Ben is hiding things.
I've discovered trains in the recycling bin and in my purse, colorforms in the freezer and the bread drawer, and matchbox cars in my night table and behind books on the bookshelves.
He's not doing it in secret: he's just as likely to hide things away when we're in the room as when he's by himself.
And he's very purposeful and unselfconscious about it. When he's done with an engine, he'll just walk over and, for example, put it in the dining room cabinet next to the place mats and napkins as if that's where it goes.
I first noticed him doing this when we were at a bookstore where there was a train table. He hid a few of the engines - presumably, so he could keep other kids from playing with them and know he had a stash for himself if another kid grabbed one from him.
At four and a half, he's realized that stockpiling scarce resources = power. Pretty smart, actually.
But resources at home are anything but scarce and there's no competition for them.
Despite this, he continues to redistribute his toys all over the house for no apparent reason.
Rebellion against the ordered Montessori system of bins and baskets? Establishing a just-in-time inventory of toys all around the house? Suddenly averse to clutter?
"Why are you putting the engines in there?"
"Shhh. It's a secret."
Despite his remarkable memory for just about everything else, he forgets where he's hidden things and now will wander around the house asking, "Where's Duncan?" Of course, we're very little help.
I just hope he doesn't start doing it with food.