The Mystery of the Three Steel Tumblers


I have been working for very many years and needed a break. It was also opportune that the mommy in me reared her head at the same time. The inner mommy urged me to take time off to spend quality time with my little teen girl.

After months of tossing and turning, I had a few discussions with the hubby, a lot of math was done on several scraps of paper and several more Excel spreadsheets, and we finally came to the conclusion that we can afford for me to take a longish break from my career. We can continue to put potatoes on the table, but we may not be able to take off on exotic vacations. Sigh! And the ball was set into motion. I officially became a Stay at Home Mom!

It is important to mention at this juncture that the hubby has been a Stay at Home Dad for a bit. He almost always works from home. Nothing unusual there.

What does this truly mean as far as the home is concerned? Therein lies the rub! He has his routines in place, he owns the kitchen, the washing machine, the ‘clothes to be ironed’ cycle, the daily menu…

All this was fine as long as I was out of the house the whole time coming home to eat and sleep. But now, things are going to be a bit different, aren’t they? I was going to take over his little empire!!

The Handover Process

The first few days were spent with him following me around and giving me lots of instructions. Now don’t assume that I know nothing about running a house. He just felt the need to handover. I was fine with that. After all, I was inheriting his empire. He would be a tad bit worried.

The next few days were spent with him breathing down my neck to ensure that I was following all his instructions! Now, things started getting a little sticky. He had handed over, I had taken over. He now needed to trust me and get back to his real job!

But that is easier said than done. I felt like a new daughter-in-law dealing with a strict mother-in-law. A feeling of constantly being watched…and judged.

Particularly touchy areas were the washing machine, and the dealings with the Iron Man (yeah, yeah, we call the chap who irons our clothes twice a week as Iron Man. Sorry, Tony Stark!) The wash cycle had to be run just how the hubby wanted it. Any change, any increase or decrease in rinse cycles or washing detergent, etc, was met with violent verbal protests. No amount of arguing that we don’t exactly roll around in the mud, or in any way get our clothes that dirty, just led to louder arguments.

So much so that we even argued about how the towels were being folded. I mean, have you heard this argument ever???

The Show Stopper Argument

Then one day, something happened that was the show stopper! Hubby had stepped out for a bit. I had made myself a cup of awesome, piping hot, strong South Indian filter coffee, and thoroughly enjoyed the brew down to the last sip. After that, I was blissfully sprawled on the sofa doing some gentle reading. Outside, I could hear the faint rustle of trees, and the excited chirping of tiny red-whiskered bulbuls as they were getting ready to go home for the day.

Hubby came home, pottered about here and there, and then he asked, ‘Had anyone come home?’.

I was nonplussed. What a strange question. I said, ‘No, why do you ask?’.

And he said, ‘There are 3 tumblers in the kitchen sink!!’.

Now, wait a minute! Back up a little here. I made myself a cup of coffee, I was happily reading on the sofa, the home is clean, the kitchen is clean, the teen is doing her homework. In short, all is well. And, the hubby is concerned about why there are three tumblers in the sink?????

I think I lost it then! I ranted and shouted about how all his policing and monitoring is getting on my nerves, and how I feel like I can’t run a house, and so on and so forth. Why on earth would he check the sink, count the number of dishes, and worse, ask me to account for them!! Grrrrrr!!

Luckily, better sense prevailed at least then, and the hubby quietly crawled out of the scene.

Why Were There Three Tumblers?

But here’s the thing! He had introduced a bloody worm in my head. I could not imagine why there were three tumblers in the sink. Normally, when I make coffee, there is one extra tumbler to pour the coffee up and down to build the froth. That is the standard operating procedure. So we have accounted for two. Where did the third come from???

I HAD to get up and go check in the sink. As expected, there were two tumblers with dregs of coffee at the bottom. And there was this third tumbler, nice and clean….

As luck would have it, the teen has a few strange behavior patterns as well. (Wonder where she gets it from…) She always drinks water from a particular tumbler. The third one was this particular one. Turns out, somewhere in between the hubby stepping out, and me drinking coffee, she had come along and drunk herself a glass of water.

Finally having solved the mystery, I heaved a huuuge sigh of relief, and immediately went to the hubby to appraise him of the developments.

Here are the three tumblers. Can you tell which one the teen used?

Shot on location next to my kitchen sink…

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