The various ways in which I have ruined my toddler's life / by Vanessa Fiola

**The next 13 days I'll be posting 500 words a day (more or less) as part of a creative writing challenge. You can join the FB group here.**


Pointed to the hawk flying overhead and mistakenly suggested that his spirit animal might be a hawk. My damaged eardrums report that his spirit animal is not, in fact, a hawk; it is a garbage truck. 

Refused his insistence on purple ice cream for dinner. He threatened to run away, a claim he makes with alarming frequency these days. I watched as he got on his Radio Flyer trike and shuffled furiously off toward the mean streets of our couch.

Drank brown bottle kombucha during pregnancy and yes, I asked my midwife first, and yes, she said it was fine. Genetically passed along my tendency to be defensive.

Hid the iPad after a study I read said that kids who watch too much on the iPad turn into obese, aggressive malcontents. I refused to cede, and he threw his brown rice at me. He had impressive aim.

Would not let him drive my car. Felt vindicated when he couldn’t explain how he was planning on reaching the gas pedal. As an olive branch, I let him honk the horn.

Pried his Mac-n-cheese-encrusted, dirt-ridden, ink pen-stained fire truck tee shirt from his 30-pound body before school, like the monster that I am.

Also did not let him chase down a fire truck in the middle of the street.

Told him he was being such an asshole. In fairness I said "tiny asshole," so it's kind of like the diminutive. 

Ignored his repeated pleas to eat Comet (the non-toxic kind). He did not note the distinction, though this is not why I declined. 

Obsessively worried about his eighteen-month-long hunger strike, agreeing with even the check-out lady that yes, he looks small. Possibly gave him a complex.

Made him go to bed every single night.

Flew out of town for work for the majority of every week, for almost four months. This one is serious because it took two months after I stopped traveling before he stopped ignoring me.