I was in the living room. The kids were in the toy room when Grady shouted for me to come see something. Only he didn’t say, “Come see something!” His exact words were, “We have a surprise for you, Mom! You’re probably going to be mad but do you want to see it?”
I was so afraid to leave the couch. What would I see? I mean it’s the toy room. How bad could it be? Mass destruction of board games and puzzles and mini figures? Whatever. Did Grady paint the walls again? Big deal. Maybe Annie Bea tore all the clothes off of the Barbies and hosted another nudist colony soiree? So what. What could they possibly have done that would actually surprise me? And make me mad?
Standing up slowly, I braced myself and repeated, “They are my children. No matter what, they are my children and I have wine in the fridge.” When I turned the corner and stepped into the toy room, I saw four hundred dollars scattered across the toy room floor. Destroyed. Colored with markers and crayons and glitter and stamps. They were a total mess. Four hundred dollars made to look like some cheap after school arts and crafts project.
Now, I’ve heard people refer to these four hundred dollars as American Girl Dolls. But when I look at those dolls, I can’t see anything but four hundred dollars.
Grady: What do you think? We decorated the dolls so you don’t have to buy them expensive Halloween costumes. I, for one, think we did a great job.
Annie Bea: It was Grady’s idea.
I just turned around and walked out of the toy room. I needed to let the blood stop boiling before I devised a plan.
Grady (whispering to Annie Bea): She’s not mad! She loves it!
After a tall glass of wine, I remembered my secret weapon hiding in the hall closet. The Magic Eraser. Voila. The markers, crayons, glitter and stamps all disappeared. Those erasers saved us four hundred dollars. Magic.