This is not a post about lunch boxes…

Maura has two lunch boxes in regular rotation, plus a spare one that’s an odd shape so not my favorite to use.

This morning, I could find neither good lunch box.
Now, we’re not ones to put things away – how silly would that be? And I remember seeing the one lunch box on the table, which means the other should have been in her backpack. But table lunch box was no longer there, and backpack lunchbox was invisible.
“Maura, where’s your lunch box?”
*radio silence*
Now, I’m used to her not responding to me. It’s sort of our thing. I ask a question, and then receive no response. Because communication is sketchy, and often given in interpretive dance (and not just by Maura – her sister *is* a theater teen.) 
I would love it if I asked Maura a question and got a response other than “yes” or “no”, which, frankly, she doesn’t often use correctly. For instance, you can say “How was school?” and she says “yes.” – we assume that means school was okay. Other times, you can say “Do you want ice cream?” and she’ll say “no.” even though she means yes. Just the other night, we were at a restaurant, and I asked if she wanted a particular food, one she likes, one she gets every time we’re there – she said “No.” She was intent on ordering a Sprite. She wanted the Sprite. She wasn’t understanding that she could get the Sprite and the food.
So no, questioning Maura isn’t always helpful.
Yet I continue to.
Why? Well, because even if she doesn’t speak, she can often find a way to answer me. And because I have faith that if we keep doing this, we may make progress.
So this morning, as I asked her again “Where is your lunch box?”, Maura suddenly responded.
“I don’t know!”
It came out a bit whiny and frustrated and teenagery.
I greeted it with joy.
“You don’t know where it is? That’s okay! Let’s look for it!”
So we never found either preferred lunchbox. And Maura’s idea of helping me look was to follow me around the house watching me look. But I finally admitted defeat and grabbed the spare lunch box. At that point, it didn’t matter. Any frustration over losing the lunch boxes was wiped out by Maura conversing with me.

Six hours after writing this post, I found both lunch boxes – one on the couch, one on the floor in the dining area. I’ve decided we have mischievous spirits who move stuff on me in the house. I think that’s a reasonable explanation.