Things I Put My Parents Through: As Told By the Culprit

It’s the finale and I’m so excited! It has been an awesome summer blog series and it is only fitting to end the series with a little humor. This week’s post is from someone who isn’t a parent, but if he were, oooh the stories he’d share. This week, Drake Hill, a dear friend from my college days, is sharing his version of Mommy Moments from the child’s perspective. If you know Drake personally, you can only imagine the faces, voice inflections and hand gestures he’d make if he were telling these stories in person.

The Beginning

I was the African-American version of Calvin and Hobbes.
I remember my father saying, “The minute I was married, I had a wife, three kids, a dog, a mortgage, a car payment, and my mother living upstairs.”
I took one look around and said, “Good Lord! I thought it took longer than this.” 

My father married my mother, Ruth, who had already had three junior/high school-aged boys. Welcome to the instant family. Little did they know that the only hellion they would ever raise was on his way in a couple of years.

[Cue shark attack suspense music] Look! Up in the sky! It’s a bird! It’s a plane! It’s…D-R-A-K-E
I wasted no time bringing excitement and adventure into the family. When I was only six months old, I was severely burned on my face and chest by hot coffee. There are two versions of this event:

Just a few seconds before the accident, I told Mother that the cup of coffee was too close to the edge of the table. I made an attempt to push it back.

Mother claims I was being a busy body. My lighting fast hands succeeded in grasping the table-cloth and pulling the cup of coffee over the edge.
Whose side are you on? Six months old and I’m learning the true meaning of the word HOT!  Mother struggled to keep clothes off my skin while yelling for Elmer, (also known as Pops.)  Upon hearing my mother’s frantic screams, Pops didn’t run down the steps. He jumped down three separate flights of stairs barefooted and ended up with severely bruised heels.

After my lengthy hospital stay, scarring was completely eliminated from my facial area. The only reminder I have is scarring on my chest area, and the story of my father, Superman.  I guess it is my fault, huh? My brothers gave him that nickname, I didn’t. Tears of laughter always flow when this story is told. Oh, so you think you are a man now, huh?

Visions of Grandeur

I decided it was time to enter manhood by standing up to Pops and blurting out the most moronic statement I’ve ever formed my lips to say:
“We can take this outside!”

Television was nothing compared to this kind of entertainment.

Oh, we took it outside, alright! Pops grabbed a 2×4 and I grabbed a piece of wood out of desperation. I did my best to block the deadly blows.  We treated our next door neighbors to a live version of Kung Fu Theater.  (Pops learned a lot from watching old Kung Fu movies.) Guess whose side Mother was on?

Big Girls Don’t Lie

The telephone was constantly ringing in our house. There were times when I did not feel like talking. Mother was on some us girls stick together mentality and never looked out for me when I told her to tell some girl I was not home. Her reply? “YOU tell them you’re not home!” She didn’t realize it didn’t work that way. 

Now, Pops? He didn’t lie. His tactic was to offer the female caller the technical details only. For example:
Caller: Hello, is Drake there?
Pops: May I ask who is calling?
Caller: It’s (insert name here).

Pops would repeat the name aloud leading me to make throat slashing signs. This means NO! Tell her I’m not home! 
An exasperated sigh later, Pops would literally turn his back to me and tell the caller, “Sweetheart, I don’t see him right now. When I do see him, I’ll tell him you called.” Pops would then turn around (now he sees me) and say, “So and so called.”
Smooth, huh? Now that’s teamwork! Mother would just shake her head without saying a word.

Respect my wishes

 I announced to my parents that I was going to get my ear pierced. Pop quickly excused himself (chicken) and mother’s only words were, “I wish you wouldn’t.” 

She didn’t say no. 

I proceeded to get my left ear pierced. Mother saw my pierced ear, grabbed my newly pierced ear, and I screamed like a banshee.  OUCH!
In my frantic defense, she still had my ear, I reminded her that she did NOT say I couldn’t get my ear pierced. In her dynamic offense, she taught me how to read between the lines.
“Drake! You did not RESPECT my wishes!” 

Hook, Line, and Sinker: There’s a Sucker Born Every Minute

I lost my high school ring at the beginning of my senior year. I lied the entire year by saying I had the ring in my possession, only to have my parents give it back to me as a graduation present. They had it the entire time. Full story here:

My Other Exploits

  • Running around in my walker, I flipped down the basement stairs and landed upright on all four wheels—giggling. (Another heart attack for Pops?)
    I was told that he called me that lil (every name but the child of God) that day.
  • I got a fishhook stuck in my ear and had to get it removed in the ER. Pop’s only question was HOW?
  • I took gerbils to my 4th grade class only to have one of them bite me because I interrupted their “grown up” time. I was in the 4th grade! Who knew?
    The gerbils escaped only to be discovered the last day of school looking like mutant squirrels. Pops had to catch them. We released them into the woods.

Many times I’ve had the curse, “I hope you have children who act just like you,” bestowed upon me. Maybe that’s why I am not yet a father, but I am an Uncle who loves children. I always appreciate and value the stories I hear other parents live to tell, and the lessons learned through the experiences.  I’m also the wise one when it comes to giving advice to my niece.  My usual response is, “That’s not going to work. I tried it already.”

Drake, I can picture you and your dad “duking it out.” A 2×4? LOL, Lol and lol!

Thanks for reading everyone. Stop by later this week and read The -ers of Motherhood, written by yours truly.

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