Wednesday, February 23, 2005

A Mother’s Shame: Stereotyping my Own Son

So my son, Mr. Butler, a.k.a. Chicken Pie, a.k.a. Phlumpy Wieners, etc., etc., has been a naughty little boy lately. So naughty, so demanding, so frighteningly Italian, I have been forced to think up another nickname for him -- “Little Tony,” as in Tony Soprano.

Oh, I was waiting for this. I knew that at least one of my kids would show their Italian eventually. I’m sort of happy, in a way...I’ve grown tired of the kids turning their noses up at my lovely dinners consisting of my Great-Grandma Assunta’s marinara, my pasta with finnochio, anchovy and bread crumbs, my big scrumptious logs of bracciole, and lasagna that would make a grown wise guy cry. Tired of my youngest daughter literally retching if red sauce even comes near her rigatoni. Tired of their blonde little heads filled with Americana white bread notions, their Jerry Springer, trailer park ideas of what clean means (as you probably already know, Italians are the cleanest of all nationalities, and any good Italian mama worth her weight in oregano takes pride in a spotless home). Tired of it all..

But, as with all things good, there is some bad. Mr. Butler loves my marinara, and he is a neat little boy who finds no pleasure in being dirty as other little boys might, but he also takes after nearly every single male on my mother’s side of the family. And although he's a true mama’s boy who worships the ground his mama walks on (as he should), he is demanding beyond what is reasonable, and he has a temper so Italian in nature, his face, on occasion, actually turns green, white and red (the colors of the Italian flag, for you mamalukes out there who have no clue).

This morning, after another night of Mr. Butler roaming the house in the wee hours, after weeks of sickness and tantrums and no nappy naps, I’d finally had it. He woke up for good at five thirty a.m., and wanted company, wanted gunny worms, wanted, wanted, wanted. Oh, no, God, no, please, no.

Bleary-eyed and pissed off, I limped to the coffee maker, resigned to another sleepless night, another day of feeling dreamy and insane, and as I poured the water into the coffee maker, Little Tony, furious with my withholding gummy worms, pulled on my nightshirt so violently, the coffee pot jerked sideways, thus spilling fifty gallons of water all over the counter.

I turned to him, bared my teeth, and said this: “If you do not stop acting like this, Mommy’s head is going to catch on fire.”

He said, “No, it’s not.”

“Yes, Brandon, it will.”

“No, Mama, it will not catch on fire.”

“Yes, it will. It will catch fire then explode into a million pieces, and your sisters and daddy will be very sad because Mommy has no head.”

My son, instead of being frightened by the prospect of having a headless mommy, smiled and said, “Ew, gross! Can I paint your head purple?”

Which, of course, makes no sense at all.

I wept as I drank my first cup of coffee.

ADDENDUM: Then I smiled while drinking my second because I received wonderful writing-related news in my inbox. Will share sometime soon.


At 12:37 PM, Blogger Katie said...

I'm so glad to hear that your head neither exploded nor was painted purple and that you have good writing news. Can't wait to hear it!

At 12:38 PM, Blogger Mari Adkins said...

Kids are such a hoot!!

Hey there. I can't remember how I got here - I came in via someone else's blog via someone else yesterday, I think. I added you to my Blogroll.

Have a great Wednesday.

At 2:18 PM, Blogger Tom Carter said...

Ms. Lori, you do lead an interesting life! You might appreciate the humor at Aid Pours in for Victims of Mommy Madness.

At 3:24 PM, Blogger frankthebunny said...

Italian or not, that boy needs to know that he can't act like that and get away with it or you're never going to sleep again.

At 3:35 PM, Blogger J. Stephen Reid said...

This reminds me of the way I used to treat my poor mother. I was always throwing her silly curveball questions like "If I was drowning in hot lava, would you sacrifice yourself to save me?" and "Do the monsters in my closet buy their groceries at Wal-Mart?"

I also used to ask her to play the femme fatale roles when I was playing "James Bond" with my little brother. Nothing is funnier than a 7 year old asking his mother if she'll be "Pussy Galore."

So count yourself lucky, Ms. Lori. Your kid sounds like a winner.

At 12:46 PM, Blogger Alexis said...

My boyfriend has a similar problem with his 3 year old daughter. Nothin' like a little ass crack of dawn human alarm clock. No weeping though, as you are soon to recieve some lovely off market snak treets from the UK!!! Wooooo Hooooo! You're my big weiner!!!!
Send me your address my lovely!

At 12:57 PM, Blogger Ms. Lori said...

Yay! Is it the jellied manparts? The fried hair? I'm so excited! Will send my addy soonishly, dolly.

At 3:49 PM, Blogger Ms. Lori said...

And hey, Mari! Welcome!


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