It happened in the glow of our large flat monitor with the two dead pixels, which have long taunted us with their bold red hue. Stella freaked out, both passionately and oddly, flailing her arms around her head and wailing out of apparent discomfort. A powerful emotional display for a fit based on what seemed like extreme annoyance, rather than searing pain as an onlooker might have assumed.
She screamed, completely outraged, “I’M TOO BIG FOR THIS!!!” If she’d flowed into a monologue, I’d have heard rants about deep injustice and the heavy hand of parental control squashing her inalienable rights and unflinching conviction that she is no longer a baby. I’m sure of it.
Or was it more simple? Was she referring to the “Elmo Rides a Tricycle” video we were viewing together on YouTube? Was I insulting her intelligence with this media selection? It was eye patch time and Elmo had never failed to secure her cooperation. Were those days over? Or was he the inspiration for her rebellion? After all, the tricycle song is not about the act of riding so much as it is about freedom. Something I’d considered innocent now appeared insidious. Questions raced through my mind while those dead pixels continued their mocking stare.
But then, as quickly as the storm erupted, it passed. She went back to scrutinizing Elmo’s amusing antics, entranced once again by his simple joy. It was as if her tantrum switch had been flipped suddenly to “OFF.” I breathed a sigh of relief, and left the room to go prepare myself for our errand-filled morning. Crisis averted.
Or was it? When I came back, the meaning of her earlier, indignant outcry was shockingly clear. There on the floor, next to the stained office chair where she was perched, was a gory spectacle. Her beautiful French eyewear lay dead, brutally squashed and ripped into two damaged pieces. DOA. The hinge on the right cable had not only been stretched back far beyond its capacity, but also twisted violently. Horrifying. And she’d waited until just the right moment, after I’d departed, indicating premeditation. The office, once reserved for couch cushion bouncing and mindless online escapism, had become a crime scene.
But, dear jury, was Stella the perpetrator or only a victim herself? She had experienced a huge growth spurt in recent months–why did I not realize this would include her head? Oh I’m fooling no one! Dear God, I must confess! I knew Stella’s glasses had gotten tight. I knew! But I did nothing. I stood by while Stella’s head was squeezed mercilessly by those spectacles. Now we’re all paying an emotional and financial price. For shame, mother. FOR SHAME.
As we lay Stella’s ninth pair of glasses to rest, I’m compelled to help others learn from this tragedy. If you’re child says they are too big for something, they mean it quite literally! Size up for Christ’s sake!
I rest my case.