By Eizabeth Bastos
I do want to come into your room at night and give you a goodnight kiss like the children’s book Love You Forever but ALL THESE LEGO PIECES on the floor are killing it for me.
The Lego-brick head of what you call “a minifig of Sensei Wu” embedded itself in my heel. It really hurt. I’ll probably always have a limp.
It will remind me of the the injury I sustained wanting to kiss your damp sleeping sweaty forehead.
I’m not blaming you. But could you clean up a little?
When you’re old you’ll understand why old people like Mommy clean floors—clean of debris that might cause them to trip and break a hip.
I’m sorry I woke you and you heard me shouting that little f&*er! (I wasn’t referring to you. Honey, how could you think that?!?) I was referring to the Sensei Wu minifig wig that I had just stepped on, sweetheart. I’m so sorry I woke you. My foot was bleeding. I hit my head on your lamp shaped like Lord Vader. For a moment I saw stars shaped like Princess Leia.
Dear one, could you possibly not spread it around at school tomorrow that last night I threatened to sue the entire Lego company and the company that’s making all the new Star Wars drek? My foot was bleeding, and I thought maybe a raccoon had gotten into your room because I had to fight off something furry. That turned out to be your bathrobe. Covering a pile of overdue library books. Honey, really? How many times do we have to talk about the library book thing?
I’m not making excuses. I’m sorry I broke your Lord Vader lamp. It was dark—I don’t see so well at night, honey, please believe me: the raccoon theory was plausible.
Also, I thought your laundry pile was a bear. The darkness at night was immense and disorientating.
What the h-e-double hockey sticks!? I said. But not to you, darling. To Daddy. Why the f^%k is there a bear in the house?
Then “Oh. Never mind,” I said to Daddy. “Go back to bed. It’s just gym socks.” But I’d already woken him, and he had to go to the bathroom of course, and he slipped on your sister’s My L’il Ponies in the hallway.
Without my glasses I couldn’t see that it was Daddy and not an intruder stumbling in the hallway in Daddy’s slippers toward the bathroom so I punched him. “Intruder,” I yelled. Then I also slipped on your sister’s My L’il Ponies.
We might laugh about it later.
In the meantime, like I said, Don’t mention my wanting to sue toy companies. We all know sometimes Mommy gets angry and threatens to sue toy companies for outmoded gender roles, racism, predatory pre-blockbuster movie marketing, and the degradation of our suburban landscape with plastic. That’s just how Mommy is. Mommy is in a period of life called Perimenopause. But you haven’t even had 4th Grade Health Class yet, have you? This is not something you would understand.
But just because Mommy is angry all the time about injustice and can’t see at night, but can’t sleep either, and Mommy lashes out at what she doesn’t recognize because she’s misplaced her glasses and has a deformed foot because Sensei Wu Lego brick head hat is permanently fixed in her flesh, doesn’t mean she doesn’t want you to be happy.
Darling, Mommy loves you.
Mommy just wants you to clean up all the toys that your grandmother (don’t get me started) keeps sending you that will eventually end up in the Great Pacific Garbage patch as floating garbage killing marine life, sea turtles and stuff, doesn’t mean she doesn’t want you to be happy, you know that, right, sweetie?
Furthermore, please tidy your gym clothes. I thought they were the Loch Ness Monster and I used your Lord Vader lamp on them and your Lego Lion Chi Temple in a manner in which ought not to be used. I’m sure grandma will send more.
Love you forever, even if I have a limp because of—you know.
Elizabeth Bastos is a Baltimore freelance writer and mother of two, currently working on a book essays about the Venn diagram between anxiety and parenting. Her personal blog is Goody Bastos. Follow her @elizabethbastos.
Illustration: Christine Juneau