I exhausted myself trying to tidy the small centre table in the living room. What was frustrating was that I've told Shakir that if he needs something from off the table to take his time and remove it carefully so nothing would fall off. I've often also advised him to carefully pack it back when he's finished with it. It has been weeks that I've been looking at the cluttered heap of books that fall at will and keep threatening punishment. Well, I've often said that threats are useless because they often fall on deaf ears and believe me when I tell you that often times your child can tell when you don't really want to punish them. They will ride on the promise of punishment until the second before your facial expression changes and your voice takes on that certain tone and they just know. Anyway, I was like a mad woman randomly grabbing things and tossing them on the floor so they could go into the garbage and every now and again, I'd yell at Shakir about how cluttered the table was. Meanwhile, there is not a peep from my husband.
It couldn't have been more than a few minutes later when, finished, I joined my husband in the back of the house. Checking to make sure that there is no lingering aggression in me, he slid closer to me with a smile. "I was about to ask you to please take out some food for me, but then I heard you quarrelling so I decided to wait until you were settled," he said, reminding me where the children get ALL of their tricks from. I take absolutely no responsibility in that aspect of their personalities. I will own the mouthiness. That is my own cross to bear.
"Food is an excellent idea, my love," I answer back with a face as serious as a judge. "When you go to take out yours, please be sure take mine out the same time."
"But baby, I'm tired. I had a gruelling drive on the road and in that sun..."
"Did you forget that I was there bearing it with you?" In truth, I only bore a part of it, but that's not important. "And that sun had me about ready to pass out so since you love me and you care about my wellbeing, its only fair that you should be the one to get us both some food." See, what I did there? I tossed the love card in there with a little well placed guilt and folks, let me be the one to break the bad news to you: THAT CRAP ONLY WORKS IN THE MOVIES.
What happened next was that Jaheim appeared trying to defend his father's honour. His brother offered to take the food out for his dad. When Tony politely refused, Shakir's response was a nonchalant shrug and, "you can't really want food then."
"Your mother have you trained!" Tony declared.
My response was a bright smile for my little protégé and a nod of encouragement. "Daddy?" Jaheim asked. "You want tea?"
"No," responded a disgruntled Tony.
"Well, he can get you tea," I advised as I made my way to the kitchen to grab the kettle. On the way, I picked up Jaheim and gave him a small kiss. "Should I take out food for daddy?"
"Ok. Only because you told me to, but I will make your tea first so daddy will have to wait."
"Right. Daddy gotta wait."
A few minutes later, after the water is boiled, I told Jaheim to put away the toys he had scattered across the floor while I mixed his tea. I explained that this had to be done in order for him to relax and drink his tea so off he went diligently putting everything away. When he was almost through, he looked at me and realised I was putting the food for his father into a plate.
"Mummy!" He shouted, his little voice thick with irritation and urgency. "Daddy gotta wait! Daddy gotta wait!"
"Yes baby, I know," I said, and quickly putting the food in the microwave to reheat, I finished the little boy's tea and gave it to him. All the while, poor daddy trying to understand what was really going on.
Allison is mother to two active boys who challenge her on a day to day basis with their escapades. In her other life, Allison juggles a regular day job as a marketing executive in a health food organization. At night, when everyone is asleep, she dreams of being a fulltime writer and super hero.