Wednesday, August 1, 2007

just one of the reasons my mother didn't try to stop me when i told her i was running away from home

One afternoon when I got home from nursery school, my mother told me that the next weekend, she was going to take me to the circus.

I started to cry. "No! No! No circus! No circus! No circus!" My voice got louder and shriller. "No circus! I will never! I don't like any circus!" When I ran out of words, I lay down on the floor and screamed and kicked.

Tantrums are tiring, and after a while, the back of my throat started to hurt. I got up and went to look for my mother. I found her in the living room, reading a magazine. "Mommy," I asked, "what's a circus?"

14 comments:

slouching mom said...

You are right. You and Ben -- two peas in a pod.

I love it. And it makes me like you more than I already do! Which is tough, really.

Megan said...

I think you were prescient. Carnies and mangy animals? No thanks.

missing_one said...

This is sooo something my son would do. If I want to take him anywhere, I would have to say, "Would you like to go to the circus?" It has to be a question so that he feels a little control. (even if he doesn't know what it is) If he says "no" initially, I'll wait for the next day and ask him again. Sometimes he has to warm up to a new idea. By the time it is actually time to go to the circus, he usually will go willingly, being that it was all his idea, right?
It's funny that you remember this, how old were you? 2 1/2?

niobe said...

missing one: I must have been about 3. But I doubt I really remember it. It's just one of those family stories that's been told to me so many times that I imagine that I can remember it.

slouching mom: Now you're making me blush. What a nice thing to say.

Zee said...

I think maybe you just didn't like the word "circus." I felt that way about certain words as a kid (in fact I still do). They just scared or upset me--even though I had no clue what they meant. When, as a toddler, I got wind of the fact that we were having a horrible substance called "chicken cacciatore" for dinner, I pitched a hissy fit and refused to eat it because I hated "cacciatore." So for years afterward I didn't know that "that chicken in tomato sauce you like so much" and "cacciatore" were the same thing. Go figure.

niobe said...

Zee: I'm exactly the same way. Certain words always set my teeth on edge.* I'm relieved to hear that I'm not the only one.




*Not sure if "circus" was one of them, but it's certainly possible.

ms. G said...

Thanks for morning laugh, Niobe! My mother tended to only tell me things in advance if they were "bad" like, we are going to the doctor/dentist, you have to stay with Ms. nasty, etc. So, if my mom had done that with something I didn't know about, I would have just assumed I didn't want to go.

Ruby said...

That is so funny! Sounds like your mom knew your antics well.

Lori said...

I love that she was in the living room, reading a magazine, during your tirade!

I was a chronic preschool runaway, so I sympathize. My mother still has tucked in my baby book one of my "running away notes". It is a scrap of paper with the words "IM GOWEN AWA" written in pencil.

niobe said...

Lori: LOL That's wonderful that your mother saved that note.

thirtysomething said...

Heh. Since these tirades are so a part of normal daily life with my little ones, I am smiling. Grinning ear to ear actually. I am so the type of Mom that does exactly what your mother did. Priceless. ;)

jo(e) said...

I'm laughing. I can just picture the whole scene.

The word circus does sound kind of sinister, come to think of it.

LeRoy Dissing said...

I sometimes wonder if childhood experiences express themselves similarly in adulthood...naw! :)

Christine said...

circus can just like doctor to a 3 year old i guess!