I Found the Sharpies!

Most of you know that over the past year, my nonnykin (we don’t use the “G” word around here, to describe me, or to describe the child of my child.  I’m just not there yet . . . might never be), Kennedy, stayed with us for several months while Meg was dealing with Air Force obligations that left her unable to care for Kennedy full time.  Being that our youngest child is 8 years old, it had been a while since we’d “Baby-proofed” anything.  To be honest, Gaby wasn’t ever one to get into a lot of things, color on walls, or books, or sofas (Oh Kennedy, one of these days I’ll be able to laugh about that!), and she never really went through that awkward and highly creative phase when miniature humans hit the age of two that are fondly referred to as the “Terrible Twos.”  For the most part though, back when Gaby was Kennedy’s age, she kept her “creative endeavors” on paper.

This time around with Kennedy, because Meg had sort of let us know ahead of time that Kennedy liked to color on the walls and was especially fond of using markers as makeup (see photo below – taken when I learned just how fond of markers Kennedy is!), and because Kennedy loved crayons – so much so that she made them a part of her diet (in Kennedy’s world, crayons were indeed part of her food pyramid) I decided to double-down and remove everything from every place I could think of, including Gaby’s art supplies, so that Kennedy couldn’t get into them. I told Gaby that for the seven months Kennedy was with us, it was pretty much colored pencils and if, and only if Kennedy was asleep, I’d sneak out the markers and crayons.

Kennedy explores using Crayola Washable (thank God they were washable) Markers as make-up

Kennedy with Marker face UTO

I thought I had taken every single precaution to make sure all markers were put well out of reach of a very curious, very creative two year old.  I kept Sharpies (you know what Sharpies are, right?  The markers that are permanent, and if you ever get it on your skin, or your sofa, you’re never ever ever getting it off!) in all of the kitchen drawers, as well as my purse, because it seems like every other day, something of Gaby’s needed to have her name written on it, for school, or dance, or eventually snowboarding. Unfortunately, one side of my sofa is a great example of how well I hid at least one of the Sharpies.  In my purse.

Anyhow, I’d hide the rest of the Sharpies and then of course end up needing one, and would not be able to find any of them, or remember where I’d hidden them in the first place.  So I’d run to the store and buy another one. This happened at least three times that I can recall.  The fact remains, no matter how hard I searched for the Sharpies, damned if I knew where I put them.

So, seven months passed by in the blink of an eye and Kennedy went back home with Meg at the start of May.  Right about that time winter finally loosened it’s grip on the northeast and I decided it was time to start using the socks from my “spring and summer” sock drawer (for those of you that live in areas of the country that don’t experience all four seasons, including the one we fondly refer to as “Snowmaggedon season”, you probably only have one sock drawer.  I have two because one drawer contains socks that are long enough and thick enough to double as sleeping bags – obviously for winter and Snowmaggedon season, and for those long days spent watching Gaby hurl herself down a snow-covered mountain, and the other drawer contains socks appropriate for spring and summer – short, no-show socks), and when I reached in to grab a pair from the spring and summer drawer, my hand touched several long plastic tubes. I pulled out all of those tubes.

I’d found all of my hidden Sharpies!

Sharpies UTO

I guess I bought a few more Sharpies, over those seven months, than I thought I did.

I wish I could say that this was an isolated incident and that I don’t put other things away, only to forget where I’ve put them, or in the case of Christmas gifts, hidden them.

Take this box for instance.  It’s shoved way on top of the shelves in our closet.  Way wayyyyy up there!

Box on shelf with presents UTO

We moved into this house in the summer of 2011.  I started my Christmas shopping in the summer of that year and I’d squirrel away stuff in that box and then shove it up on that shelf.  Well, I kept doing that.  I had other hidey-holes too.  Most of them I remembered.  This one, the one pictured above? I completely forgot about.  So, this past Christmas – Christmas 2013, I happened to spy the box when I was in the closet looking for something else.  I had completely forgotten what was even in the box, so I grabbed a coat hanger and yanked the box down.

Oh!  So that’s where all that stuff went. The collector’s edition Barbie, the new Monster High doll, books, a DVD and some seeds.  Yes, seeds.  I don’t know why packets of seeds were shoved in there, but they were.  I had completely forgotten about buying any of that stuff, let alone adding to it over time, and then hiding it.

Whats in the box UTO

I actually gave the Monster High doll to Gaby yesterday when she got home and gave me her final report card for the year.  Straight As!  Oh hey Gaby, here ya go!  Awesome job this school year!  Not only did she not know I’d had that Monster High doll for some time, but I scored major mom points for just handing it over, seemingly out of thin air. She gets money as well for good grades, but I realized that if I didn’t give her that Monster High doll, and soon, she’s going to realize just how long I’ve been hanging onto it. The kid has more of those dolls than I care to admit and knows when a new one comes out. My secret shame will no longer be such a secret if I don’t manage to offload some of this stuff . . . soon!

