Wednesday, January 19, 2005

Nice Night For An Exorcism

I walked in from the gym last night to find my son in the throes of a moderately severe tantrum --- and by “moderately severe” I mean his head was doing 360s and blood was shooting out of his eyes and he had written the word “murder” on the wall with his own feces (which is really impressive because he’s had trouble making a lower-case d lately).

He was saying something about dessert, and the way he was raging and screaming left no doubt in my mind that he had either been attacked by a fruit roll-up or accosted by some chocolate pudding or denied the opportunity to consume large quantities of high fructose corn syrup by the evil warlord “mommy.” Whatever the cause, the boy was going completely batshit. I could see the strain on Hot Wife’s face, so I dropped my gym bag and intervened.

“Buddy, you need to slow down a little bit,” I said, rubbing big, slow circles on his back with the palm of my hand. “Take a deep breath. Relax.”

“NO! I DON’T WANT TO RELAX. I WANT MY DESSERT!”

“Well, you behavior is telling me that you’re tired, maybe too tired to eat dessert. But if you can calm down, we can talk about it.”

“I DON’T WANT TO CALM DOWN! I WANT MY FUCKING DESSERT! AND IF YOU TELL ME TO RELAX ONE MORE TIME I SWEAR I’M GOING TO RIP YOUR HEAD OFF AND SHIT DOWN YOUR NECK!”

At this point, it became reflex. I remembered the repetitive line from the priest from The Exorcist --- “The power of Christ compels you! The power of Christ compels you!” --- and I began to holler it at my son, if only to eliminate the possibility that he had been possessed by the devil. Yes, we’re Jewish and the whole Christ thing usually doesn’t enter into the equation for us, but you never know --- that’s my point.

The boy’s breathing was shallow and fast. He was laying face-down on the dining room floor, pounding the tile with his clenched fists and screaming the scream of a woman giving birth to a full-grown teenager without the aid of an epidural.

Suddenly my son’s eyes opened wide. A look of terror washed over his face and a tiny bit of mucousy throw-up shot out of his mouth. It landed on the floor, next to his puddle tears, and it took every ounce of intestinal strength I possess not to follow his lead. I’ll change dirty, shit-plastered Huggies with whole, undigested raisins and corn in them any day of the week, but seeing another person throw up --- even my own son --- makes my toes curl backwards and my stomach feel all heavy and syrupy and puts me on the precipice serious emotional collapse.

Wait a second. What’s that sound? Is it…could it be…silence? Yes, that’s it. That’s definitely it. The boy has stopped wailing. It seems my son was so horrified and fascinated by his own vomit that he became distracted and forgot about his dessert rage.

He shortly thereafter became exhausted and actually requested to go to sleep. I changed him into his dinosaur pajamas, tucked him in and kissed him gently on the forehead. As I switched off the light in his bedroom and began to pull the door closed, he called out to me.

“Dad?” he said, almost whimpering through his cute, four-year-old fatigue.

“Yeah, buddy?”

“DID YOU THINK I FORGOT? BRING ME MY MOTHERFUCKING DESSERT!”

6 Comments:

At 6:24 PM, Blogger Mrs.Strizzay said...

I hope you plan on sleeping with your eyes open.

 
At 6:38 PM, Blogger Sarah said...

Holy shit! That was a gorgeous piece of writing.

After my drive home took 2.5 hours, crawling through icy snow, and my 9-yr old daughter tried to pick 5 different fights with me in the 15 minutes I lay in her room with her....well, thank you for giving me a big laugh on a night I really needed one.

 
At 9:49 PM, Blogger LadyBug said...

Makes your toes curl backward? Even the webbed ones?

 
At 1:56 AM, Blogger Jenn said...

Hahah! I was laughing really hard, then I saw Ladybug's comment and laughed even harder!! I think I might tinkied a wee bit. Your blog is great! Just freakin' great, I'll tell ya!

 
At 12:08 PM, Blogger Lexagirl said...

Hey parenting is all about making those tough calls and if it takes a couple of priests and some holy water - well then that's what it takes.

 
At 7:20 PM, Blogger Shiz said...

Seriously: Not. Having. Children.

You've done me a favour.

 

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