When Not To Kill Your Child

Here is my middle child, Gretta. She looks like a peach, doesn’t she?


She is a wild girl with the voice of a 50-year smoker, and I am not exaggerating. Perhaps she’ll be a bass in the high school choir someday.

She loves to get riled up and be aggressive, and I don’t know why I often forget this important fact. Maybe it’s her low, raspy voice that lulls me to temporary amnesia, but I always pay for it in the end.

Yesterday Gretta beautifully colored a wooden Halloween mask in the shape of a bat that covers most of the face except for the eyes. She’d hold it up to her face and scare her younger sister, which was fun and amused them both (win-win). But then it was my turn to be roped into the fun.

Raspy Gretta asked, “Mommy, hold it up to your face and scare me!”

Sure, why not?

I must be amazing at scaring people, because as I held the wooden mask to my face, Gretta screamed and slammed her hand into the mask.

I’m not sure what obscenity I chose at the time, but rest assured it was vulgar and unstoppable.

Once I staunched the bleeding and found myself some ice, I began my Silent Treatment. I’m sorry, but I just don’t like to speak with aggressors.

But Gretta didn’t give a shit, of course. When her victim didn’t respond to the twelve dozen “MOMMY”s, Gretta chose another tactic:


I made the mistake of making eye contact with her, and she used this to her advantage. With a parental expression and her smoker’s voice, she said to me, “I think you owe me an apology.”

At this point in my tale I ask you to re-read the title of this post.



One thought on “When Not To Kill Your Child

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