It started as a perfect weekend morning. I was in bed drifting in and out of a sluggish slumber, Vivian was cuddling into my side, and William was seated between my feet. Some cartoon marathon that I couldn’t hear due to my earplugs was playing on the TV.
Of course, if it starts as a perfect morning, there has to be a moment when you freefall from heaven’s gates. That moment came just after William asked for a turn using the remote control. Vivian listened. She launched the remote at his head with accuracy that could make her throwing arm the answer to the Jays’ bullpen problems.
Will didn’t cry, but he did complain. He was rubbing his forehead when I pressed my face off my pillow. I removed one of my earplugs. Vivian didn’t apologize.
So I did what every parent who’s sleep and caffeine deprived does. I overreacted.
“Vivian,” I snapped. “Say you’re sorry.”
She looked at me with wonder.
I took this as defiance. “You can’t whack someone in the head and not say you’re sorry!”
Demonstrating the for-every-action-there-is-reaction principle, she took my anger-induced fastball and knocked it over the fence with a single swing, which—in this case—meant stomping out of the bedroom and slamming the door.
I drifted back to sleep.
Five minutes later, I took out my second earplug and yelled again. “Viv? You okay?”
I grabbed five more minutes before I showered.
When I came out of the bathroom, Vivian was seated on the edge of my bed, a homemade book in her hand.
I read the title: “Why Don’t You Love Me Mom?”
I knew I was in for it.
Now you’ll know too.
After reading Vivian’s book to myself, I did what any mom with half a heart would do: I gave her a hug and defended myself debate style.
But before I could get to my second rebuttal, Vivian interrupted me.
“Mom,” she said, “you have a booger in your nose.”
“Right,” I said, readjusting my sopping towel so I could grab a Kleenex with an ounce of dignity.
After blowing my nose, I reassured Vivian that I loved her forever and for always.
She was not happy to hear this. She looked up at me and said, “You mean I made this book for nothing?”
“Not really,” I said, stalling.
“I even googled ‘how to make your mom love you,’” she said.
“You did? What did you learn?”
“That you should make your mom a craft.”
What have you googled recently? Or, what “should” you google?