Puppet Master

I'm finding that as my children grow older, my parental rewards are becoming fewer and farther between. No longer do I get to see their cute round asses streaking from the bath tub (nor do I want to,) no longer is it charming to watch them slumber in peace (unless I enjoy watching butt scratching and mouths hanging agape with drool down their cheeks,) and no longer do they look at me with adoration in their eyes.

No, the only things they like to do with them eyes is roll them at me. Cheeky buggers.

Not that it is a completely rewardless and thankless job. (Shh. I'm enjoying my delusions.) There are perks to being a parent to a preteen. You just have to know how to find them.

On Wednesday, my darling son Frac, forgot his lunch at home. So mid-morning, I received a call from the school.


"Hi Mom!" says my perky son.

"Hey Frac. Are you okay?" Generally a call from the school means one of two things. He's in the principal's office or he needs stitches.

"Ya, I'm okay. I, um, need you to bring me a lunch." He's trying to sound desperately woeful. I'm not biting.

"What happened to the lunch you were supposed to make this morning? The lunch I asked you three times if you had made?"

"Well, I guess I forgot..." but then he rushed on to include, "But I have my lunch kit. I brought it. It's just there is nothing in it."

Ya, because I always buy magical lunch kits that automatically fill themselves. This one must have run out of pixie dust.

The way I figured it, I had two options. I could let the poor kid starve and learn a valuable lesson about responsibility while honing his begging skills as he tries to cobble a lunch from the scraps of others, or I could set an example.

"Fine, I'll be there at lunch time. But you are getting a sardine sandwich with a side of beets."

"That's gross Mom."

"You aren't really in the position to be choosey, now are you Frac?" Hee hee.

The last time he forgot his lunch I made him kiss me in front of the entire class. While it just about killed him from embarrassment, it obviously did not penetrate his psyche enough to have him to remember his lunch. I was going to have to dig deeper into my bag of parental torture devices.

Upon entering his classroom, his teacher gave me a silent nod and then vamoosed, leaving her kids in my capable hands. It's good to have a friend on the inside. ( Besides, this way she can't testify to what she doesn't see.)

My sheepish looking, and now starving child eagerly runs up to me and offers me a kiss. This kid thinks he can beat me by going on the offensive, eh? (But I still took the kiss. I'm not stupid. He's a cute kid. Gotta take the loving when it's offered.)

"Can I have my lunch now Mom?" as I stood dangling it over his head and out of his reach.

"Nah, I think you are going to have to earn it." He is starting to look worried now.

"But I kissed you. In front of the WHOLE class. Without complaining!"

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

"Yes, but obviously you have not grasped the concept of remembering to bring a lunch, young Jedi. You must be taught. And gas is not cheap these days. You must pay the piper." And with that I turned to the class and asked in my loud and very adult sounding voice, "Who would like to hear Frac sing for his supper?"

While every kid in that class shot their hand toward the sky, Frac was saying "No Mom. No singing."

"You heard it Frac. The public has spoken. Your fans await you. You must not disappoint. Or... I could just eat this lunch myself..."

For a split second it was a battle of wills. He looked in my eyes, I looked in his, and his inner demons wrestled away. Was he hungry enough to endure some public humiliation? Did I take it too far?

But then he opened his beautiful mouth, and quietly the warbling notes of "You Are My Sunshine" came spilling out.

I eventually took pity on him, as did the entire class and soon we joined him for a very raucous rendition of the tune. The teachers from the neighbouring class wandered in to see what the noise was about. (Upon seeing me, they just knowingly smiled and wandered away. Apparently my reputation for a shit disturber preceeds me.)

At the end, the class cheered loudly for him and my son's face was tomatoe red.

"Can I have my lunch now, PLEEEEAAASSSEE, mom?"

"Sure Frac. But first, give me a kiss. And make it a good one."

Bwhahahaha. Dance my little puppet, dance. Sometimes I just love this mothering gig.