Tis the season for the thing I dread- the holiday party. This is the fun, festive time where we dress up our boys and try to pass them off as normal human beings. At ages 3 and 7, these creatures cannot, yet, be described as “civilized,” try as I might. The phone call came in and she invited us and yes, you can bring the children. They have girls. They do not understand what they are doing.
After a thirty minute drive in which I threaten them for the duration of, we arrive. Our hosts Christmas tree displayed proudly in the front window of the formal living room. The rest of room and house decorated to the hilt in garland, bows, lights and all sorts of shiny trinkets. A bead of sweat runs down my back. The boys are gone. They are off to explore their new winter wonderland. I should have stayed with them.
In the kitchen I helped our host put together some platters for the buffet. I was putting the finishing touches on a platter when the unmistakable sound of glass shattering came from the living room. I knew. Before I even moved, I knew. Like when the phone rings and you know it's bad news. I didn’t have to see CJ standing there in the middle of shattered glass to know he was the culprit. Six kids in the house and I knew. When we walked into the living room there were only two kids in there. CJ standing stone still with water and glitter everywhere- he was in complete shock. And WC across the other side of the room repeating “CJ did it” until I told him stop. He wasn’t about to get blamed for this. But unlike the rest of the kids, he didn’t abandon his brother completely by fleeing the scene.
Then I realized the object had been a snow globe. My best guess is that he picked up the snow globe and went to shake it but he dropped it. The glass of the globe had all but disintegrated against the hardwood floor. The largest shard of glass didn’t even measure an inch. The rest of it barely bigger than the glitter and it all blended into one wet mess. I picked CJ up by his armpits and sat him in a chair. He’d already removed his shoes and I didn’t want him cut by the glass. I made a mental note to look for his shoes. He initially protested but stopped when he saw the look on my face. We sopped up the water and I picked up as much of the glass by hand as possible and tried to sweep some more. With the floor dried our host brought out the vacuum. I hope we managed to get all the glass up. I apologized profusely. But our hosts didn’t seem the slightest upset or even surprised.
I released CJ from the torment of his prison- the chair where I made him stay while we cleaned. He promptly ran off to join the others in play. And not ten minutes later, WC appeared and informed us that CJ had thrown up in the middle of the girls’ bedroom floor.
There’s a slight possibility we may not be invited back.