Now that we don't have preschool anymore, morning life has changed in the Underground household. We used to leisurely eat breakfast, take our time getting dressed, and show up to school whenever it was convenient and we wanted to leave.

Now we have an actual school with an actual starting time and an actual bus to catch. The KingofHearts leaves for work unbelievably early and is not around to help with the morning routine. So for the past several weeks, I've been trying to beat into submission, force encourage The Dormouse that when she gets out of bed in the morning, there's a routine to begin and follow. And it needs to be done quickly. No longer is the following conversation acceptable:

"Honey, are you finished with your breakfast?"


"Why not?"

*sigh... repeating what she's heard a hundred times in monotone voice* "Because I'm messing around."

The Caterpillar is usually up before The Dormouse (because she never sleeps) so I've been able to deal with her needs in the morning before The Dormouse is out of bed. Once she gets up, I put The Caterpillar down on the floor to play and block off all the dangerous and undesirable areas of the house (the stairwell, the bathroom, respectively) while I deal with getting The Dormouse dressed, groomed, fed and all those other things Child Protective Services would be none to happy to find out that I didn't do.

The Caterpillar usually makes her way into their shared room, where The Dormouse's toys are all on the ground and within easy reach. I've long since weeded out all the Polly Pockets and any other small choke-able and/or dangerous items so I let her wander around in there with only minimal supervision.

Now with that long background explanation behind me, I can describe this morning's events with a clear(er) conscience. I was yelling at helping The Dormouse to finish her breakfast, when I heard The Caterpillar crying. Not help me, the world's about to end crying, just her normal I've been forgotten and I'm a bit miffed about it crying. I let it go for a minute while I finished cleaning up the mashed banana mess The Dormouse had smeared all over her face and hands from breakfast and then went into the girls' room to see what The Caterpillar was distressed about. I looked around on the floor and couldn't see her. I looked under the bed and couldn't find her. I glanced back over my shoulder to see if she'd gotten into the bathroom, but the door was still closed and locked. Then suddenly, I heard a plaintive cry coming from above my head.

This is what I found.

I figure there are two possible explanations for how she got up there:

Explanation 1
An unidentified alien craft descended to earth from outer space and abducted her into their spaceship to perform experiments on her with their creepy long alien fingers and stare at her with horrifically over sized alien eyes. After poking, prodding, and probing for an unspecified amount of time (we don't know how long because, obviously, time seemed to stop for everyone else in the household), they learned all they could about our species from this single specimen and they returned her to the approximate location from which they picked her up (missing it by only a few feet), so as not to tip off the human populace of their plans for eventual world domination.

Explanation 2
She climbed up the ladder by herself.

Somehow, Explanation 1 gives me more comfort.