“Be quiet and sit still, please!” roared the petite woman while snapping her head promptly toward me. I admit I was rather an untamed spirit of a sort.
My tiny hands were tossed wildly into the air in disgust, while I babbled through toothless gums, “You’re not the boss of me, madam.”
Now, this unpleasant woman, well, she was either incapable of grasping my blatant claim or, out of utter spitefulness, chose to ignore it altogether. Being of reasonable intellect, I rather suspected the latter, and that deep within the bowels of her twisted mind she was planning the grandfather of all reprisals.
I sat proper in my highchair, kicking my small feet while my fingers found their way into a baby’s drooling mouth. I then gave my darling mother a long loving stare. This extraordinary performance was part of an effective, yet, rarely used tactic; one deployed when I wished not to be sent off to bed, prematurely.
She muttered a phrase of barely audible gibberish, and then coaxed a spoonful of green peas into my mouth.
I must say, the effect of this atrocious act was immediate, and the experience, I might add, extremely haunting even to this day.
My handsome face, being what it was, gave way to all manner of strange expressions while my darling mother, seemingly amused by the entire affair, looked on. My lips puckered like an old discarded orange, and above them, eyes enlarged until they overflowed their sockets. My limbs stiffened, as if bound by some invisible twine, and a single tear fled an eye.
Not surprisingly, out came those very same peas, trailed closely by exacting words. “How dare you, dreadful woman! You will be forever curse for your vile attempt at poisoning me!”
I was snatched from my highchair, after my mother had rubbed the vegetables from her troubled face of course, and carried like a sack of common potatoes to my fate.
“The proper authorities shall hear of this outrage!” I protested, while gently lowered into my crib. “I promise you, madam, they will be promptly notified!”
My objection continued for a short time, until I was pestered by Rufus St. John Bartholomew, a rather large stuffed teddy, who sat in a corner of my wooden cell.
There was a heated argument, yes. He stubbornly voiced his approved of my harsh sentence, so I struck him between the eyes with a well-aimed rattle. Why, you ask? Well, simply put, I was determine to send him and his over-stuffed associates a very precise message; no teddy, and it matters not how clever, wise, or large would ever get the best of me, they won’t.
I was completely taken by surprise when the beast pounced upon me; not like a slow lumbering bear, mind you, but with the speed and quickness of a Bengal cat!
Overpowered, I was forced to cry, “You my daddy”, more shameful times than I dare recall.
When I confessed that he indeed had bested me, I was released from the brute’s smothering headlock. I crawled back to my dark corner with my head held high, pretending to be victorious. Rufus St. John Bartholomew stared coldly toward me. It was only then that I fell silent, and then gladly asleep——with my small hands clutching a blue baseball bat, that is, just in case.