If you are a mom, you have to wear many hats. You are (in one long breath), a doctor, a nurse, a vet, a teacher, a psychic, a story teller, a cop, a beautician and barber, a chef, an EMT, a genealogist, a bodyguard, a maid, a professional organizer, a seamstress/costume designer, a personal shopper, a referee, a fashion coordinator and a chauffer. I would like to add another to the long list of jobs that mothers perform daily : crime scene investigator.
You may not think that mothers should put crime scene investigator on their resume, but I beg to differ. Case in point: The Case of the Smeared Ladybugs. It was a new case that I was working on for a few weeks. I had just finished solving, The Case of the Baby Powder all Over the Carpet with an arrest in that one.
I had two suspects in that case: Big Boy Adam Jay, a curly red-haired punk, age 6. He’s been downtown at the station several times. We had his mug shot hanging up all over the place. He knew the ropes. The kid knew how to use his noodle. I soon found out he had an accomplice, Baby Face Alex. Alex was Big Boy’s sister. She was 5 years old. Soon, she was singing like a canary. Big Boy called her a Stool pigeon. I told him to shut his yap. She didn’t want to go to the big house.
During interrogations under the lights, Alex spilled her guts. She fingered Big Boy as the culprit. He was the brains of the operation. In a nutshell, Baby Face told me that they didn’t want to move. It was explained that the new house was almost complete and that she and her brother were to box up their possessions for the move to the country. They talked and decided to sabatoge the house-selling process. Big Boy figured that if they made the house “ugly and smelly”, no one would want to buy it. So, one night, they took a large container of Johnson and Johnson Baby Powder, and sprinkled it all over their bedroom carpet, beds, and dressers. It looked like snow on Christmas morning.
During the investigation, I also found smashed jelly beans in the carpet throughout the house. They also put Match box cars on the steps leading to the second floor for the prospective buyers to trip on and tumble down the stairs to their death. The cars appeared their daily, but the two denied any involvement. I had to interrogate the only other occupant in the house that could have been responsible, their father, Clueless Jay. He wasn’t aware there was a second floor.
After I shut the books on that case, and we made our move to the country, so our children could lead a normal life away from the big crime city of Monongah, population 345 1/2 (Don’t ask) , I noticed a smashed lady bug on my kitchen nook window. Somehow lady bugs entered our new home and enjoyed crawling on my nice, clean windows. Someone had murdered the lipstick-red insect. It appeared upon further investigation, that the perpetrator put his or her finger directly on the lady bug, crushing it to the window,
and then smearing its remains down the window for approximately 4 inches. Someone in the new house was a cold-blooded killer.
This did not sit well with me. After all, Jeffrey Dahmer started off by taking wings off of butterflies. Soon, he was eating people. I had to nip this in the bud. First, lady bugs, and then the killer would move on to ant hills or earthworms. I was an animal lover. A lady bug has worth, and perhaps some bug children somewhere else in the house.
I immediately ruled out Baby Face Alex. I knew she had it in her heart not to hurt anything. Her stuffed animal dog buddy, Fluffy, recently fell off of her bed and Baby Face cried because, “Fluffy is paralyzed.” I was impressed by the kid’s vocabulary. So, I eliminated her as a suspect. I interrogated Clueless Jay, who had no idea what a nook was. My only other suspect was Big Boy, and he didn’t squeal. He denied any involvement, especially after my “all animals have feelings” talk. I saw him crying outside , while playing with his Tonka trucks. Good. That meant there was still time before we had to start calling him Jeffrey.
But, he still wouldn’t budge. So, I brought out the big guns. I had Scotch tape and powdered sugar. And a big ole lie. I brought them into the kitchen nook.
“Big Boy, Baby Face, this is how I am going to find out who killed the lady bug and smeared it down the window. I am going to take some of this powder I got from a police officer and lightly put it in the smear.” I took some powder and brushed it with one of those little plastic watercolor brushes onto the lady bug guts. “Now, I will take a piece of tape and press it against the window. I will leave it on their for exactly one minute. This will then give me a fingerprint.” I looked at my watch for a minute. ” Ok, now I will carefully peel the tape off of the window and hang it in the air for 30 seconds.” Some more watch looking. “Ok, now, I have fingerprints of the person who smeared the lady bug. The police officer told me that after I do this, it will only take about 10 seconds for the white powder to appear on the finger of the person who did this.”
As soon as I said that, Big Boy Adam brought his hands up and looked at his fingers. “Gotcha!” I said to him. The procedure made absolutely no sense, and that’s what made it brilliant. Score one for the mom.
And that’s how I solved The Case of the Smashed Ladybug. Big Boy and Baby Face grew up to be upstanding citizens and although there were a few more cases I will delve into at a later time, they never spent any time in the big house. And that’s because of yet another hat I wore.