It is standard practise for me to send a boy person with explicit instructions on where to find a certain thing only to have them return some time later to tell me that despite thorough and concentrated searching no such thing is there.
I then usually have to go and help. We go back to where I said and I find it exactly as I expect to in half the time it’s taken them to not find it. Sometimes the boy person will respond in amazement, other times he will simply shrug and wander off with whatever it was, ostensibly too astounded to speak about this unfathomable ability to find things, one of the great mysteries of the universe.
It is my experience that if the thing, for which a boy is searching, does not land into his outstretched hands as he approaches it’s general location, he will stand and wait patiently for a while and then he will seek help to find it because it’s quite obviously “not there”. This help, if it’s to be successful, needs to come from a useful finder sort of person, one that can engage their eyes and hands together in the looking activity, and that is probably already fully engaged in some other useful activity that has to be interrupted in order to help “look”.
I once took a phonecall to help find a passport that was in the bag that was hanging over the shoulder of the boy person calling me while he was walking, nowhere near me.
“Do you know where my passport is?” Was his conversation opener.
“In your bag.”
“Are you sure?”
“Yes. I watched you put it there about 10 minutes ago, just before you left the house.”
“That’s what I thought but I’ve looked and I can’t find it.”
“Did you look in all the compartments?”
“I’ll do that now. Yup, found it!”
“You really called me to help you find your passport when you hadn’t even checked your whole bag? Even when you were pretty sure that’s where it was?”
“Yes. And you helped me find it, so I’d do the same thing next time when I’m struggling to find something!”
Another typical conversation goes along the lines of
“Where are my slippers?”
“In the cupboard.”
“I’ve looked in the cupboard.”
Nevertheless, that is still where they are.
I know that in most instances I was the person that put the thing in the place that said thing is to be found in so I do admit I am at a distinct advantage but more often than not we’re talking about things like socks and underpants which are to be found in a drawer filled with socks and underpants and maybe the odd piece of pyjamas.
I suppose being the best at something in my household should appease me a little but strangely enough this, like some of the things for which I’ve become indispensable are not the most compelling skills to put on my CV.
CFT – Chief Finder of Things