We have discovered the face of terrorism, and it is us.
Or rather, my blond, blue-eyed, 6-year-old. The dangerous one.
She has many weapons in her arsenal, and you just never know when she may decide to tip the balance of power in her favor during a flight and hijack us all to Disneyland.
As a family, we travel to Las Vegas on a yearly basis. Hubby's parents live there, and they bring us down to visit.
Since driving to Las Vegas in a car with four children would make good fodder for the next "Chainsaw Massacre" movie, we prefer to fly instead. So fly, we did.
But before we could fly, we had to run the Security Gauntlet. This is where complete strangers have the legal right to make you disrobe so they can grope you. It can be a bit disconcerting - especially when they cut your children from the herd.
My baby girl wears an articulate brace on her right foot and leg to help her walk because she has cerebal palsy.
I'll be the first to admit she's dangerous, but how did security know? It must be their crack training and animal instincts.
Ashley was pulled aside at the security checkpoint by the guards. They made her stand in a Plexiglas-surrounded annex.
I went to go to her, and the uniformed guard came after me. I was trying to put my shoes back on, so I wasn't moving very fast, but you'd have thought I was sprinting.
Me (looking around): "Me?"
Security: "Yes, you! Don't touch that child!"
Me (looking a bit bewildered): "What did she do?"
Security: "Nothing. We just need to wipe her down to see if she has any explosive residue on her."
Me: "Well, of course, you do. I mean look at her. I bet her brace is loaded with C-4. She's 6 years old for crying out loud!"
I moved toward my little girl, who was looking a bit scared by then.
Security: "Ma'am, do not touch her!"
At this point, they got the special cloths to wipe down my little girl's hands, legs and feet to check to see if she'd been handling explosives recently.
Thankfully, it came away clean. All our parental admonitions to always wear gloves while handling explosives must have paid off. I was so proud.
Freelance columnist Pamela Troeppl Kinnaird can be reached at needitor@ nwlink.com.