It was a day just like any other: my four-year-old son, Jake, cutting tribal masks out of construction paper, me scratching out a satirical letter to a sister. Then Andy toddles around the corner just as we notice what he’s holding in his hand. We both freeze. Hearts stop.
Inching toward him I put out my hand, “Andy, baby, give that to mama,” my voice exaggerated with tranquility yet edged with frantic panic.
He grins that lopsided grin he’s mastered after 20 months of practice, and shakes his prize, taunting me.
“Don’t!” Jake screams.
Lucy abandons her kibble and skids under the coffee table.
I try one more time, willing my voice to steady, “Andy … (deep breath) … put down … the can … of glitter.”
With one fluid flick of his thick little thumb, he pops the lid off that economy-size can of glitter (What the heck am I doing with an economy-size can of glitter?!), and stares at me unblinking.
A few red flecks escape and flutter to the floor, fused permanently to the ceramic, never to be evicted. A foreshadowing of his carnage and my doom.
No one moves. No one breathes. The seconds turn into more seconds as the adrenaline overtakes my senses. I make a brazen decision and lunge for the can, but alas, he saw this coming and flippantly releases his leverage. It glides through the air, my clumsy flailing no match for its crafty inertia.
With an explosion of scarlet confetti, it makes impact and my kitchen instantly morphs into Times Square on New Year’s; my heart, a desolate wasteland of sparkly despair.
In all the bustle and panic, a Hershey’s kiss knocks to the floor, alerting Lucy, who barrels from under the coffee table and slides through the glitter to swallow the forbidden chocolatey treat, sparking a crimson tsunami that crashes into dog bowls, cupboards and sinuses.
As I sat there in the aftermath, looking like a preschool-craft-gone-horribly-wrong, Andy steps by me and through the fallout, leaving footprints toward the office. I come out of my stupor just in time to see him grab the Sharpies and head toward my favorite chair.
I lay down on the floor, briefly consider making a glitter-angel, and then decide we’re moving. It will be easier than chasing Hurricane Andy.
Cassidy spends her days wrangling her two little boys in sunny Texas. She is an editor for a woman’s website and enjoys freelance writing, strong coffee and great friends. You can follow more of Cassidy’s adventures at underthetabledrawing.blogspot.com/