My Fresh Hell
Life in Scribbletown.

The Cruel Shoes

God. Iíd forgotten how incredibly annoying pre-toddlers can be. Was Dusty not this bad or did I somehow just block it out with the amnesia that comes with raising a child who changes daily Ė eventually you forget everything but the very bad and very good.

Red has reached a stage Iím not a fan of at all. In fact, she can stop sucking right this very minute. It involves a sudden temper like nobodyís business. Try taking away something dangerous sheís about to put in her mouth Ė a run of the mill choking hazard like a tiny seed bead or a pair of scissors somebody FORGOT TO PUT AWAY Ė and look out! She gives the object her best death grip, tenses her whole tiny being, and then SCREEEAAAMS with such fury, youíd think sheíd just been burnt by a cigarette. Sometimes, sheíll kneel down on the floor and wail as if Iíd turned her over to the orphanage (which might not be such a bad idea). Oh, pardon me, baby, Iím just trying to keep you from inhaling that disgusting bit of whatever and choking to death! Thatís my job. Just over here doing my job, donít take it out on me, missy. And, itís not that the retrieval of certain things sets her off. Itís everything. She will NOT be steered in another direction. She will NOT be stopped in her quest to relocate the doll house from the family room to the kitchen and back. She will NOT be thwarted in her effort to eat a bar of Burtís Bees Shampoo Soap. And its wrapper. By God, she WILL eat the contents of every trash can in the house! And woe be she who thinks otherwise.

And my mother doesnít make it any easier. In fact, I think she looks for ways to kill off her grandchildren. Last week, after dinner, we were all on the deck while I was installing a baby gate across the deck stairs so Red wouldnít fall to her death on the slate path stones below. My mother was holding Red in her lap as Iím wielding a drill and trying not to curse (at least not audibly). She says, oh so non-chalantly, ďOh Red really likes the taste of this!Ē I pause. Just for a millisecond as I ponder what in the hell sheís let my child have this time. I turn. And see Red with a bubble wand in her mouth. The very bubble wand that has been living on the deck for, oh at least months and months and months, coated in pollen and just the general dust and dirtiness that accumulates on things left out to moulder. The very bubble wand that Dusty has just dunked in a very old bottle of bubbles that has also been ďripeningĒ on the deck lo these many seasons. But old bubble goo is okayÖ..if youíre just gonna blow bubbles. Dusty fortunately now knows better than to, say, drink the bottle of bubble goo because it's there.

ďDonít let her have that!Ē I shriek, ďDo you know where thatís been, because I do!Ē What the hell is wrong with these old people? Have they all gone insane or did they never have common sense to begin with? I canít remember whether my mother was actually smart while I was growing up or it just seemed like she wasnít completely stupid because she was 27 years older than me. The other thing she says every week that fills me with horror is, ďThis baby just loves to play with my tongue and teeth!Ē Why in the hell are you letting the baby play with your tongue? Itís not even that sheís transmitting germs to Red but vice versa. I mean, what the hell is that matter with this lady?

Where was I? Oh, Red and her shrieking little temper tantrums. Yes. Well, I bought her a pair of $3 shoes from Wal-Mart on Saturday (shut up; the Targetís too far away) and she enjoyed trying them on in the store and made the cretinous old redneck hag and her two young grandchildren laugh with her funny little monster walk. But then, when I tried to put them on her at home, she curled up her toes and let out another of her patented wails like these were Steve Martinís Cruel Shoes, full of razor blades and such, and OH MY GOD, MOMMY, PLEASE DONíT MAKE ME WEAR THOSE TORTURE DEVICES! PLEASE NO! AAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHH! Iím sorry, my dear, but you cannot walk outside without shoes on. Not with the gravel driveway and the bees buzzing around looking for a fat little heel to sting. So, now I have a useless pair of pseudo-Keds because Crappy Devil Toddler refuses to wear them. And a whole summer in which Iíll have to tote her ass around instead of letting her frolic on her own. Stupid baby. Iíll keep trying Ďem on her, though, just to piss her off. Iím mean like that. And Dusty loved her toddler shoes with all her heart! I donít know what to do with Red. I just....maybe you can talk some sense into her?


4:01 p.m. ::
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