I wish I could say this was the first time I’ve done this, sadly, it’s not.

Finally, we come to Furby.

Can I just admit here and now that I hate Furby!  I mean, it’s more than hate, it’s a deep-down loathing of the most loathsome kind. Furby is annoying on a level that I can’t adequately articulate.  The Easter Bunny left a Furby for Gaby during Easter of 2013.  When I find that Easter Bunny, I’m going to have myself a brand new rabbit’s foot, as well as a lovely roast rabbit dinner! Immediately following Easter, Gaby and I went back to Maine for a week. She brought Furby with her, ON A FIVE HOUR CAR RIDE.  As we were driving over the Piscataqua Bridge from New Hampshire into Maine, I was out of Xanax and out of patience with that damn thing!  I wanted to toss him off the bridge.

Those of you that have a Furbian family member know what I’m talking about. It never shuts up.  Between it’s ridiculous language, it’s burps and farts, as well as other odd sounds and squeaks it makes, it stops being cute after about five seconds. Combined with the fact that Gaby had a Furby app on her iPod, I was in Furbish hell for that entire drive. When we got to our hotel, I buried Furby (they don’t make taking the batteries out of that thing, easy!) underneath a bunch of beach towels inside the storage space in the trunk of the car. Thankfully Gaby was so preoccupied with visiting friends in Maine, and going to the beach, that she forgot about Furby.  Until we got home. I told her I’d find him.  She forgot about him again until Gareth found him in the storage space in the car, and brought him inside, making all sorts of noise after his long sleep.  Gaby was overjoyed that Furby had been found. I gave Gareth, the look.

That night, as Gaby slept, I crept into her bedroom and found a sleeping Furby at the foot of her bed. I had to be careful if I was going to get away with sneaking him (her? I don’t even know if it’s a boy or a girl Furby.  Gaby could never decide) out and not awaken him. He’d start to mouth off almost instantly and it would surely wake Gaby up.  I quietly reached down, picked him up by his ear, ever so carefully lifting him up.  I turned around to walk out of Gaby’s bedroom and was stopped by the presence of our cat, Geronimo.  He had wandered into his best buddy’s room, presumably to make sure all was well.  If I’d gone in there, perhaps something was amiss with his girl? I looked at Geronimo and put my finger up to my lips and then whispered, “Shhhhhhh.  I’m taking away the evil thing.”  I could swear Geronimo gave me a knowing wink.  At the very least he flicked his tail in agreement; Furby was indeed evil and needed to go!  Geronimo hates Furby.  Whenever Furby was out and making noise, Geronio’s ears were back and he’d eye that thing with the kind of contempt that only a cat can master.

So I took Furby and hid him.

Gaby woke up to a note from Furby that said:

“Hi Gidget-girl (her long-time nickname), 

Must go on secret mission for the FIA (Furbish Intelligence Agency). 

Furby miss his Gidget-girl but know large brown white cat take good care of girl. 

Be back soon.  

Be good.” 

Gaby didn’t think much of it.

I completely forgot about Furby.  Totally forgetting where I’d shoved his furry little irritating self.

Until the other day when I went looking for a camera lens.

I store my extra cameras and lenses on one of the shelves in my closet.  When I went in looking for a lens for a shoot, I spotted something behind the lenses.

Distant Furby UTO

Is that . . .?  Can it be?  No, surely it’s not that . . . that thing!

I moved one of my lenses and sure enough, there it was, sleeping.


Close up Furby UTO

Once again, I’d forgotten where I’d put something.  To be honest though, Gaby hasn’t asked about him in the longest time. Could she be growing as annoyed with it as the rest of us?  One can only hope.

I grabbed my lens and quickly backed out of the closet and shut the door before I awoke the beast within.  I’ll have to find another hiding place for him, and soon.  Summer is when my photography business really picks up and I’ll be in and out of the closest, swapping lenses and cameras pretty often.  I can’t risk waking that thing up!  However, with my track record, wherever I end up putting him, there’s no telling how long he’ll stay there. Maybe we’ll find him when Gaby graduates from high school?

Please tell me I’m not the only one who does this . . . hides things, and then months, or in my case, years later, finds them?  Tell me you’ve got a box stashed somewhere with Christmas gifts tucked away from 2007.



I’m Audrey, the voice behind Barking Mad, a freelance writer and photographer, and owner of Barking Mad Media, LLC. In another life, my “voice” (they call it “air talent” nowadays) could be heard on Clear Channel and Entercom ( KISW, KJR, KHMX, WCOL, WNCI, and several other large-market commercial radio stations) radio stations around the country. I'm married to my lifelong British pen-pal, and have 4 beautiful children. I hope you’ll join me as I embark on a poignant personal journey to lose 225lbs and in the process, gain my life back. I also write about surviving the loss of my 2-year-old son, Joshua, coping with the subsequent depression, and morbid obesity.

