An Accident

April 2021

It was nighttime, and I was encouraging the girls to get ready for bed. They had gotten naked (the easy part) and I was trying to get them to get on pajamas (the harder part). We were standing in the doorway of their room.

Annie flicked the light on, and then off, and then on, and then off. Then she flicked it on and off some more.

“Stop turning the light on and off!” I said, irritated.

Annie flicked the light on and off and on and off again.

“Stop that!” I shouted.

Annie turned the light on and off again. She paused, and then turned it on and off again.

“If you do that one more time, you are not allowed to touch the light anymore,” I said, threateningly.

The light went on and off and on and off.

“All right. No more light switch,” I said.

Annie burst into tears, and then flicked the light on and off a couple of more times.

“I’m leaving,” I said, and stormed out.

Annie and Cora both started wailing – “No, Mommy, please come back! Come back, Mommy!” But I saw the light flicker on and off and on and off again.

“Mommy! Come back!” Annie cried, chasing me down the hallway. “It was an accident!”