I hear it before I have a chance to even see it, and I instantly know what has happened. I hear the familiar bloop bloop of water sloshing around in the coveted, "Adults only," glass that Collin's noodle arm has somehow swiped off the table. Now, here he comes around the corner, his face a mask of delight as he clutches his prize.
This can end in one of two ways:
A) There will be a flood of water all over the living room that will soak up all our paper towel rations, and potentially damage something.
B) There will be a flood of water, and a million shards of glass all over the place that skitter in every direction after the cup is flung to the floor. Damage is definite.
Added to my dilemma, is the fact that I am exhausted, and even the thought of impending glass doom is not motivation enough to get off the couch and fetch the glass from the baby. Collin pauses when he sees me, and I put on my best fake happy face. I reach out my hand, and say, "Give it to Mommy! Give it to Mommy!"
What a rookie mistake. Collin is instantly aware of how much I really don't want him to have tha!t water glass, and he smiles even wider, clutches it to himself, and shuttles away like a hunchback, eyeing me warily. Now, it's serious. Game on. We both just stare at each other for a minute, testing each other out. I've still got my plastered grin on my face, and Collin is still giddy with mischief. I'm beginning to realize that he is not going to throw the cup, at the same time he is beginning to realize that I am not going to get off the couch.
Slowly, without taking his eyes off me, he brings to glass to his lips. Only... Rats! He has suddenly forgotten how to tilt it and drink. I see my moment to strike.
"Bring it to Mommy. Mommy will help."
He hesitates. Should he trust me? Is it all a lie?
He edges a little closer.
"That's it! Bring it to Mommy!"
Careful now, I remind myself, don't want to sound too eager and rouse suspicion.
At last, he is within reach. He brings the cup to my lips, and I gratefully pretend to drink. He relaxes, and I relax. Suddenly, he is straddling my lap, feeding me the water, and dumping it all over himself
in his attempt to drink out of the grown-up glass. Collin is feeling very proud of himself, and so am I.
Suddenly, I am seeing that there is a third way this can end, an option C:
Nobody cries, nobody gets hurt, and I realize just how far Collin has come. And I am eternally grateful for moments like these.