I had a dog growing up that always hid under the kitchen table after (or while) some sort of crime had been committed. Now I have a daughter who does the same.
My first clue is always the lack of whining, questioning, or singing...when it's quiet I know she's up to no good. I look around, calling her name in a curious and nonthreatening tone. "Caroline??? Where a---rrrr----eee you?" I ask sweetly. Innocent until proven guilty, right? I check the pantry, because she had a phase recently that included sneaking in the pantry, closing the door, and then snacking on something until she was discovered. It was usually dry pasta (ick) or peanut butter, which she would lick with her ridiculously long tongue (ick ick.) Hmmm...not there.
Next, I scanned the computer area, as she enjoys popping the tiny magnets from the "chore chart" into her mouth like M&Ms. No, she doesn't eat them...she just has a mouth fetish. I guess I should be thankful she doesn't have a nose fetish! Not there...
I cringe to think what sort of mess/project/experiment may be occurring in the bathroom. Sometimes I'll find an entire box worth of tissues, each used for a single touch of the nose then wadded up and placed on a square tile- so that each tile has one used tissue adorning it. (My daughter, the artist.) Other times I will find the sink filled with water and the bath toys from upstairs (or any other toys that might fit into the sink) and the tell tale trail of water to her exact position. I actually prefer those options over the last...the messiest. She is quite independent in the bathroom, so she will confidently go in, lock the door and do her business. We haven't quite mastered the "big potty," so sometimes she will use her little Bjorn potty. All is good in the world until she tries to "tidy up" after herself. She will attempt to pour the contents of the little potty into the big potty...and this is rarely a complete success. I will come in (long after she has been there) to find a pretty good indication of every single move she made while in the bathroom. Of course I can't get upset, because she's doing such a wonderful job with it all and truly TRYING to clean up the mess. But can I just say that it is not a pleasant task.
Back to the subject. So, if there is no signs of her presence in the potty, I know she must be 1) either trying on my shoes in my closet; or 2) under the kitchen table hiding from me. So far she's been under the table about 10 times...eating Owen's Valentine's Day candy, licking from the peanut butter jar, snacking on Hudson's "Veggie Puffs," or munching on her barrettes. She's also hid under the bar stool, although this is definitely not a good hiding place, as I can see her clearly. And once or twice I've caught her under the dining room table with something fun, like the watercolor paints (RED) and Silly Putty (yes, I did have to cut it from her hair.)
What's the deal? Is it part of her game? Is she trying to have a snack AND play hide and seek with me? I doubt I'll ever know. The hardest part is once I find her, she has such an adorable little smile on her face that it's near impossible to focus on crime! I send her to the stairs for her time out for not "asking" for whatever it is that she's swiped...all the while hoping that these are NOT indicative of her behavior as a teenager.