Tie string to back of pants on 3-year-old's command. Tie other end of string to window crank. Climb chair. Breathe.
"Jump," she says, with evidence of her animal cracker snack still visible around her pursed lips.
She licks some of the evidence away and repeats, "Jump."
I look at her and know that if I don't obey, there will be a price to pay.
I jump. The string tightens between the back belt loop of my pants and the window.
I'm not sure of my next move. I remain still. Hoping.
"Hey, that's not a spider web," I hear her say. It echoes in my head over and over again.
One false move, one wrong word and I'm finished.
"Um, maybe my spinerette is broken?" I offer.
"What's a spinerette?"
Before I can answer, "You are supposed to spin a web like Charlotte. That isn't a web."
Think, think, think.
"Maybe we can try again later?"
I know it's a lie, but my only hope is that her 3-year-old mind will move on to something else. It's the only way out.
"Ok," she says. I exhale.
"But don't take the string off. We'll need it for later."