The One Where History Doesn’t Repeat

When I was six years old, my father came home early one night and walked in on me having a tea party with my brothers. It was a royal affair, this one, organized by Yours Truly, the Royal King Your Highness the Third. During this event, peasants from the neighboring villages (four of my brothers who refused to bathe regularly) presented me with offerings such as candy necklaces and stuffed animals. It was up to my wife (my second oldest brother) to decide if their offerings were worth a cup of air.

To be or not to be worthy of tea; that was the question.

It was upon seeing his second oldest son with make-up on, and in a pink princess gown, that my father lost his shit. He yanked him up by the arm and nearly tore the dress off his skinny 9-year-old frame before practically drowning him in the sink as he made him wash the make-up off. The whole scene was tied in with a smack on the ear. Everyone was screaming at that point, me loudest of all.

‘You ruined it!’ I snot-cried, hurling gifts the peasants graced upon me at the ogre manhandling my wife. It earned me a smack on the bottom and a trip to bed without dinner.

Fast-forward twenty years, and I’m at our local pancake shack accompanied by my husband and two oldest children, celebrating a job well done. The Boy made it through his first ballet recital with minimal damage; only one child was accidentally elbowed in the face. He might have gone left where he should have gone right a couple of times, but considering he is seven years old it was all very high-five worthy.

All of us are plowing our way through a platter of pancakes when a woman in the booth next to ours leans across the aisle and practically into Max’s food.

‘Why is your son wearing make-up?’ She asks in a hushed tone that is still clearly audible to anyone and everyone. Heads pop up all around us, and The Boy practically buries his face in his food. My heart sinks.

‘Because he wants to.’ Max responds coldly, moving his plate away from her. It’s the only true answer – he wants to, and on special occasions (because I’m not a fan of make-up on any child), he gets to.

Just as he’s about to resume his dinner, the woman leans in even closer. ‘But he’s a boy,’ she hisses disapprovingly.

As I open my mouth to speak, Max turns towards her so fast that he knocks the hand she used to steady herself off our table. She has to grab his arm to keep from crashing to the ground.

‘Well no fucking shit, Sherlock. Get off me.’ He barks, literally shielding off his son with one arm. And then, in the same breath, to his children: ‘Don’t ever let me hear you talk to anyone like that, unless they’re really rude and disrespectful. Got it?’

Two children nod their head, and I grin into my napkin.

So here’s to you, potty mouth. Happy father’s day – we love you!

… And here’s to me, for not marrying my father.

And not a single fish was caught

Because my husband has to get up super duper early for work, he celebrates on Sundays by getting up even earlier to go fishing with his Dad. It’s a whole father-son bonding thing that I will probably never understand because

a. There are gators in the bayou, and
b. They stink when they get back

My son, however, got the appeal rather quickly when Max announced he wouldn’t be back in time for church.

‘Can I come?’ The Boy asked a millisecond after Max was done speaking.

‘That would be fun!’ My husband cheered.

That was Saturday.

On Sunday, Max learned once again that fun is a very relative term.

At 4am, he had a hard time getting his son out of bed. The Boy slept right through the car ride and dream-cursed at him when they had to hoist his comatose body onto the boat. By the time he fully woke up, they were in the middle of the swamp in pitch-black darkness. Naturally, he freaked out like only a 7-year-old can freak out and… fell overboard trying to run away.

They were home by 7am; one of them biting his lip and teary-eyed with the effort of holding back laughter, the other one sopping wet, hysterical and missing his left shoe.

I’ll let you figure out who was who.

 

What is broken can’t be reforged

At breakfast, my daughter announced that she no longer has fond feelings for my husband. I believe the word ‘hate’ was used, but since by that point she was in the midst of a double duck fit, one can’t be too sure.

The reason for all this? When she bit into her cracker, it broke in two. She then walked up to the counter with said ruined cracker and demanded a new one.

‘Forget it.’ Max said.

Cue pandemonium, and a bit of a power struggle.

Max: ‘Stop it. Eat your cracker.’
The Girl: ‘NO! IT’S GROSS!’
Max: ‘Eat. Your. Cracker.’
The Girl: ‘I WANT CEREAL!’
Max: ‘Nope.’
The Girl: *Incoherent screaming*
Max: *Unimpressed laughter*

She was losing, she knew it. I could tell by the way her eyes darted around the kitchen. Then, she tipped her plate and let her cracker pieces fall onto the floor.

Still unimpressed, my husband took a bite of his own delicious, unbroken cracker. He chewed, he swallowed, and they were staring each other down as he did. Then…

Max: ‘You’re still going to eat that cracker.’

And then more incoherent screaming and the recantation of love.

Kids, man. They bring such peace and serenity into your life.

She did, however, eat the cracker. Eventually.