It’s a war.
I need help. NOW! a terrible thundering hand slashes the water in the tub.
Not until you say please Ros. There’s a nice way to ask. Find it
We’ve hit the impasse for the last 10 minutes. Her voice becomes more shrill with each shriek, her face more contorted, her ability to lasso what she’s feeling less. Her black eyes blaze at me through the doorway as I attempt, calmly, to do what all the books say and model a quiet, reasonable tone.
Apparently, these books have yet to meet Ros.
As it affects her mother, the reasonable tone just serves to infuriate Rosalyn more. I’d like to say I can’t relate, and that I don’t turn to stifle a snicker. She’s so my daughter, even in her anger and frustration. But she’s prone to grunts and slaps when angered beyond what she can control, throwing, stomping, heaving bosoms and spit. She’s been like this since birth, a child of two gears, awesome, and totally fucking pissed off. She doesn’t seem to recognize grey. It’s not in her nature to.
Say please Ros.
I NEED HELP!
Please. Say Please.
NO!NONONO! HELP ME!
Heh. Fat chance kiddo.
I find myself staring into the backyard, the sand recently churned up by my children, released into the wild after the frozen months, the blessing of a beautiful weekend evident. Her voice turns into the trill of a storm, in the background, there, but not. I can hear her moving from frustration to no control, feel her stability crumble as simply as the corners where the pool once sat. Why am I fighting, at 8pm on a Sunday night after a weekend spent playing and walking and meeting people? What am I trying to win-against her, against me? Who is truly served?
I return to the doorway, leaning. Her face is red, and fallen, her eyes helpless and nearly vacant. She is worn, and blank.
Come on honey bear. Let’s get out of the tub shall we?
She fights me, even on this, her will sated, her anger still sore. I wrap her in one towel, ignore the screams as I toss it in the laundry, and grab the fluffy pale blue one instead, fresh from the laundry, and sweet.
I’m cold Mummy.
Come here bubbie. I’ll keep you warm.