Doesn’t She Know She Could Be In A Body Cast?

I lay in beside with my 9-year old Clare at bedtime. 

Something serious is troubling her. We’ve had several in-depth discussions about it already, but apparently she’s still distressed.

Clare:  Mommy, will there ever be a time when I can have any control over my life?

Me:  All I want to do is put a hutch on your desk so there’ll be room for your stuff! Just one little, hutch with shelves for your books and your papers and your tchochkis, for Godsakes. It’s not like we’re moving you to the Seventh Ring of Hades, or trying to sell you to Guatemalan goat herders!

A martyred silence.

Clare:  If I get a hutch then I can’t have my corkboard.

Me:  We can move your corkboard.

Clare: (teary-eyed)  You want to take away my corkboard!

Me:  You know how you and Nonna (Italian for grandma) are both … let’s say… sensitive people.

Clare: (suspicious)  Yeah.

Me:  Well, when your Nonna was five, she had to go to the hospital because she had spinal meningitis and it was during World War II and they wouldn’t let parents stay with their kids in the hospital then, so Nonna worried her family was going to move to another city like LENINGRAD without her, so she kept getting out of her hospital bed trying to escape.

But a monstrous Army Nurse with huge breasts, which probably concealed brass knuckles and a garrote, would give chase, telling Nonna if she got out of bed again, she’d flay her alive.  

(Army nurses were to the ’40s what American Gladiators were to the ’90s) But Nonna got out one last time and had made it to the elevators when one of them opened.  And guess who was inside?

Clare: (a whisper) The army nurse.

Me: The very same. She leapt from the elevator and chased Nonna to her room. Nonna, terrified, ran in and jumped straight out her window, which was on the second floor. She broke her back in two places and had to wear a body cast for months.

Clare: What’s your point?

Me:  All I want to do is put a hutch on your desk when you could be in a body cast!

Clare is pensive. Obviously deeply affected by this observation.

Clare: I still don’t like that you turned my closet door around backwards when you painted my room, because I can’t see what’s inside the closet at night and I get scared that.

Me:  A hutch might be in there, ready to jump your desk?

Clare:  That’s not funny.

Me:  And what would Josh Hutcherson be without his Hutch? Josh Er Son?

Clare:  I don’t think he’s cute, Mom, okay? Let’s just be clear about that.

I spy the book we’ve been reading about Historical Disasters on the floor.

Me: How do you think all those people who couldn’t get into the lifeboats survived the sinking of the Titanic?

Clare: I know you’ll tell me.

Me:  They clung to the hutches. The freakin’ hutches saved their lives!

Clare:  You’re crazy.

Me:  Crazy like a fox. I have a hutch you’ll like the hutch.

Clare:  Give me a hug, Mommy.

As I hug her, she whispers in my ear.

Clare:  No. Freakin’. Hutch.

My daughter cackles in glee. She owns me.

8 thoughts on “Doesn’t She Know She Could Be In A Body Cast?”

  1. I absolutely love your stories. I don’t have kids yet, but when we do…I’m totally being real with them like you. No baby talk or crap bribes. 🙂

    1. Hi Jodi — Thanks for trying to vote. I hate the voting thing. It makes me feel like I’m perpetually running for Miss America — and I hate putting the Vaseline on my teeth to brighten my smile! t

  2. Thanks for the plug Shannon! I totally relate to your convo with Clare, my elder and I often have similar chat’s regarding control related to fears to power struggle, etc. Hugs always help 🙂

  3. Sorry, I’m with Clare on this one. I’m still sore about my parents picking out my bedroom furniture when I was 9.

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