I was feeling bad. Guilty. Ashamed. Lousy. Just…bad. I made my son cry. Well, sorta. Alright it was pretty much my fault, but I don’t’ think he’s really blaming me, but that’s probably because he doesn’t understand that it was my fault and…well, let me stop blabbering and just explain what happened.
I let Tommy stay up late to watch the Olympics, and we did what any good American does while watching perfect bodied athletes do magnificent athletic perfect-bodied things. We artlessly shoved Chunky Monkey down our throats. It was nice. And when we were finished, we sat back on the couch and watched proudly as the Fab 5 received their gold medals. That’s when I started to tell Tommy to get to bed, but instead said, “Alright kiddo. You need to…OH MY GAWD! You have ice cream ALLLLL over your face. Go to the bathroom and wash yourself up.”
I don’t know how a kid can do that. I mean, ice cream is cold. And once it dries, it’s sticky. How can a child get it ALLLLL over his face and not notice? And the question really is HOW? How did you miss your mouth? And Why? Why were you trying to feed yourself via the cheek? My cousin Rob used to have this same issue when we were kids. And you know, I still don’t know if he ever learned to eat ice cream correctly. I should Facebook him and find out.
Anyways, Tommy poked and flipped his tongue around trying to clean up the mess (cause Gawd forbid we use wash cloths, soap, and water!), and I say to him, “That’s not going to work. It’s all over. Seriously, you can’t feel it?”
He shook his head no and I said, “Well go look in the bathroom mirror. Seriously Tommy. You’re starting first grade in a few weeks. You have to eat lunch at school. You need to learn to eat without getting food all over your face. You don’t wanna walk around all day with food all over your face do you? What will the other kids think?” He rolled his eyes and headed to the bathroom.
Now, I didn’t say that in a mean tone. I didn’t have my ‘mom’ voice on. I wasn’t really lecturing him. But when I looked at him, I thought of cousin Rob and I thought about all the times my other cousins and I would laugh about crazy ice-creamed face Rob. My intentions were good. And I really didn’t think it was going to be an issue. But when Tommy came back out with a clean face, he had tears in his eyes.
“What’s wrong?” I asked.
He lost it. He sobbed and buried his face in my arm and started telling me everything, but it only came out like hysterical muffles. When I finally got him to look at me he said, “what if I do have food on my face and then I get bullied by all the other kids. They’ll all point at me and say ‘ha-ha! you look stupid!’And I’ll never be able to go back to school again!”
My heart sank. Why did I say that? I’m such an asshole. I only wanted to help him…make him aware of what he was doing. I mean, isn’t that part of the problem? When we’re looking like fools it’s because no one makes us aware that we’re looking like fools? We don’t know and the people who do know don’t bother to give us a heads up. And why? To spare our feelings. So we’re walking around with boogers sticking out our noses, broccoli in our teeth, our hair blown funny, our shirts buttoned wrong, our jeans unzipped, our shoes not matching, toilet paper hanging from our ankles, and ice cream all over our faces! All for the sake of our feelings! Until you get home and realize you’ve gone the whole day looking like a boob!
So…fine. What I said was meant with good intentions and hopefully he’ll be more careful next time. But I still felt like an asshole…cause I made him feel like an idiot and he’s not. He’s just a kid with ice cream issues. So I did the only thing I could think of. I made myself the boob.
I think it worked. I hope it worked. Cause I never want him to feel that way again. Especially because of some asshole thing I said.
I love you Tommy, and I think you’re amazing even with ice cream on your face or boogers hanging from your nose.