There’s a memory from long ago when the kids were small, about a terrible mother and Horrible, No Good Very Bad Thing. You see, we had this pink blankie with satin trim about the edges that went everywhere with us. It drug itself through sticky spilt soda, brushed past discarded bubble gum, and wiped the snot off of runny noses, until it was no longer pink but a rather sickly shade of grey, with stiff spots about it. Its name was Fifi and when it went missing we could actually locate it by smell, a bit like one would hone in the signal of a lost cell phone coming from between the couch cushions. It smelled of sour milk, public streets, and fermented apple juice.
One day this awful mother
who truly despised her children who wished to reduce the sheer volume of germs her children were being immersed in, decided to give Fifi a bath. Fifi cleaned up beautifully, soft, pink, and fuzzy once again, with shiny satin edges. Fifi was so grateful to be resorted to her former glory, she just glowed with pristine pink vibrancy.
And then the shrieking began.
“What happened to Fifi?? You’ve ruined Fifi! It’s awful, It smells like…laundry soap! How could you?? I hate you, you’re the worst mother ever!”
After two hours of apologies, of carefully applied reason, of slammed doors, and small accusing eyes full of condemnation, Hubby comes home to his tearful kid, now rather pathetically sucking her thumb and mourning the loss of Fifi. Naturally he is full of comfort and sympathy and begs to hear the whole story.
“I hate her, she ruined Fifi,” is the tearful reply.
So Hubby turns to the Very Bad No Good Mother, eyes full of accusation and condemnation and says, “How could you? You’ve ruined Fifi!” Hubby being well known for his completely reasonable requests, thrusts the blanket in her hands and demands, “Now…unwash it!”
It’s a bit amusing, what is going through Hubby’s head at this moment? As is rather typical of men, nothing much. He’s thinking he’s tired from working all day, his kid is distressed and sobbing, and he vaguely longs for the smell of a long forgotten Fifi of his own. Also, he’s impressed with himself for having just fixed a simple problem.
Oh, but not true of the Very Bad, No Good Mother, oh no, she’s processing bits of data at record breaking speed, speeds that would make a super computer envious. She’s thinking, “My life is now in the hands of a six year old. My rock, the man who is supposed to protect me is showing and appalling amount of disloyalty. Betrayal, immaturity, failure to protect, weakness, irrationality, undermining, nix, nix, nix, bad man, very bad man….”
Hubby is thinking, “I can hardly wait to get my hands on the remote control.”
Naturally the kid is now curled up contentedly with the destroyed Fifi, looking at the Very Bad, No Good Mother smugly. “I won,” her eyes say.
Ah yes, you won alright, but someday you’ll have children of your own and I’ll get the last laugh. Good things come to those who wait patiently.