In honor of Mother's Day and my birthday, I'm pulling a blog post from ye olde Myspace days. I believe my son was around three years old at the time and I was a big fat meanie. Happy Mother's Day to all my friends out there who are mean mamas too (on occasion).
A Fistful of Little Ice Cream Sandwiches
I trotted through the doors of my apartment and out to the parking lot, where my son's father's truck was waiting. I'd just finished working out and was wondering if I'd have Happy Three-Year-Old or I-Hate-Mama-Three-Year-Old waiting for me in the car seat.
I did a little jig outside the car window to try to ensure a positive reception.
I could see his little mouth forming the "O" of a wail through the tinted glass and knew I was screwed. I opened the door.
"Waaah! I. Don't. Want. Ma. Ma!" Big tears rolled down his cheeks as he stretched his arm out towards his father and away from me.
"The Little Mermaid and little ice cream sandwiches!" I blurted.
"Noooo, I want Da..." He paused. "Little ice cream sandwiches?"
"And The Little Mermaid?"
"All this and more, if only you come with the mama," I gestured towards the apartment door as though ushering him into the Magical Kingdom.
"And you cuddle me on the couch?"
"Hells yeah!" I pumped my fist.
(Okay, I might not have said "Hells yeah!") Of course as I picked him up and carried him out of his father's truck (his father never puts his shoes on him), he again wound himself up and wailed as he reached his arms out towards his father.
"Littlemermaidicecreamsandwiches," I whispered in his ear over and over again like a mantra.
Thirty minutes of The Little Mermaid ("Under the Sea!") and one little ice cream sandwich later, with a smattering of hair-strokings and a toddler back rub with mini-baby-karate chops, it was time for bed.
"Five minutes," he waved me off with a pudgy hand.
"I didn't eat my 'nother little ice cream sandwiches!"
Okay, the kid had a solid point. Clearly there was an unfinished little ice cream sandwich on his plate and that's just plain wrong.
"Okay, you can eat the ice cream sandwich but then bed."
"No, I hafta finish watching my movie THEN I can go to bed," he said.
"No, I'm letting you eat the ice cream sandwich out of the kindness of my heart, for which you should say, 'Thank you, Mama,' and then you will go to bed a lucky little boy to have had that little ice cream sandwich." I narrowed my eyes at him.
Suddenly I could hear the theme song to The Good, The Bad and The Ugly.
"I wanna watch The Little Mermaid!" he took the little ice cream sandwich out of his mouth and slid his hands towards his holster.
"No," I said out of the side of my mouth and rested both of my hands on my hips, my thumbs stroking the handles of my guns.
"Yes!" he cried.
Then the room exploded with gun fire.
If you're not familiar with that sound, ladies and gentlemen, that is the sound of Mama being DONE. I can outdraw a three-year-old any day of the week, my friends.
"How about you go to bed now, with no little ice cream sandwich?" I snapped up the remaining ice cream sandwich and marched it to the freezer.
"March," I said. "I'm done with this."
"Ma!" he cried. Now the tears were rolling and he looked paralyzed, shocked and completely ambushed by my gorilla-mama tactics.
He wailed as he took off his pants. He wailed as we turned on the hall light. He wailed as I helped him off with his shirt. And then finally:
"I'm sorry, Mama!" His face was overwrought. He truly looked like a little man who was horrified by his own actions and stricken with grief at the price he would have to pay.
"I'm sorry too. I bet that little ice cream sandwich would have tasted soooooooooo good!" I said and rubbed my belly.
Okay, I'm totally kidding about that last line. I would never say that. What I said was this:
"I know you're sorry, baby. Maybe next time you'll say 'Yes, Mama,' instead of trying to negotiate your own bedtime." I pulled his shirt off and grabbed a pajama top.
"I n-n-n-need a hug!" he said and draped his leaden arms around my shoulders, sobbing. I hugged him and rubbed his back.
"I love you," I said.
"I love you too, Mama." Pause. "Can I have a little ice cream sandwich now?"
"I said 'I'm sorry!'"
"Yeah, but you should have listened to Mama in the first place."
"I'll be nice now, I promise."
"You are nice, I know that. Maybe next time you'll do what I ask and not try to tell me what to do. You know Mama doesn't like it when she has to ask you to do something two or three times."
"I know," he said and sighed.
"So what are you going to do next time Mama asks you to do something?"
"Say 'Yes, Mama.'"
"Yeah. I am," he nodded, looking happier again, despite the red-eyes and the wet cheeks. He knew he would live to see another day.
See how easy it is? Listen to Mama and get ice cream sandwiches before bed. No wonder his dad's his favorite. His mama's such a bitch.
*Blows smoke from pistols, returns them to holsters*