‘Baby Girl’ Mischief Maker

I’m sooo bored, is there anything I can find interesting to do? She thought to herself.  There’s no one to play with and I just don’t want to play with my toys right now.  What can I do to make some fun around here?   She had played outdoors as much as she could; her usual activities involving running, jumping, riding her bicycle and anything totally physical. Her engine usually ran on all eight cylinders at any given time.

Middle daughter Kathy had a penchant for finding ways to get herself into mischief, most times totally innocent; sometimes not.

One such occasion found her squeezing her tiny little frame behind the furniture in her home.  She was bored, she was mad and she just wanted to disappear into the woodwork.  She didn’t feel much appreciated at that moment; she didn’t think to run away from home, she just wanted to disappear for a little while. If I hide myself, I wonder how long it might take Mama and Pops to find me she mused.

She found a little niche in the living room behind the furniture and realized she could fold her tiny little frame perfectly within that tiny space, totally concealed from anyone passing by. She decided to see just how long it might be before her family missed her and thus settled herself into a comfortable position to wait …

She cuddled into that secret niche for some time, just thinking, enjoying the solitude and listening for any alarms being raised by her mother or father.  She settled down and began to breathe very silently and slowly, hoping her presence would not be noticed.

Presently she heard voices from the dining room. “Has anybody seen Baby Girl?” Papa called to Mama and sister.  His favorite name for his second daughter was “Baby Girl” and the two had formed a closeness treasured by the middle child.

She listened silently to see who would answer his question.

“Nope, she’s not with me, Papa”, older sister Elizabeth yelled out.

Mama comes to her husband and says “Well, I thought she was playing but I don’t see her outside.  Do you suppose she went down to the lake?”

Her angst was rising and she just wanted to be able to count noses of her daughters to make sure all were safe and accounted for.

“Somebody watch out for the baby for a few minutes while I drive down to the lake and make sure she’s not there” she called as she hurried out the door with car keys in hand.

Papa began searching room by room and even walked past mischievous Kathy still silently basking in the glory of pulling yet one more joke on her family. Silently reveling in the glory, she thought to herself, Gee, I sure am pulling off a great joke THIS time!

She watched her father; the sound of his footsteps through the house increasing until it almost sounded as if he was running from room to room, his voice, now becoming louder calling her name …

“Baby Girl, where are you?” she heard him calling.

She kept silent but began feeling a little niggling fear that she might just have gone a little too far on this joke. Did she dare reveal her hiding place yet? With great resolve she thought I’ll just let them stew a few more minutes then I’ll jump out and surprise them all!

She continued sitting still in her hidey hole until she heard the family car arrive in the driveway, her mother slamming the door as she ran inside.

“Is she here yet?” Mama cried with fear, now bordering on tears.

Elizabeth, Papa and Mama were huddled in the kitchen, fearful of what horrible plight had befallen little Kathy… dear little Baby Girl.  What has happened to her and where on earth did she go?

She could finally take the excitement no longer and decided she had better reveal herself right away, things were beginning to get out of hand and even she was a little worried at the moment.

Jumping out from her hidey hole she cried “Surprise…I’m here…I fooled all of you, didn’t I? I’ve been hiding in my secret hiding place all the time and nobody could even find me…“

She caught a glance of her father’s eyes and with REAL fear realized that not only was he looking at her, knowing that she in actuality was not hurt at all but his face began taking on a really angry, frightening look.  It seemed his eyes simply burned through all the way down into her little soul.

Mama now stood as frozen as a statue, silent tears streaming down her face, obvious relief visually flooding over her entire being.

With an extremely loud and authoritative voice, Papa turned to Baby Girl Kathy and demanded she march herself right into her bedroom.  “GET IN YOUR ROOM … NOW!” he bellowed.

Kathy who by this time was quaking in her boots, fearful she might even lose her water, ran as fast as her little legs could carry her to her bedroom.  Jumping straight up onto the bed she fretted about how mad her father appeared to be.  Her anxiety began to escalate as she waited in her bedroom alone for the next few minutes; those minutes that seemed unending.

Papa, on the other hand, had to let her stew for a little while before he calmed down and would be able to speak with his daughter about her mischief. When finally he entered Kathy’s bedroom, his eyes still had that intense angry stare and she knew she was greatly in a world of hurt on this one.

Through clenched,  angry teeth, Papa began “Baby Girl, do you GET just how frightened you had your mother and me?  Do you have any idea just how bad we were feeling when we couldn’t hear you or see you?  We had all ideas someone had taken you or you were laying hurt or dead somewhere.  Just WHAT do you have to say for yourself young lady?” he bellowed.

“I’m so sorry Papa, I didn’t think my game would hurt anybody, I really didn’t mean to scare anybody.  I just wanted to have some fun and thought this would be a great hide and seek game” she cried.

“Nobody knew you were playing hide and seek; we only knew we could not see your face or hear your voice and it scared us to death” he continued.

“For your punishment, let’s just see how much FUN you’re going to have when I lay my hands on your backside” he quietly threatened.

Quickly grabbing her little arm, he laid her over his knee and whacked her back-side twice, each time telling her “you better NEVER do that again…do you hear what I’m telling you?”

When the punishment finally ceased, both father and daughter had to hold each other, neither speaking but each feeling the rush of pain and fear the other had experienced.

The little mischief maker, Kathy, declared that particular hide and seek game from her family to be off limits from that time forward. She could not witness her father’s anger and fear for that mistake again.

The incident remains vivid in “Baby Girl’s” memory and the tenderness and obvious relief shown by her father after he had been forced to discipline his daughter feels as real today as it did all those years ago.

The incident however, also warned little Kathy that sometimes Mischief sometimes just doesn’t pay…

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