“I’m back. Did you both survive without me?”
He opened his eyes, glancing over at his wife as she reentered the house. “Yeah, we’ve been good.”
Which was when he realized that was only mostly true. He was fine. Their daughter had been fine, last he had seen her. Which had been on the couch next to him, right before he had dozed off. The fact the toddler wasn’t there now meant he had no idea of her survival rate.
Babies had a very low survival rate without supervision.
“Glad to hear it,” his wife was saying as she headed into the kitchen.
Yes, he had as long as it took her to put the groceries away to find his child. Why hadn’t he stayed awake long enough for her to come home and watch the little brat too? He left the living room to creep to each room and stare inside. One wouldn’t think that a three year old could be that stealthy. Or not leave a trail of destruction, as she occasionally was wont to do.
He found her in his study, under his desk, eating some of his candy.
He picked her up and extracted the rest from her. She pouted at him.
“Look. You don’t tell mom, I won’t tell mom.”
In this way, they bribed each other to get away with something.