Monday, December 13, 2010

The Apple Doesn't Fall Far From the Tree.

I have, once again, passed one of my best qualities on to my offspring.  Thing 2 is a hitter. 

He absolutely LOVES slapping things.  He smacks toys, down comforters, thighs, faces, stuffed animals, real animals, the arm of the couch, gourds (can you blame him?) or anything else in sight.  He pulls hair.  He plucks at shiny things (I'm so proud).  He screams at the top of his lungs with delight and/or frustration, throughout the day, every day.  He is a *sigh* mini me.

I was once a shy, sweet little girl. Don't listen to my mother when she says I used to laugh at her when she spanked me. I was short and skinny.  I wore my hair in two long braids. My mom dressed my sis and I like we were extras in Little House on the Prairie.  Oddly enough, I started getting picked on and bullied.  I remember coming home in tears and telling my parents about how so-and-so was being mean to me. It started happening a lot. 

Then one day my life changed.  It is my dad's fault.  He looked at me and said, "If you don't like it, just punch them in the face."

I stopped crying, looked up at him and said, with awe, "REALLY?"

He said, "Yep. Do it once, and I bet that they will stop picking on you."

Apparently, I too am a gambler, because I took his bet.

Nice job Dad.

In the fourth grade there was a little boy that "liked" me.  The feeling was not mutual.  He was gross.  He was a fourth grade version of "A Night at the Roxbury", or one of those creepy unsolicited "grinders" on the dance floor at a college bar.  There was far too much of unwanted closeness and touching.  One day on the playground, my bff and I took action.

A little history on my bff.  She was just like me, except she was the tallest girl in our class.  Other than that, we had everything in common.  We both loved unicorns, horses, Barbies, Disney movies, Breyer Horses, animals in general, school, singing, playing dress-up and we hated boys.  We gave each other superhero names that we used at recess.  She had insanely long, hard fingernails- hence the name "Catwoman".  I had..... strong teeth?  (I accidentally bit my sister once and made her bleed. I thought that I was chomping down on dear old Dad, who was pestering us.) Since I apparently possessed a freakish lock-jaw bite, I was dubbed "Snapping Turtle Girl".  I somehow don't think it was quite as glamorous a title as "Catwoman".... Anyway, we are now both married, raising boys and I tower over her by a good 3 inches.  Neither of us owns a unicorn. Life is funny, isn't it?

So at recess this day, the gross boy who "liked" me really started bugging me.  He was stuck on me like glue and I couldn't shake him.  After 10 minutes of constant harassing from him, complete with him trying to kiss me, I was done.  My bff and I joined superhero forces and shoved him off the merry-go-round.  This was back in the good old days, where metal playground equipment was perched on top of concrete.  The landing was not good.

There was disciplinary action taken by our teacher.  We went alone with her to a room where she showed us a paddle that was used to spank naughty kids.  (Yes, I am that old.)  She then laughed and told us that we shouldn't make people bleed at recess. After she high-fived us, she sent us on our way.  Hey, it pays to be the teacher's pets.

A normal person would have stopped here.  I had barely escaped a paddling from a giant board with holes drilled into it.  Instead, I got a taste of vengeance and I liked it.   From that point forward I punched, slapped and kicked my way to freedom from bullying and other random crimes against humanity ("crimes" were determined by me, the one person police squad).  I became the person who stood up for others getting bullied, not always with my fist, but also with words.  I started barfights with drunk, butt smacking frat guys. One Halloween some obnoxious guy punched the guy I was dating when he nicely asked him to stop slamming his body into us on the dancefloor. I jumped on the dude's back and attacked him from behind like a feral cat. Cra-zee. I bought pseudo Doc Martins and motorcycle boots and tromped around wearing my "piss off" attitude on my sleeve.  I started lifting weights and drinking shots of whiskey. I was living under the delusion that I was chivalrous, when in reality, I was just an asshole. After 20 years of ramming my way through life with the attitude of defending myself and others, I finally realized that I was fucking exhausted. 

I am not saying that I will stand by idly and watch as someone is attacking and victimizing someone else~ I won't.  But what I no longer do is: shots of whiskey, bars, brawls, and flipping the bird.  The last time I did the latter I realized (after the fact) that it was an elderly person in the other vehicle and I felt like a total dick.  I am now controlling my rage through mothering my children, as they would drain the fight out of Mike Tyson.  After being woken at 10:30 p.m., 1 a.m., 2:15 a.m., 3 a.m. (Good Morning!) and 5 a.m., I can barely function well enough to measure the coffee.  I certainly don't have any Lisbeth Salander left in me by the time I enter the public.  Think of me when you see that lady with the dazed expression in the grocery store.  You will recognize her because her head is tilted to one side, she is shuffling her feet, drooling on herself and she looks like she fell out of the garbage truck as it was speeding by her house.  There will also be children in her general vicinity that are misbehaving.

I look at my precious little Thing 2, who bites me with a gleam in his eye, then laughs.  He transfixes me like a snake charmer with his chubby little baby hand, by waving it slowly in front of my face, then he grabs a fist full of my hair and yanks HARD, like he is pulling the wooden water pail up out of ye old well. Then, of course, he smiles.  I watch him and I am certain of his future.  I appreciate what Karma has in store for me. I can see that he is a real piece of work.  I know that he is going to break hearts, maybe a few faces and generally wreak havoc... just like his mother.  And I love him for it.  You go get 'em, little dude. These days, Mommy is about as saucy as an overcooked roast.

Catwoman and Snapping Turtle Girl with cute pooches.  Circa 1983?

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