Thursday, September 30, 2010

I Cup

Last night, someone on Twitter commented that the book "Daddy Drinks Because You Cry" has the dumbest title ever. I replied, "Dumb title? You clearly don't have kids."

Then I went upstairs to put my kids to bed. While Connor was getting tucked in, Chloe was doing everything possible to put off bedtime. "Do you want to see me do a crazy dance?" she procrastinated. "No, I want to see you pee!" I retorted. I had a cup in my hand at the time. "I cup, Chloe!" I laughed, making Chip laugh as well.

"Connor, spell 'I cup'!" I giddily called out. He was wary, but he did it. "I-C-U-P," he offered, looking at us quizzically. Chip and I laughed, because this is a great juvenile joke that we were excited to share with our juveniles. "What?" he asked. Then it sunk in. "Ooooh. . ." he slowly realized. I chuckled and said, "Chloe! I cup! Now come on to bed!" as Chip giggled some more.

As he got Chloe out of the bathroom, I went in to kiss Connor, who was now sobbing. I couldn't understand the problem. "You made fun of me!" he exclaimed, and continued crying. I did a big sigh (TM Junie B Jones) and explained how jokes work, how he actually helped tell the joke, how no one thought anything bad of him, etc. But he wouldn't let up. That hurt his feelings, and he refused to be consoled. As this was the second night in a row he went to bed in tears, I was at the end of my patience with this little song and dance. I told him I was sorry that his feelings were hurt, but the best I could offer him was my promise that he wasn't made to look foolish and I meant him no harm. Goodnight.

Besides, I was in a hurry to get into Chloe's room, where she too was sobbing into her pillow. "You made fun of my name!" she wailed, and I couldn't help it- I started laughing the helpless laughter of someone who has clearly passed over the border into Crazytown. Chloe was PISSED. So I quickly apologized and assured her that all I did was comment on how I could see her pee. She was not consoled. I started from the beginning, explaining the whole joke to her, and insisting that we were only laughing because the joke is silly, not because she (or Connor) had been played for a fool. But she didn't care. I was still the biggest asshole of all time, mocking my children and making them feel bad about themselves like so many Mommy Dearests before me.

As is our custom, I went to give Connor an extra hug before giving Chloe an extra hug. (A story for another time.) Turns out, Connor was still crying! As I helped him blow his nose, he whined, "I just don't like how that made me feel." I did another big sigh and assured him once more that I sincerely meant no ill will, and that I hoped he could get some sleep. Then I went back to Chloe to blow her sobbing nose and recite the same platitudes.

Then I came downstairs and poured myself a drink.


Stacey Greenberg said...

i love how you brought this one around--missing my zine today. :)

i also love that chip immediately knew what joke you were making. (i needed connor to spell it out for me.)

Melissa said...

Oh good god. Just one?