I am pleased to say that I have never found myself in the midst of a girl-on-girl (or girl-on-boy for that matter) fist fight. The idea was completely foreign to me until junior high, when I witnessed my first hair-pulling, cat-scratching, bee-ach-calling girly-fight between two newcomers to my ultra-preppy more-like-a-private-school public school. I spent the entirety of my high school years in the absence of such public scorn. I mean, NO ONE fought. Not even the hormone-raging gents. At least, not while I was standing there.
I managed to emerge from my behavioral school social worker position unscathed. In a place where fighting was daily. No, hourly. Kids against kids, kids against staff. Flying punches, flying chairs, flying feces. No joke. In a place where assault was the norm, I managed to avoid, or at least run like a chicken away from certain bodily harm. Ode to Garfield Park Academy. How I fear thee. How I miss thee in some strange, oddly charmed way.
I lived in the city. Baltimore City. Had a few rocks thrown at me while I was pushing Baby Milo in his stroller. The rocks missed us, and I can still say with certain honesty that it was my favorite place to live. Bodymore, Murderland.
Becoming a Mommy has lowered my defenses. The chubby cheeks, the cherub-like faces, they are so enchanting they weaken the senses. My reaction time is crap. Those rosy cheeks and drooly chins are so enticing, they trick me into a false sense of safety. Drunk on baby-smell, I am a walking target for his wrath.
Oliver. My sweet, easygoing little fat-cube. The ferocity with which he feels life right now is frightening. In the bathtub, he is a maniac. Nearly impossible to contain, barely allowing me to prevent him from drowning. He flaps his arms frantically like a trapped sparrow while kicking and writhing and screeching in a noise I can only imagine is the exact sound a pterodactyl once made. And he is happy. Eye-gouging-ly happy. Love is acted out through a deep gaze, a piercing look that lasts just… a… little… too… long…. OOOOOUUUUUCHH!
@$#&%^$%$^*&^%#@@$%!!!! His fist closes like a vice around the skin on my cheek, or neck, or ear, or hair, even my lower lip sometimes. LIKE A VICE! It takes the jaws of life to extract his tiny, fat inhumanly strong grip from my flesh while trying to save a scrap of skin to cover the rest of my face. Aw, he is so sweet at this age.
But really, he is.
What’s that you say? You like the bags under my eyes? Why thank you! I’ve been working on these puppies ALL night.
Just sayin’, beware all ye pacifists. Watch out for the babes.
P.s. Milo, not to be outdone by his prehistoric attack-brother, is now sleeping in a toddler bed and saying stuff like, “Shhhh… I hear somethin’. There’s a bear in the heater.”