I have discovered a valuable piece of information. I can’t do anything right, ever. And Leona does everything right, all the time.
Clearly, I spend most of my days cohabitating with a baby gorilla who is at this very moment dipping her entire hand in her peach yogurt and squishing her fingers together to make a slippery noshing sound. In less than two minutes, she will condition her curly brown locks with these repulsive hands. Then, she will grunt like a rhino and kick her legs against her high chair to signify she is finished with this primitive morning ritual. Yet, mommy thinks she is the brightest, most intelligent little sea monkey in all the land. And I’ve accepted this. I mean, I also cohabitate with a mother who thinks that cocktail, singular, means roughly the same thing as four pint-sized vodka diets and half a bottle of white wine. As these “quirks ” about mommy settle in as part of my reality, I come to expect less extraordinary things from her.
My point is, I don’t understand why Leona is hailed for things I get time-outs and face-flicks for. I know I’ve pondered this with you all before, but it’s getting drastically worse, and I feel the whole damned situation needs immediate attention. Yesterday, Leona emptied all the brown grocery bags from one larger bag by the trash cans and spread them all out on the kitchen floor. Then she laid in them and flailed her arms and legs, giggling. Mommy cooed at her and took a picture. I came over to get in on the fun, and the moment I laid down and started kicking my legs next to The Rat, mommy picked her up and told me to knock it off before someone got hurt. What the fuck? I told her I just wanted to play with Leona and the bags, and she said put them back where they belong, please. I sat there, dubious and flabbergasted. NOW, she snapped, annoyed. I went from just wanting to play with my baby sister to picking up a mess that I didn’t even fucking make. I hate cleaning my own shit up, let alone Princess Fucking Rat Brat’s shit. Undoubtedly, this was an injustice.
There are many examples of this in my everyday life. During bath time, Leona is encouraged to splash and play and laugh and be loud. She and mommy giggle and get one another wet. If I yell, I am shushed. If I splash, I am barely given a warning before I am removed from the tub with swift, brute force–like, when your socket asks your shoulder, where the fuck you going, man?–and I am standing in my room soaking wet, shivering, with my pajamas in a pile at my feet, wondering what the fuck just happened. If Leona throws something in the house, mommy tells her what a good girl she is, and asks her if she’s going to be mommy’s little softball star? If I throw something in the house, I get either a time-out or some sort of degrading verbal assault, like, Hey Einstein, you know we don’t throw in the house. Do it again and I’ll throw YOU in the trunk of the car for an hour. Talk about mixed signals. I’m either too smart (Gus, you know better, dammit!) or too stupid (Use your fricken head, will you?) to know which rules to follow and when, what applies to me and what doesn’t, or what mommy just made up for the hell of it because she is a grouchy, hung over, asshole who has a penchant for grossly abusing her power. It’s no wonder I spend a lot of time on that hairy, fucking time-out rug. If my boundaries were as clear as mommy’s favorite beverage, this would hardly be an issue.
I don’t know. Is this a vagina thing? Is it a 13-month old baby thing? Where does the prejudice end? How am I supposed to live in an environment where the only thing I know how to do right is poop in the toilet and lean over the table when I eat my Rice Krispies? That’s it, this is my life? A hokey pokey dance over eggshells? Damnation if I do, damnation if I don’t? Incongruity and inequality? Sexism, agism, alcoholism? I want a new fucking hand, dealer–what in the hell did the Gusman do to you?
Whatever. I’m emotional today. Thanks for listening. I am pulling for a garage sale next month in the hopes that Rat Baby will end up in the ten-cent box. Or get stolen by a fat man in a chicken suit and sold to a Japanese museum, just like Woody almost did. I think Leona would love Tokyo. Wait a minute, I have this backwards. I’m the one who would love Tokyo. Me and a little geisha princess, some California rolls, and a samurai sword with my name engraved in it? Hell yes. That’s the hand I wanted, dealer. Miles away from the hairy rug, the hag, and the yogurt bomber? Sweet land of liberty, it’s settled. MY ASS is going in that ten cent box next month. Bring it on, chicken man.
Disclaimer #1: This fantasy is a result of my lazy mother putting me in front of the T.V. too much.
Disclaimer #2: It is my contractual obligation with mommy to inform you that while I feel that my time-outs, tongue-lashings and ear-flicks are unfair and unwarranted most of the time, there are still some–okay, LOTS–of occasions when I deserve a baseball bat to the head. That said, I still think my life is one, giant kiddie pool of floating turds.