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July 31, 2002 - Wednesday
I did not actually see this occur, but I think Harry did something very remarkable this morning.

Our bedroom has a walk in closet with shelves above the clothes rods that we use for sweaters, sweatshirts, and extra T-shirts. We keep a two-step step stool there to help reach the top of those shelves, but it often does double duty as a short term casual resting place for recently worn garments. And, so it was this morning, with a pair of shorts hung inexactly over the top handle of the stool.

I was going toward the bathroom, just past the closet, to brush my teeth when Harry decided to climb the step stool. That's not an ideal source of amusement, but Harry has become quite proficient with ladders and it didn't seem like a worthwhile debate, so I would have let him do it. However, before he started, Harry removed the pair of shorts and, very consciously I might say, dropped them into the hamper beside the step stool, saying, "these are dirty," emphasizing the "dir" in the last word.

I tried to catch him, saying something like "no, I don't think those are dirty," but the shorts had already fallen into the hamper. Maybe they wee dirty and he was right after all. Besides, as I was saying the words, I realized that this was also probably not a debate worth having nor a habit to particularly discourage. Yet somehow, I believe Harry got the message that I didn't think the shorts belonged in there. Perhaps he heard disgust in the way my words trailed off as I lost my commitment to them in mid phrase. I often use a disappointed tone in lieu of angry and maybe he thought I was disappointed. But, I am not entirely sure. That's because that was the end of our interaction on the matter.

I went on to brush my teeth and did not pay any more attention to Harry at the step stool or the potentially dirty shorts. In fact, it wasn't until until much later in the morning, after I had returned from bringing the boys to daycare and starting work for the day, that I noticed the shorts were back atop the step stool, casually spread in a very similar manner to how they had originally been.

Now, it's possible that Harry did not retrieve the shorts from the hamper, although only he, Jeremy, and I were in the house. I think I can rule Jeremy out, but it's certainly possible that I did it and forgot in the rush to get two boys ready for daycare and out the door. However, I have absolutely no recollection of doing it and I was really quite surprised when I walked through the bedroom door, turned toward the bathroom, and saw them there.

Is it really possible that Harry, a two and a half year old, would actually put something back were it was instead of dropping and moving on? It just seems so hard to believe given the constant stage of most of the rooms in our house.

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