The scene: Last night,My bedroom
Me: ( On computer reading witty Internet friends…silence)
Em: (On bed rolling around watching Disney Channel) Can I have some ice?
Me: In a minute, honey – mommy’s looking at something.
Em: Can you get me some ice?
Me: I said I would get you some in a minute, please wait.
Five minutes pass
Em: Mom, you said you would get me some ice.
Me: I know – just let me finish this
Em: (Loud, audible sigh)
Me: Ask your father if you can’t wait.
Em: I can wait, I just want some ice.
Terrance: (From other room) Get her the ice yourself!
Me: Fine, I will get you some ice!
I go to the fridge and retrieve three ice cubes for my child to chew on. At the same time, my husband requests that I fetch him something from another room “since I’m up”. I scowl at him and march back into hand my child her accursed ice cubes, then march back out to give him the paper he requested.
2.7 minutes later
Em: I’m ready for bed – I’m done with the ice cubes.
Me: You have got to be shitting me. You’re done with the ice cubes? After all that?
Em: Yeah, just put them in the sink.
Me: You know, it’s lucky you are so cute, or we would have left you by the side of the road to be raised by rodents a long time ago.
Em: (perfectly serious) One Time you did.*
Me: Oh no, sister, that was your father – you can’t pin that one on me. That’s one therapy session in which I won’t be featured.
** Back story.
When Emily was just three, she had a bad habit of throwing things at us when we drove. Her shoes, socks, toys, books. She would get mad and throw things. One rainy day she threw something at her daddy as he drove and he said:
Terrance: “You do that again and I am going to stop and put you out at the side of the road”
Emily: Throws something
Tee: “I am serious, little bad ass – don’t think I won’t stop and put your ass out”
Emily: “Go ahead. Do it.”
(I am in the passenger seat with my mouth a perfect O – cause it is ON now, mofo. White parents will threaten - Black parents will DO)
Terrance pulls over to the side of the road.
Tee: Ok – Get Out”
Emily: Unbuckles her car seat “Ok, I’m going”
She GETS OUT of the car and stands by the car in the rain and shuts the door,
Me: Turning to Terrance “Holy Shit – what are we going to do?”
Tee: I don’t know – I didn’t think she would really get out
Me: She is such a bas ass. I am going to unroll the window and ask her if she wants to get back in.
Me: Em – are you ready to get back in the car?
She stares at me with her little lips puckered up in defiance
Me: “You can get back in, if you are ready to listen to Daddy’s words”
Emily silently opens the car door and climbs back into her car seat.
We drive home and I prepare myself for the hell that will be her teenage years.
Originally Published October 2005