbing up on top of the toy bin turned foot stool, he looked around again, his hand reaching out. As fingers found their way to what he was looking for, our eyes locked.
“What are you doing, Killian?” I asked.
I had been watching from the other room over my laptop. I knew what he was doing and I knew that he knew it was against the rules. When he began his ascent up the toy bin, I moved from the couch to the doorway of the kitchen, waiting for him to notice me.
As we stood there, time frozen and eyes locked, I waited for a response. His arm grew rigid, his mind going over the options. A grin formed on his face during our tense stand-off. He wasn’t going to climb down and walk away from the situation. He’d come too far not to get a cookie. Toys lay strewn about, quickly and carelessly thrown from the toy box he was now using as a makeshift platform.
“It’s okay!” he shouted, as a hand darted into the plastic container. His hand secured around one. I moved in but was too late. I had misjudged his quickness, yet again.
Actually, I didn’t really care if he had a cookie. This had been a fun game for a while. Sneaking treats, getting caught, laughing, enjoying the thrill of cat and mouse over some snacks. We had been doing this for about a month, since he figured out the location of the coveted sugar cookies.
His hand shot the contraband into his mouth as I scooped him up laughing.
“Those are my cookies! Give it back!” I snorted through laughs. Crumbs fell from his toddler mouth as my finger found the soft spot right below his ribs and began to tickle him.
‘At least get me one!” I said, positioning him closer to the cookies. His hand reached back towards the bag, producing another sugar cookie. Using the fine motor skills of a drunken sailor, he smashed the cookie into my cheek before I had a chance to grab it from his hand. Cookie erupted, leaving evidence across the countertop of a struggle.
Setting him down, I retrieved milk from the fridge and we went to the living to sit and enjoy our snack.
As much fun as we had, the real fear of being caught set in about a half hour later, when from the kitchen we heard the female voice of the head of household,
“Where are all the cookies?”
Looking at each other, Killian and I hustled our separate ways as I shouted, “Damn kids must have snuck some cookies again!” to my wife, wiping crumbs from my cheek and chin and discreetly placing our now empty milk cups into the sink.