I’ve forgiven the slippery little devils with their sassy, you-can’t-catch-me attitude. Not my kids. Almonds.

I’ve forgiven them for tipping over their bag and sliding out across the counter and all over the floor. I’ve even forgiven them for bouncing, skidding and rolling to the far corners of my kitchen floor and the most remote corners under the table and appliances. I’ve forgiven them, but I won’t forget them.

One sleepy morning – not the one the almonds dumped themselves, the other one – I lost one of my pills. I tapped it from the bottle ever-so carefully and then it just jumped out of my hand, dove to the floor and rolled to only God knows where.

It was a tiny pill, which made it all the harder to find. Yet, I had to find it for two reasons. First, I feared our dog would find it before I did and eat it. If she ate it, that might cause havoc with her system, which might mean a huge vet bill, and, well, let’s not go there.

The other reason was because, as most of us know, insurance allows only so much medication to be dispensed to a patient per month. At least ours does, and being the conscientious, cooperative, perfect patient that I am (ahem), I didn’t want to miss a dose.

OK, there’s a third reason. In my stubbornness, I was not about to let a stupid little tablet get the better of me.

“OK, Lord,” I begged. “Please help me find that pill.”

I scoured every square centimeter of the kitchen floor, first bending over, then kneeling down, and finally getting down on my belly and army crawling around the room. Thanks be to God no one saw me like that. No one but Ms. Daisy, who in her canine curiosity sidled into the room, stretched herself out in the doorway Sphinx-style and … watched with wondering eyes and what I will swear to my dying day was a smirk.

After what seemed like an eternity of hunting, I had to admit defeat. If that pill was in my kitchen, it was in a place that no one would ever be able to find it. Besides, my back was killing me from twisting my spine in such an awkward position.

I searched the floor one more time – no army crawl this time, Mark and Son #3 were around – and still didn’t find the pill. So, I did something I rarely do. I gave up. I was not happy.

Then came the fateful jumping almond day. I was short on sleep, short on time, short on agility and short on temper. All I wanted were some almonds to put in my yogurt to boost the nutrition. Was that asking too much? Apparently, because those almonds ended up everywhere BUT in my yogurt.

With a great deal of huffing and puffing – from grumpiness, not exertion – I knelt down and started picking up the almonds. Just when I thought I’d gotten all of them, I caught sight of one last almond way, way under the kitchen table, behind one of the stool legs. Argh! That did it; my temper blew. “Oh, for Pete’s sake!” I yelled. “I hate almonds!”

I reached over to snatch up the renegade. Then I saw it. There, next to the almond was a tiny, round pill. My pill. The one that no one would ever be able to find. I grabbed up the pill, took a deep breath, and … burst out laughing.

The Lord DID help me find my pill, but he did it in his own way and in his own time – on a grumpy morning with a handful of spilled almonds.

(Fenelon, a mother of four, and her husband, Mark, belong to St. Anthony Parish, Milwaukee. Visit her website: www.margefenelon.com.)