One reason a future career as an expert on child-rearing is extremely unlikely for me is that any advice I can come up with is such that even I would not need in a moment of sanity:
Never give a toddler your car keys to put away.
I was tired and distracted when we got home on Wednesday, and in a weak moment, I handed the keys to D1 and said, "Put them away."
Now, she does know where keys go. She is often permitted to put them in and take them out of the appropriate drawer, and it is the highlight of her day to get out the mail keys and go get the mail with Papa. (DOB is not greeted with cries of "Papa!" but cries of "Mail!")
Anyway, I was sitting on the couch and could not see the path she would take to put the keys away. I promptly forgot about it until the next morning, when we all had our jackets on and I was filled with plans for a trip that would involve not just the grocery store but a long-awaited excursion to the children's resale shop to get rid of things that had been knocking about in the back of the wagon for two months.
When I first realized their absence, I couldn't for the life of me remember what I had done. Then, with a sinking feeling, I did. We (DOB's two youngest brothers are spending a few days with us) scoured the vicinity, searching in all the other desk drawers. No keys.
We asked D1, "Where are Mama's keys?"
To which she gave the unenlightening, if impressively verbal, response, "Mama's keys all gone!"
The wastebasket sits in a dangerously close proximity to the desk, and D1 is fond of taking things in and out. Unfortunately, we had just emptied the garbages and taken the bag out to the car to drop off at the dumpster on our way out. One of the boys brought the bag back in and I searched through it. No keys.
I called DOB. He had no other ideas as to favorite hiding places. I pointed out that someone would have to stay behind if we didn't find the keys, in order to let us back into the building. Whether it was this or merely the thrill of the chase, the boys redoubled their efforts and at last turned up the missing keys: in the bookcase drawer with the movies.
Well, it was a drawer.
Now I just hope I can remember this hard-won lesson.