I glanced up from my laptop to find my five-year-old son standing nearby, gripping a bottle of Elmerâ€™s glue. He had removed the cap and was holding the container upside down, watching, fascinated, as the viscous white substance drooled into a ever-growing pool on the kitchen floor.
â€œWhat are you doing?!â€ I barked. â€œPut that down!â€
He jumped, startled, and then hastily complied. After dropping the bottleâ€“still uncapped, still upendedâ€“into the utility drawer from whence it had come, he slammed the drawer shut and took two steps backwards, thus positioning himself in the center of the pool. His socks began soaking up yet more glue, adding to the astonishing quantity already smeared on his shirt and hands.
â€œNooo, arrgh!â€ I yelled, sprinting to the drawer. By the time I had jerked it open an entire corner had become an impromptu lagoon, swamping ballpoint pens, rubber bands, pads of Post-It notes, and unused gift cards. I grabbed a handful of paper towels and thrust them into the morass; a moment later, when I withdrew the wad, half of the contents of the drawer came with it.
Now thoroughly exasperated, I turned to find the kid, already writing a legendary harangue in my head. He was few feet away, nonchalantly drinking orange juice. Just as my eyes settled on him, the plastic cup suddenly slipped from his grasp. It hit the floor and spun as it rebounded, splashing juice everywhere.
Yes: heâ€™d managed to drop the cup despite having hands coated in glue.
Occasionally parenthood offers moments of religious awe, when the anger and frustration melt away and are replaced by reverence, a profound appreciation for the primal forces of chaos so poorly contained within your progeny.
Children are a marvel, like the aurora borealis with scissors.
I was a pretty early adopter of Gmail, and I got the username ‘stantaylor.’ Over the years, however, I have discovered that at least 3 or 4 other people in the world who share my Read more…