I think I must be channeling Joan Crawford. At least my oldest son thinks so. He is astounded at the things I expect from him, and frankly I’ve been feeling a little evil about them, too.
For instance, since birth my Jimmy has hated to bathe. I have photos of this little five-pound ball of attitude whose entire body has turned purple from my audacity to dip him in water. He is eleven and I am still fighting this battle.
One night, I sent him to take his shower. In an insanely short matter of moments, he emerged from the shower, glistening with water from head to toe. I began to suspect foul play.
“You took a shower that fast?”
“Yep.” His pupils began to dilate. I began to smell fear.
“Are you lying to me?”
“Nope. You can even smell me if you don’t believe me.” He offered me his hand to smell.
I took the bait and had him step closer. But I called his bluff. I sniffed his hair. The not-so-delightful scent of wet dog filled my nose.
“Get up there and take a shower. Right. Now.”
He stomped off with his head hung low and mumbling voodoo curses under his breath. I was only left to wonder what possesses a person to strip naked, get in the shower and just stand there without washing. If you know, please drop me a line because I still have no clue.
Just recently he has resorted to a new stance. When I tell him to go take his shower he wants reasons and logic for this obvious torture I keep putting him through.
“Do you want a girlfriend some day?”
“I can live without one.” (I have no idea where he gets his snark from. Little malcontent!)
“Do you want to be made fun of at school for smelling like a goat?”
“I hardly think anyone is sniffing me, Mother.”
“Go take your shower.”
“Because if you don’t I will be forced to wrestle you to the ground and bathe you myself! If you don’t want to exit that shower smelling like “Velvet Tuberose” from Bath and Body, you better get your butt up those steps right now!”
“I hate you! You are so mean to me!”
“Well, too bad for you Oprah‘s show is going off the air! You’ll just have to save it for your memoir about your terrible childhood!”
All I got back were more mumbled voodoo curses.
Why do I keep torturing this kid so? Maybe he’s part witch and some of him melts each time the water touches him. Maybe he’s like that Australian dude who doesn’t wear deodorant and just drinks water constantly to “purify” himself (sorry, but he still has to stink–pure funk maybe, but funk nonetheless).
Well, the next time he’s in the shower, I’m checking his closet for wire hangers.