I can remember rolling my eyes when my Mom would start her rant at the dinner table,
“EAT YOUR FOOD! There are starving children in Europe that would LOVE to have a nice dinner like this!”
I wanted to say, “Well I’ll gladly wrap this up and send it to them…” but the wounds had just healed from the last time I said it. I just sighed, put my head down and started shoveling the gruel (gruel = any food that wasn’t spaghetti). I swore to myself that I would never tell MY kids about the “starving children”. I would let them eat whatever they wanted, whenever they wanted.
I’ve kept good on the first part of the promise…until today.
It was one of “those” days. End of summer, cabin-fever, sick of each other, nothing is fun, whining kind of day.
“Mooooommmmyyyy! Nate won’t let me be Gil from the Bubble Guppies!”
“I want to be Gil!. Zeke got to be Gil last time!”
“It’s time to turn off the TV, it’s time for dinner.”
“Nooooooo!!!!! I don’t waaaaaaaant toooooo…”
“Zeke, for the millionth time, please use your regular talking voice.”
“Mommy, you haven’t told me a million times…only like a hundred.”
(Heavy, deep sigh…) “Come sit down and eat, please.”
Upon seeing what’s on his plate, Zeke goes into hyper-whining…only audible to dogs and me.
“UGH! I AM SOOOOO SICK OF EATING TACOS!”
I snapped. Not “end-up-on-the-news kind of snap”, just “Mommy-loses-her-mind-and-does-dumb-thing” kind of snap.
I mentally wrestled with myself for a nano-second before the dark-side won out. I broke my promise to myself.
“Do you boys know that there are children all over the world that are starving? They don’t have food to eat, a place to live or toys to play with!”
I was on full vent mode, spewing analogies and “you’re-so-luckys” without even taking a breath. This had been building up for 8 years and I was truly on an old-school-parenting rant.
Then I saw it…the eye roll! Nate rolled his eyes at me! How DARE he! I invented the eye-roll. Who did he think he was dealing with, an amateur? I’m a modern Mom. I’m not my Mom, I have technology at my finger tips. I grabbed the iPad. If my words weren’t getting through to them, surely Youtube would have a video or two that would. I’ll show them one of those starving children commercials from TV and THAT will make them realize how lucky they are. THAT will show them how thankful they should be that Mommy slaved 60 seconds over the microwave to warm those beans in that taco!
Yeah, it looked real good on the game-plan board in my head.
It had the exact opposite affect on Zeke. A photo of a little girl popped up on the screen. Did Zeke see her dirty, tattered dress? Did he see her tears? Did he see the bones showing through her skin? Nope. Zeke focused in on the lollipop in her hand that the camera-man had given her.
“MAN! She’s so lucky! She has a lollipop! I want a lollipop! Can I have a lollipop if I eat all this yucky taco?”
I will admit in hind-sight, that I should have pre-screened the video I showed them. It got progressively worse. When a photo of a dying child with a vulture looming behind popped up on the screen, Nate started crying,
“Stop Mommy! Please! No more! I don’t want to see anymore! Just please TURN IT OFF!”
I am the worst Mom EVER!
Not only did I lose my cool, break a promise to myself – Zeke now thinks the children in Africa are LUCKY because they all have lollipops. And Nate? Nate will have nightmares until I can raise enough money to get a vampire to glamour away the memories of seeing the horrific video.
Learn from my mistakes, People.
Oh, and PLEASE don’t call social services on me. I don’t want to go into hiding…again.