Before you judge me too terribly, know that my son demanded that I share this story. For real, I’m not claiming he did just to get out of the guilt. He really did come into my bedroom at 10:30 at night and insist my next blog be this story. And I suck (as you will soon see) and made the next one something else. So, here it is, the reason my son wears yoga pants! Or the reason he is afraid of the oven……
I didn’t realize until my son was almost 7 that he was afraid of the oven. I wasn’t even the person to pick up on the fear, it was my friend’s husband. We were at her house making cookies and all the kids (except 1) were up our butts in the kitchen, wanting – chocolate chips, cookie dough, to lick the spoon, to lick the bowl, to burn their hands, too drive us bat-shit crazy! I didn’t get warning anything was amiss. Suddenly there was this 6’7” dude in the doorway with a concerned expression blocking me in.
“Why is Dravin afraid of the oven?!”
“I have no idea what you are talking about….”
“Your son is scared shitless every time you cook. It took me a while to narrow it down to only when you use the oven. It’s been going on for years and I want to know why”
“You have lost your mind dude.”
“No, I haven’t. He stops whatever he is doing and watches you when you walk into the kitchen. If you preheat the oven he turns pale. Lastly, every single time you open the door he runs and hides. Go look for yourself! We have neighbor kids we have never even met before in the apartment begging for cookies and yours is in the back bedroom, hiding under the bed. What happened to make him scared shitless of ovens?!”
“Seriously, I have no idea……..”
Yes I do. I do know what happened. It was all my fault. If this was a hallmark movie right now would be when we have the weird chimes and a water color fade into the past. A few disclaimer for you to consider for this flashback; I was an artist. I was a single mom. I was in school and working. I had only been 17 for 1 week when my son was born. I had only been sober for 2 months when I got pregnant with him. I was raised by wolves. I had serious anger issues stemming for a horrible childhood. In short, I had to come up with crazy ways of solving problems so I wouldn’t be passing my issues onto my son. One of my many jokes was to laugh to myself and say “I understand why lions eat their young” when he would be grumpy or messy or cry for hours on end; pretty much any time I felt myself getting frustrated and angry. It usually worked. I would chuckle and put in The Lion King while I took care of whatever mess.
When he was 3 his Bio-dad came back into the picture. This wonderful event opened a can of sleep walking issues. During his sleepwalking he would pile up toys and pee on them. He would round up clothes and cut them apart. First with scissors, after I hid all of those it was knives from the kitchen, after that I bought a bunch of safety scissors so I could sleep a little more peacefully.
One afternoon he was being a normal 3 year old and refusing to pick up his room. (Who would ever expect that, crazy right?!) I was trying to study for finals and kept sending him back into his room to put his toys away. Every time I would send him back in he would throw more out of his toy box and yell “It wasn’t me! Confucius made the mess!” Whatever, I knew the 6 inch pet rat did not throw his toys. Maybe if it was hotdogs on the floor I would believe him, but not Spiderman action figures. He preferred Ironman anyways.
The last time I sent him back in he slammed his door shut and started screeching as loud as he could. I stormed down the hall like any normal mother would, reciting the usual lecture in my head “is that your inside voice? You need to have more respect. I hate cleaning too but we all have to do it” I was not prepared for what I saw when I opened the door. All the toys were in a smashed pile in the center of the room and little fluffs of cotton were floating through the air. The dirty little buttface had found a pair of real scissors. He dove from the top of his pile to the bed (still with scissors in his hands and what used to be his coat) and told me he was sleep walking.
I may have been born in the morning but it wasn’t that morning. His eyes were alert, not half asleep and closed over. He was breathing normal, maybe even growling, but not the deep snore like sound. He dove immediately from the carnage to his bed when he saw me, not dazed and unaware of his surroundings. And now he was laying there daring me to punish him for “sleepwalking” I was pissed!!!
I grabbed him by the arm and pulled the scissors away. First, the dangerous thing taken care of. I hope I get some points for that. I marched him down the hallway and stopped in the kitchen. He looked very confused until I slammed the oven door open. Then he looked startled. With all the righteous anger I had backing me I pointed in the oven, not unlike when a Salem girl would accuse a witch, and shouted
“THAT’S IT! GET IN THE OVEN!!!! THE LIONS HAD IT RIGHT, I’M EATING YOU AND I HATE RARE MEAT!!!!”
He looked between me and the oven a few times and then fell to the ground crying. He told me how much he loved me. He told me how sorry he was. He told me he would clean his room and never make it dirty again. He told me he would always use his pretty voice. He told me I could even have all of his Spiderman’s. Just please don’t cook him and eat him! My first though was to ask him if I could eat him raw, but these were real tears. Instead I gently closed the oven and sat on the floor. I scooped him into my lap and gave him kisses on his head and told him I wasn’t going to eat him……… this time. He did clean his room after that.
Fade back to present time (not 9 years ago even) My awesome son has mostly recovered. His room is still disgusting but he doesn’t yell or cut things. The pet rat is now a tarantula. His bio-dad is fairly consistent. His mom is still bat-shit crazy but in a fun way. He finally stopped having eye twitches every time someone read “Hansel and Gretel”. He loves cooking and even asks me to let him make cookies every now and then. He may have developed some unusual habits since this morning he stole my leprechaun yoga pants and wore them to school but I can live with that. (boys do weird things to impress girls and they did make his butt look good)
Apparently he is now terrified of the dishwasher though….