Last night, Anna Ferris tweeted a picture of her absurdly adorable son Jack clutching the tie to her bathrobe, which apparently he views as a Very Valuable Treasure and steals on a regular basis. I instantly fell in love with the photo for two reasons: One, because it reiterates that, celeb or not, Anna Faris is just so damn relatable. And Two, because it reaffirms a universal truth of parenting: All toddlers are shameless, grubby little thieves.
Luckily for us, though, toddlers are not yet sophisticated enough to recognize items of true value. When my own son was a curious 2-year-old, he was obsessed with an old brown leather purse he found buried deep within my closet. Every chance he got, he’d dig it out and fill it with office supplies pilfered from my husband’s desk (he was especially partial to Post-It notes and tape). Then he’d sling the purse over his shoulder and proudly announce, “My adventure bag is all packed! I’m off on my adventure!” After that, he’d usually try and leave the house, but luckily for all parties involved he wasn’t coordinated enough to open the front door.
But my son — and little Jack Pratt — are not alone in their love of finding “unique” treasures. Most of my friends have similarly hilarious tales.
My friend Carrie reports that her son used to steal sugar packets every time they went out for a meal. He’d sneak them home from the restaurant and put them in a brown paper bag that he’d carry around. One day, she finally asked what was in the bag, and was fairly surprised to discover about 40 sugar packets lumped together in a ball. Her son apparently had no plans to eat the sugar; he just liked the packets.
My friend Heather’s daughter was in love with the latex gloves her daycare teachers wore when changing diapers. She called them “glubs,” and every day would beg to have a pair. So usually, when Heather arrived at the end of the workday for pick-up, her 2-year-old would be toddling around the sandbox with “glubs” on her hands, happy as a clam.
My friend Beth told me that her daughter’s current favorite item is the instruction pamphlet from the board game Scrabble. She carries it everywhere with her in a little purse.
When my friend Nicole’s son was two, he used to sleep with a can of Diet Coke at night. Full stop, because that is an amazing visual.
Occasionally, however, a toddler will happen upon something valuable, which is slightly less adorable. When my daughter was three, I did a very stupid thing. I stayed up working late at my computer, and at some point during the night I took off my wedding rings and my favorite pair of earrings (the earrings my husband bought me for Christmas the year I was pregnant with our first child), and put them in a pile next to my keyboard.
You know where this is going, right?
The next morning after dropping the kids at preschool, I discovered the earrings were gone (why she neglected to remove the rings will always remain a mystery to me). I tore my house apart looking for those earrings. I emptied out every single toy bin in her room, looked under the mattress of her bed, dug through her fairy jewelry box, and looked behind every book on her bookshelf.
By the end of preschool that day, when I finally had a chance to quiz her about the earrings’ location, my daughter stared at me blankly — she clearly had no memory of ever touching them.
Because she was 3 years old, and this is how 3-year-olds roll.
I cried over those earrings for a while, convinced she had managed to somehow throw them away or flush them down the toilet or otherwise permanently dispose of them.
But here’s the kicker: My husband found them six months later, tucked into a bag with a pair of old noise canceling headphones, a green “Happy Birthday” banner, a one-dollar bill, a half-dozen paperclips, and a toy Jabba the Hutt. The whole bag was stuck in the very back of a cabinet next to my husband’s desk, behind the paperwork from the previous year’s taxes. To this day, I cannot fully picture the circumstances under which my daughter assembled these items, placed them in a bag, and hid them in the back of the cabinet while apparently no one watched or noticed. (Mother of the Year, right here.)
So yes, Anna Ferris, thank you for sharing that photo of your son. He’s absolutely delightful, and by stealing your bathrobe tie, he’s continuing the long-standing thieving tradition of toddlers everywhere.
Just don’t let him near the good jewelry.