This past weekend, mommy and daddy took me to a candy store and bought me an awesome, gigantic, blue lollipop. This was on the same day I learned to ride my two-wheeler with training wheels and they let me crash into a curb without a helmet on. It’s likely that there is a connection here that I’m suppose to ignore. Anyway, because everyone spent too much time drinking margaritas at lunch before we actually got to the candy store, I fell asleep in the car about ten licks in. Mommy said she had to peel it off my wind pants when we got home because I was out like a corpse. The point is, she saved it for me, and I’ve been angling to finish that thing for the last four days. Every time I ask, it seems that I am one time out in too deep, or two sarcastic back-talks over the limit. So today, I tucked the real Gusman in my back pocket and turned on the Super-Son charm. I behaved all morning–I even whispered in mommy’s ear that I love her sooooo much while we were cuddling during Peppa Pig–and the only obstacle left was the lunch barter.
I’ve mentioned the Toddler Barter before. Generically speaking, this is what we do when we don’t want to comply 100% with an order from the parental unit. And let’s face it, there is a TON of shit that they ask me to do that I prefer not to. For example, I am asked to put The Rat Baby’s diaper in the Diaper Genie. Dammit! That thing stinks like twenty-six pounds of gorilla shit; I would almost rather eat the fucking diaper than flip the lid of that infested crap-can. Or, I am asked to clean up all 367 matchbox cars on the living room floor by myself and put them one-by-one back into the three-story case I dumped them out of. I have never and will never do this. I insist that it’s too hard and I can’t do it until either mom or dad step on one car too many, drop an f-bomb, and get down on all fours to do it themselves. I will help, of course, by telling them that they aren’t putting the trucks in the right slots, that they go at the end! You get my point. They say jump, I sit on the floor and cross my arms. Enter The Baba Barter. This started long ago. First, let me inform you that the “baba” is my infantile term for my sippee cup of milk. It’s been my baba since I was one, it will be my baba until I am making out with Korean babe in the parking lot of a Burger King. You must understand, I. Love. My. Milk. And when I ask 436 times a day for a baba, I am told no about 430 times. So I barter. Half! Just a half a baba! No? How about a quarter? Just a quarter baba and no more! Please? And since I’ve mastered the Baba Barter, the Bites Barter has come into play.
This is when I have my eye on the prize–dessert–and I can’t be bothered with eating the actual meal. So I will negotiate. Here is today’s lunch-time barter for that awesome blue lollipop for dessert:
Me: Can I have my sucker now?
Mommy: You barely touched your grilled cheese. No.
Me: How about two bites?
Mommy: Seven bites.
Me (anguished): Noooooooo! That’s too many!
Mommy (holding up seven fingers, and counting them off): No it’s not, see? One two three four five six seven, and that’s it, then your done.
Me (always falling for the rapidly diminishing finger ploy): Fine, seven bites.
So I start to take my little, bitty bites. And then the bitch starts changing the rules. That bite’s not big enough! That’s a girl bite, take a big boy bite. Nope, that one doesn’t count either. Before I know it, I’m fifteen bites in to a seven bite barter. And when I finish the official seven bites that my Nazi mother has approved, she throws some shit out about my untouched apple slices. Oh no, you had to just eat seven bites of your grilled cheeeeese. Now you have to eat four bites of your apples. And I’m like, bitch! I ate four whole fucking grilled cheese sandwiches! Apples were NOT in the agreement! She’s a cheater. She’s a cheater and a liar and she sucks because she gets away with it just because she’s taller and she calls herself the boss. So, seething on the inside, I oblige her on the apples, because she has just pulled the awesome blue lollipop from its hiding place in the cupboard to figure eight it in front of me like a goddam fairy wand. I can almost taste the blue raspberry deliciousness. I tell her I want it and she says she wants a million dollars, so I make a weird noise with my mouth like I have regurgitated the actual cash from my loins and I say okay! and put my right hand out palm up to hand her her million dollars. She cocks her head to one side, slightly shaking it, and smiles a tight, little, fake smile. It’s incredible that I am told all day to use my imagination when I want to play with friends, or have a beer, or eat some cake, but the one time it is implied that mommy use hers, she just looks at me like I have a third testicle hanging out of my nose.
I finish the apples and get the lollipop. It is pure ecstasy. It is worth the painstaking process of the Bite Barter. And even if mommy cheats, I still feel like I win in the end as she is scrubbing the blue off of every inch of my face and hands.