The kittens have been found.
She had them under the kiddo’s bed… which is only about 4 inches off the ground, and has random toys and such shoved all over.
They started mewing while she was in there earlier. Still no idea why their mother isn’t spending much time in there with them…. and why she wasn’t even protective when I was in there near them.
I had checked in the closet, in the dresser drawers (odd style, lets the cats get in if they really want to), and in the blanket pile. But didn’t think to look under bed. And really, probably couldn’t have seen them if I had. The only two I saw tonight was because they were trying to walk around already. (I’m guessing they must have been born pretty soon after we left).
Somehow… I’m not overjoyed to find them! LOL but I guess it answers my question.
Kiddo however is beside herself thrilled.