Mama Don’t Hurt Em

Pushed to the edge of her patience with the tremendous stress of meeting nearly 150 peer-pressured strangers in hormonal excesses, Mommy Rachelle hit her breaking point. It happened around 7 p.m., which was well past the time when her Chub Chub would have taken a nap or gone off to spend quality time with his Dad were he home from work.

But the evening was not a typical one. Chi had homework, which was begun as it usually is with Mommy’s guidance. The first page of spelling work, then, was completed correctly and without tears, whining, or hair pulling. Then came math. Mommy thought she had read the directions to Chi with some clarity, but discovered later (and well after Chi had escaped upstairs to watch T.V. and create microscopic art pieces with scissors, markers, and glue) that Chi had merely written numbers from 1-10 in succession. She was supposed to have added the number on the top column to the number in the left column and written the total in the box where the two columns intersected. Simple, right? Wrong.

When Mommy discovered the error, she called Chi down to revise her work. At this point, Chub Chub decides to refund his last feeding on Mommy’s shirt and pants. Mommy promptly puts him down on her bed. Then he proceeds to scream because he is now hungry. Chi does the usual half-listen – the one where she knows you are talking to her, but hears only one or two words in each sentence – and erases the entire math worksheet and shoves the eraser bits onto Mommy’s bed (an action she hates). Then she frustrates Mommy by adding each set of numbers with her fingers (starting at one each time instead of with the higher number as in 7 plus 2 is 7..8..9. It’s 9.) and then putting the result in the wrong box.

Realizing Mommy has elected not to react to the tandrum by picking him up, Chub Chub works himself into such rage – legs and arms flailing, eyes spewing tears – that he rejects more of his stomach contents onto the comforter. Amidst the screaming, Mommy begins to yell at Chi – partly because talking was rendered inaudible in the wails and partly because Chi was no longer interested in what was being said – as she repeatedly places random numbers in boxes all over the sheet and erases correct answers when Mommy tries to have her fix the errors. And Mommy does not pick up and cuddle the screaming Chub Chub, she merely wipes his mouth clean of the vomit and plugs her right ear to muffle the intensity of the cries.

Is this what it’ll always be like when Daddy comes home late? At least Chi doesn’t hold a grudge and gets it that Mommy is only trying to get the homework done right even if the way she does it is at high-octave, ear shattering volumes that can’t possibly be conducive to enjoying the process of doing homework.

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