War Criminals, Terrorists and Cheap Torture
It was raining, and hard. We sat in the truck, me in the front, he in the back.
Still screaming. He in his car seat, me in my head.
It had been going on since we left the house. He wanted something. I insisted he ask nicely for it. He wouldn’t ask, so I didn’t give.
And here we sit.
Big brother, shocked by the outrage spewing from the right hand seat, sat quietly on the ride to school. I reached back and took his hand, squeezing. It’s ok – we have to ignore him. You used to do this to, you know.
Oh yes. Do you ever get what you want by screaming?
At stoplights, the car shook with his brother’s rage. I leaned back and pulled off the sneakers, trying to mitigate the damage to the back of the driver’s seat and armrest.
He threw his socks at me in return.
I dropped the older one off and parked the car. The storm continued both outside, and in. I tried to listen to the radio – anything to keep my own rage in check. I’m in over my head, Lord. I’m in over my head.
Voice calm, and steady. Whenever you’re finished we can go inside. I’ll let you carry the umbrella, how’s that sound?
The storm continued, both inside, and out.
And then, without much warning, with a hiccouph, it was past.
Are you finished?
Shall we go inside?
The sun came out and the storm was gone – at least for him. I’m still shaking. He smiled, delightedly, toting blue umbrella, waving merrily out the window as I left him in class.
He’s alright. A soft-spoken apology as we said goodbye: I sorry mama, I sorry I screamed at you.
Do you ever get what you want by screaming?
The storm is over, at least for him.
I need therapy. Or a hot shower. Or, better yet – a day at a spa.
This could be a great new form of cheap torture for war criminals. Lock ‘em in a room with an angry three year old. You’ll have them begging for mercy in no time flat.