Sometime Saturday afternoon, my kids decided to become detectives. They put together a detective kit, a metal lunchbox containing things like binoculars, a flashlight, pencil and notebook, an outdoor survival pamphlet, bandaids, snacks and Tano's Cub Scout handbook.
They came to me dressed head to toe in black and asked if I would drive them into town, about fifteen minutes away.
-Why do you need to go to town?
-To investigate any crimes. You know, see if somebody is stealing stuff or something like that.
This, of course, was made all the funnier by the fact that they were talking about Stevensville, where people leave their engines running if they're only going to be in the store a minute. The police force in Stevi really has to work hard to look busy.
-Sorry, guys, but I'm not going to take you into town. Why don't you look around the property here for some clues to something.
(My son rolls his eyes)
-Mom, there aren't any clues here. No crimes have been committed on our property.
I swear my kids don't watch any of the crime dramas on TV. Andy and I don't even watch them.
At this point, it was Daddy to the rescue again, as usual. He's the fun one. He offered to set up a crime scene for them to investigate, if they would just stay in the house for a few minutes and not look out the windows. The kids agreed and went to hide out of the sight of windows to wait for further instructions. Andy quietly asked me for some red fingernail polish, grabbed his cell phone and ran out the door intent on becoming a victim.
After ten minutes or so, the phone rang. I asked Tano to answer it.
A raspy Daddy voice was calling for help, saying that he had been attacked and was badly injured. No, he didn't know where he was, but would they please hurry and find him. Then the phone went dead.
Tano grinned briefly, then was all business. As he hung up, he yelled for Elli to grab the detective kit and he explained the case to her as they ran out the front door.
From the various reports I was given later, I have put the scene together in my own mind.
Andy used the fingernail polish to create a terrible gash on his forehead, then dabbed more polish on the blade of the axe (yes, the axe!!!) and tossed it onto the ground out in the open. He then set up several miscellaneous clues around the yard to lead the kids to an old junk car parked way back on one corner of the property.
After some looking and a second desperate phone call, the young detectives successfully followed the trail and discovered the victim dumped in the back seat, seemingly unconscious, with a cell phone still in his hand. They called his name. He fought laughter to remain motionless and keep his eyes shut. So Detective Elli took her detective kit, the one in the metal lunchbox, and banged him on the head with it a few times to bring him around. Oh, how I wish I could've seen that.
They eventually solved the mystery and the victim made a miraculous recovery.
I'm not sure how I feel about this little game. I'm thinking it was terribly morbid and potentially damaging, but the kids loved it. Fortunately, Elli doesn't seem to be suffering any nightmares or other ill-effects from discovering her father, head bleeding profusely from an attack with an axe, slumped over the back seat of an abandoned vehicle.