I coulda choked a child this week. Sike, y’all know I’m just playin’. But for real, my five-year-old could of really made me catch a case this past week. It seemed like all the patience I’ve ever had to muster I mustered this week.
How could this sweet face, the face of the baby boy who made me a mama, suddenly start talking to me like he’s the massa and I live in the slave quarters down the road?
Him: :: opens the refrigerator ::
Me: “Boy, you better close my refridgerator.”
Him: “But I’m hungry. And you need to make me something to eat.”
Me :: staring, trying to figure out where this little monster came from ::
Him, staring me dead in my eyes like he’s as tall as me: “And anyway, it doesn’t belong to just you. We all live here.”
:: You know, in all fairness, I agree with him. We all do live here, and I believe in sharing. But it was the way he said it. Hands on hips, little neck shake, eyes all wide, like he was doin’ somethin’. Did this little nucka just put forth an argument, I mean really tell ME that he can open the fridge when he feels like it? Oh Hell Naw! ::
Me: “Like hell it don’t. Do you pay any bills? Do you have any money? :rant really begins: Do you know what electricity is? Every time you open that refrigerator, you are using electricity. And that costs money. :voice really raises: Do you have any money? huh? I can’t hear you? If you don’t pay any bills, then it doesn’t belong to you! And anyway, I’ve told you about talking to me like that! Look at me, boy! Don’t tell me I have to cook you something to eat! I cook for you because I love you! Ask for what you want, but YOU don’t tell ME anything! I don’t HAVE to do anything but be black and die!”
As you can see, the attitude this child displays annoys me to the core, making me take the conversation way off base, and probably not addressing the actual issue. It would be a lie of me to say that I don’t know where they are getting this behavior from. I truly believe its the influence of the bad-ass kids they are around all day. I see how these other children at nursery school treat their parents, and I get embarrased for the adults. It reminds me of Bernie Mac (RIP) and his act about punk-ass parents. These parents who negotiate with their kids as the kids are hitting them, speaking in a soft, soothing voice as the kid is steadily yelling and hollering, chasing a child who is running around a store. I suppose I should be happy that my children have the God-given (and wooden-spoon enforced) sense not to act out that way in public. I’ve even had parents come up to me asking how do I get my kids to behave. I guess we go through these episodes at home just so they can get it out of their systems so they won’t act like monsters when we are out in the world.
But still: if I hear “I want” or “I told you” or “Get me some” or “I don’t want to” another time, y’all might have to come get me. Especially for my 5-year-old. It’s one thing when your child is practically cussing you out in 3-year-old babyish talk. But this nice-diction-full-sentences-ish….SMH.