Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Lesson Learned: Going to Bed Hungry

*Post inspired by the TRDC RemembeRED prompt, "Lesson Learned."
Write a post that either starts or ends with the words "Lesson learned." 

Written from my son, Sam's, POV.

"This'll be the last time I tell you to eat." Mom's eyes are on fire, her voice stern. It cracks, and spit even sprays from her mouth. She acts like she means it, but she can be a pushover sometimes. I know how to work her.

"But Moooom, pee's coming out!" I say, crossing my legs and doing a little dance in my booster seat. Mom hates when I pee in my underwear, even a little.

"Nice try." Her voice is hoarse now. Probably from all the yelling. She says it's not yelling, that she's just talking firm, but the vein bulging in her neck says it's yelling. She even cussed once. Surprise, surprise.

"You only have two options," she continues, hand on her recently chubby hip. "You can either go to bed hungry, or eat and stay up for ten extra minutes." She doesn't mean it. Mom would never let me go to bed hungry. She loves me too much.

"But, Mom...the pee..." I continue to dance, adding a whimper to the plea.

"You can pee your pants, for all I care. Sit in your own pee. But you're not getting up from that table until you're done. Not unless you want to go to bed." Her eyes bore into mine, telling me she's no joke. But on the inside I still laugh.

On the outside, I groan.

She glances at the clock, and so do I. The position of the long and short hand tell me it's after seven o'clock. And I know that means it's after bedtime. Mom's time. She sighs, her face turning red, and looks back to me. I'm starting to wonder if she's getting serious now, after eight threats.

Now she stomps over, huffing, and yanks my chair away from the table. I scream and cry because I'm four, and what else am I gonna do? "No, Mom! I'm hungry! I'm really hungry!"

"If you were hungry, you would've eaten your dinner. You had the last hour and a half to eat, so don't try that on me! It's bed time. You can go to bed hungry." Oh. My. Gosh. She actually means it.

"Mom!" Tears stream down my cheeks, and so does slobber. I like to make a good show.

She's dragging me down the hallway, heading for that darkened doorway. My room. She wouldn't dare.

I scream louder, cry harder, pleading. "I'm soooo hungry! I want to eat!"

But when she puts me in bed, turns off the light, and closes the door, I stop screaming. I cry silently, stunned she actually put her starving child to bed.

Through the door, I hear, "Maybe next time I tell you to eat, you'll listen."

My tummy grumbles and I can still smell the taco casserole, untouched on my plate.

Lesson learned.


Galit Breen said...

Yowsers woman! This one had me hanging on every word, holding my breath.

Brave, honest, poignant, impressive.

May said...

Telling it from his point of view gave it an interesting twist. I know this is an unvarnished truth version of dinner time because I have lived it myself with my son more times than I care to remember. Ohhhh....I can feel the frustration.

angela said...

I love that you told it from his POV.

You have more patience than I do. I couldn't ever hold out that long waiting for my kids to eat dinner. I let them down and then pay for it the next morning when they're up at 5:00 am.

Susan said...

Great way of looking at the conflict - but you did it in a manner that showed both sides. I could be that mom - or the little child! Well done.

Jackie said...

What I enjoyed the most with this entry was that I could sympathize with both parties. I love the comment "I scream and cry because I'm four, and what else am I gonna do?"- perfectly encapsulates a four year old!

Katie @ Chicken Noodle Gravy said...

Great twist telling it from your son's point of view. I'm not a mother, but I've certainly been in the child's side of this predicament. And I will say that my two-year old nephew refusing to eat the other night while I was babysitting was INCREDIBLY frustrating!!

Jen said...

I love this, Jennie...so creative to have it from Sam's POV. I love the humorous parts too...the vein bulging, the spit spraying...