I was reading while Aaron dozed beside me. All was quiet. And then I heard a cup fall in the kitchen.
It's a sound I know well- it's the exact noise made when my boys drops one of the plastic kid cups we've gotten at Barro's. I put my book off my lap and Aaron cracked an eyelid. "Did you hear that?" I asked. "They are STILL up."
I stalked out of our room and let out a warning, "Booooys!" I was surprised by how dark it was in our living room. We usually leave at least the bathroom or hallway light on in case either of them need to go potty in the night. I was surprised they had been wandering around in that kind of darkness.
I easily identified the source of the noise. A cup lay on the floor by our kitchen table and a huge puddle of milk splayed outward from where it lay. Were the boys getting themselves milk? They've never attempted it before. Odd.
I set off for their room, expecting to find them giggling and pretending innocence while playing with blocks or reading books. Instead, I found two little boys snuggled deep in their beds totally oblivious to the world. I poked them. I talked to them. I couldn't figure out how they managed to knock the milk over less than 60 seconds prior and be that deeply asleep. I was fairly certain I had heard footsteps after the cup dropped. Was that them running back to their room?
I walked back through the dark hallway. As I emerged from the hallway into the kitchen something caught the corner of my eye. Our sliding door and blinds were open. One of the slats was pushed outward and caught on the track. It was just wide enough to allow a person.
|Slider situation recreated the next morning|
I stood for just a moment pondering. Could the wind have knocked the milk over? It wasn't windy. Perhaps it was the heater kicking on kind of forcefully? I put my hand out and felt only a bare minimum of air movement. I looked at the amount of milk on the floor and decided the cup would have been pretty heavy and required human or animal force to fall off the table. And then I ran for Aaron.
We checked the house thoroughly. We locked all doors and checked all the windows. After 15 minutes or so I said, "You know..maybe I should call the police non-emergency line and just ask them to patrol the neighborhood."
I kept trying to explain to the dispatcher that we were fine and I was only asking if they could drive around the neighborhood for a bit but she kept interrupting- "Have you checked under the beds? Do you know anyone who might want to break into your home or harm you? Did you hear voices?" The dispatcher chided me for not calling more quickly. I felt silly when she asked if we had any weapons and I responded, "Well..my husband has some nun chucks..."
Less than 2 minutes after I got on the phone, two policemen were at our door. They got out their guns and flashlights and cleared our house and yard. We talked briefly about home security and then they left.
We still aren't entirely sure what happened. We are 90% sure we closed the slider before we went to bed but I bet we forgot to lock it (I'd like to think this is uncommon but odds are good we do it a lot since I tend to think of it as Aaron's job and he doesn't think about it at all). But we almost never open the slider without also opening the blinds. The slat stuck on the track tells me that someone last passed that way going OUT rather than when we were coming back IN earlier in the evening.
My guess is that someone walking along the (semi-major) street behind our house noticed our house was dark and likely thought that, at 10:30 on a Saturday night, there was no one home. They tried the slider and it was open. Our kitchen was quite dark though and they bumped into our table and knocked over the milk. They paused a moment to listen, heard me talking to Aaron and they made a speedy exit.
Needless to say, it took Aaron and I a good long while to get to sleep. We stayed up for a few hours watching Duck Dynasty and trying to get over the unsettling mental image of a stranger in our kitchen. The next day we ordered a bunch of security stuff. Needless to say, we haven't forgotten to lock our doors since.