While wrapping Father’s Day gifts, I realized how many thing I hide from my kids. Unfortunately, I can’t always remember my hiding places.

For example, the boys seem to go through AA batteries almost as fast as they go through a gallon of milk. I started buying the economy-sized pack from Costco several months ago, but still found myself looking at an empty pack of batteries every time I needed a couple for my camera.

So I started hiding them in my nightstand drawer underneath my greeting cards. I placed a few in the cabinet where we normally keep the batteries and hid the rest of them.

That worked fine until they figured out where my hiding place was. Someone must have seen me getting them out, because soon they were asking me for permission to go into my drawer and get batteries.

After that, it was all over. Batteries again started flowing from my room and into the hands of my sons and their friends. Then, I came up with more hiding places, such in my grandmother’s dresser or at the bottom of unused purses.

By now, I have so many hiding places that it seems like I’m stumbling upon batteries every time I open a drawer or cabinet.

The same thing has happened with Scotch tape. While wrapping Father’s Day gifts, I was inspired to write this column because I had just conducted yet another great search for tape.

At any given time, there may be tape in my desk drawer, with my art supplies, in my grandmother’s dresser, beside my scrapbooks and in my closet … or not.

Because I purchase various types of tape, I had to look in about four hiding places before I could find the right kind. First, I stumbled upon an empty roll of gift wrapping tape in my grandmother’s dresser. (One of the boys must know about that hiding place; I would never leave an empty roll lying around.)

I then headed downstairs to search my desk. It didn’t surprise me when I came up empty-handed as that’s the first place the boys look for tape. Finally, I found two rolls of tape with my scrapbooks.

There was the double-sided sticky kind that works for gift-wrapping in a pinch, and there was some groovy decorative tape with flowers on it. I went with the pink daisies.

The last item I tend to hide from the boys — and their father — is cookies. This is probably something many of you do as well. I tend to buy Oreos and Fudge Stripes for them while hiding the pricier brands for myself. Last week, I had to change my hiding place from over the stove to the top shelf of the pantry after I caught one of Tommy’s friends helping himself to a couple of Pepperidge Farm Brussels cookies.

I hide the cookies for the same reason I hide the tape and batteries; when left in a convenient place, they vanish from sight faster than a Popsicle on a summer day. Sometimes, I find an empty box before I have even had the opportunity to sample one of my cookies!

Now that I think about it, I just realized that never once have I forgotten where the cookies were hidden. Is this because I limit my cookie hiding places to either the kitchen or pantry, or is it because I am a bit more motivated to find the cookies?

I think we all know the answer to that one.

A mother of three boys, Pam Zich has been married to a Marine for 19 years and currently lives in Springfield, Va. You may e-mail her at or visit her Web site at

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