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  1. My daughter “discovers” things all the time… and boy does she make a mess.

    • Robin,

      That was the problem with Kennedy “discovering” things . . . the messes! *lol* But she’s cute, so it all balances out in the end, even if we never get the black Sharpie out of the sofa.

  2. LOL I do that all the time! It is kind of fun to discover the hidden items later though :)

    • Marisa,

      Especially fun is discovering $20 bills hidden in the pockets of jeans about to go into the washing machine!

  3. Even my kids got annoyed with Furby sometimes. We took to taping him so he wouldn’t move!

    • Liz,

      You taped him? As in, in place? With duct tape maybe? *lol* I’d like to superglue it’s mouth shut!

  4. I totally do this, but not on purpose. It happens several times throughout the day with my meds, my keys, my sunglasses, even Molly…. Glad you found those Sharpies! :)

    • Brandy,

      I know what you mean. I’ve lost my car keys three times this week and have left my wallet in the grocery store twice this month! Ugh!

  5. LOL. If you count the stacks and piles and stash of tote bags with who knows what is in them to be “hiding” then yes, I do. I don’t really ‘hide’ things but we do have a place where we stash presents and that’s where we start when it’s time to dole out gifts.

    • Nicole,

      I have a serious problem when it comes totes . . . I collect them! I LOVE THEM! And yeah, sometimes I stick stuff inside of them, and then when summer comes around – especially the toes we take to the beach, WELL HELLO THERE CHRISTMAS ORNAMENTS I BOUGHT LAST YEAR AND STORED AND THEN FORGOT ABOUT!

      I probably have, no joke, 20-25 totes of various sizes and designs. Love every single one of them!

  6. haha… that photo of your daughter is PRICELESS… and yes. You are not alone. I hide things to keep them ‘safe’ or put them in ‘time out’ from my boys… and then find them MONTHS later!!

    • Rachel,

      Do you give the stuff back when you find it? Is it almost like another mini-Christmas when they get it back? We’ve done that too . . . taken stuff away from Gaby and then literally, the next year, found it in the basement and given it back. A couple of times she’s forgotten she ever had it in the first place and the expression on her face is priceless.

  7. Hahaha! Our Furby is hidden too, and has been for quite some time.

    • Sarah,

      As long as the kids don’t say anything, it can stay hidden, am I right?

  8. Oh totally, but your stories behind the stuff are much more fun than mine.

    • Kim,

      It’s the legacy I’m leaving to my kids . . . I might have done a lot of stupid things, but at least there’s an amusing backstory to the dumb stuff I do. I swear, when I die and my kids are all going through my stuff, they’re going to find so much stuff, with all the tags still on it.

  9. This had laughing a lot. I’m glad you found your Sharpies. I know whAt that feels like! As fast as the Furby I never figured out the like lure of them.

    • Crystal,

      At this point, I think the Furby was designed solely as a means to annoy parents everywhere! *lol*

  10. LMAO I love you. I find hidden shit allll the time. I swear we have ghosts, though.

    • Lisa,

      You know what’s gonna suck though? When I give Gaby that collector’s Barbie . . . from 2012! When she questions WHY it’s from more than 2 years ago I’m just going to look at her for a minute, cock my head to the side, then say, “HELLO! It says “Collector’s Edition” – I’ve been COLLECTING it for you!

      I’m not entirely sure that’s going to fly, but it’s all I’ve got! *lol*

  11. This is something I have done many times! Usually I save whatever I find for a rainy day or a big surprise.

  12. I hide things from myself ALL the time! 😉 The best is finding cash in an old purse before I get rid of it!

    Your nonnykin is stinkin’ adorable – even covered in marker!!

    • Sara,

      I’ve done that before. I usually stash a $20 somewhere in the car (for tolls – I live in utter fear of heading into a toll booth without any money!) and forget about it, so I stash another $5 or $10 somewhere. I’ve actually found $50 in various places in my car, due to the fact that over a years time, I’ve forgotten I’ve done it.

  13. OMG, that picture. This whole post is full of awesomeness.

  14. LOL – too funny. Her photo is too precious. I also put stuff in places and then forget. I found a box of clothing that was too big for my son at the time that I put it away and now it is too small. I can’t believe that I forgot about the clothing so long that he outgrew it!

    • Daisy,

      Oh, I’ve done it with clothing too. I have an entire box of stuff that I tucked away for Gaby, and it’s now too small. I mean like YEARS too small . . . going back to toddler sizes. So I’m sending it off to Kennedy. Unless I forget where I’ve put it. *lol*

  15. Hahahaha! I do that ALLLL the time!!!! So funny!
    Question.. (unless I missed it) were your sharpies dried out?!

    • Lisa,

      Surprisingly, no, they weren’t dried out in the least. Of course, I’ve got so many of them at this point, that I’ve deemed this the “Summer of the Sharpie!” . . . looking for projects that use Sharpies. There are entire websites devoted to those things!