After we had had our fill of artery-clogging treats and had drown ourselves in the we-are-in-public-and-responsible-for-children-but-still-like-to-drink appropriate amount of cheap beer, we took the kids over to where the band was about to start--because we all know how much The Contemplator loves to shake her groove thing to a live band. And sister did not disappoint. She even pulled apart the glow necklace I had bought her earlier and waved it around like a neon freak flag while working the dance floor. I love that kid.
There were a few other kids running around on the large, open-lawn dance floor as well. Two little girls, maybe 6 years old, were running around and having fun. When they came close to where we were standing, The Contemplator gave chase and caught up with them. The two of them went about, running and squealing, all while The Contemplator was doing her best to keep up with them, given her legs were three years younger than theirs. She was in heaven. Hanging out with two "big kids", running like a maniac, listening to music and waving her freak flag. She was having the time of her life. Until she wasn't.
After a few laps around the dance floor, the two girls stopped and said something to The Contemplator. They then ran away laughing as The Contemplator just stood there. She didn't move for a minute. Then she slowly started to make her way over to where ADD Daddy, The Cool Cucumber and I were standing.
With each passing step, her lower lip grew bigger and bigger. It was then that I knew: someone had hurt my baby and mama bear was going to have to cut somebody. Through hysterical tears, I ascertained that the girls had told The Contemplator that she was in "time out" and then ran away from her. A death penalty-worthy offense? No. But to a two-year-old, life changing.
After we left, The Contemplator cried for over an hour. It killed me. She was shattered and so was I. The first permanent scratch had been made on her previously-unscathed surface and there was nothing I could do about it. I swooped in with my Super Mommy cape, but it was too late.
I know that this was just the tiniest ripple in what will inevitably someday be huge waves of pain in her life, but it was the first one, and it was hard. It showed me that no matter how hard I try on a daily basis not to break my children, that it isn't in my control. In the end, anyone can just elbow their way through my stronghold and break my babies.
It is terrifying the power two little girls and two little words can have. Time out indeed, ladies. Time out indeed.