I’ve Never Thrown Cheese at My Daughter
Of course, I never thought to…
Last week, Steven Rouach wrote an article about the travesty of parents participating in the cheese challenge. In case you live under a rock, this is yet another challenge where people throw a slice of horribly processed cheese at their baby’s head to see if they can make it stick.
I know. I know! It makes no sense and now the internet is full of videos of poor babies with a Kraft single stuck to their face.
I would like to go on record that I have never thrown cheese at my daughter’s face. Of course, she is now a teenager and quite a bit taller than me. I’m also a horrible throw so there’s that…
However, I have tormented and traumatized my child for my amusement in several others ways and STILL have managed to raise a well adjusted kid. This, I feel, is proof that I have built character. Yea me. Yea for my kid.
Let’s be honest. Parenting is not for the weak of heart. Last week, my kid aggravated me to the point where I could no longer form words. I just kind of barked at her like I was a highly pissed off Yosemite Sam. If you have ever had a teenager inhabit your home, you know exactly what I am talking about. Sometimes, it involves jumping up and down.
Messing with our kids is our way of getting back at them for the heinous meltdowns we have had to endure. We have to have some level of fun, right? It’s our reward.
Hallways are not a safe spaces in my house
My daughter has lived pretty much her whole life with her mother jumping out at her from behind doors and walls in dark hallways to scare her. So many shrill screams.
I can’t even tell you how much joy this has brought me over the years. She, like nearly every kid in the history of ever, walks around quite living in her own head. She bumps in to things regularly because “Oh? Walls exist in the world? Who knew? Tables? Whaaaaat?”
The fun in tormenting my child always lies in the reaction. She has acquired quite the defense mechanism to being scared by her mom jumping out at her.
She crumbles to the floor. I mean, she drops like a sack of potatoes. It is very dramatic and involves some arm flailing. It. Is. Hilarious.
It’s also the worse defense mechanism in the entire world. It would only work well if I was an actual bear, which clearly I am not.
Once, for .7 seconds, she thought I was going to kill her
We’re Italian. The kitchen is communal space. Very small communal space where so much good happens. Frequently, while I make dinner, she sits on the counter behind me and we talk. I know. So sweet. But wait…
I was making soup and chopping celery with a sizeable Santoku knife. I cannot for the life of me remember what funny, snarky, sarcastic comment she made. I took a rib of celery and flung it at her, underhand.
Hand to God, the look on her face will stick in my mind forever. For a split second, she thought it was the knife. She thought her mother flung a knife at her. It was the most mortifying look I have ever seen in my life.
“Seriously child! Why on Earth would I fling a deadly weapon at you?!?!”
“Ummmm. The hallway?”
Okay. Okay, Fine. But it’s not like our kitchen is some weird culinary version of West Side Story where someone gets shanked.
She’s no saint, either.
Though I have never thrown sticky food products at her, she is not innocent of such crimes. Once, I made lasagna and was sitting on the couch watching TV while it baked. I was married at the time and my husband was sitting next to me.
Next thing I know, she calls his name and he looks up just in time to see a wet, soggy lasagna noodle come hurling toward him.
A second later, it lands flat against his thigh with a loud THWACK! It just stuck there. Like a piece of processed cheese. I nearly peed my pants laughing.
Interestingly, my daughter’s reaction to that, as well, was to crumple to the floor. Laughing her head off. We have it on video somewhere. Yes, folks. She videoed this. I have raised her well.
She now has a healthy set of trust issues
She is a sweet and funny kid and I like to do nice things for her (nearly making her pee her pants, notwithstanding.) I was at the fridge once and asked her if I could get her a cold Pepsi beverage. Her response? “Sure. Wait. No. Why? What are you going to do to it?”
Oh my God! What does she think I’ve going to do? Slip some arsenic in there? Let’s be real child.
I asked her why she would think I would possibly tamper with her refreshing soda. Her answer was quick. “Ummmm. The hallway?” Touche, child.
This is actually the good stuff. These are the stories we tell. These are the weird, totally abnormal memories that we share and celebrate.
Family is not always pretty. Life if frustrating. We can waste years overthinking our parenting and our kids can spend years questioning their value in the home.
So we show love in odd ways sometimes. In my house, it’s trying to see if you can get someone else to wet their pants. None of this will every require her to go to therapy. But someday I will leave this Earth. I hope someday my daughter blesses this world by being a mother. I can only hope she passes on my legacy of hiding behind walls. I think she will.