When I delivered all nine pounds and one ounce of my beautiful Enzo Daniel I had a very clear plan to raise him as a pansy. He would be a soft spoken, peaceful, obedient, artsy fartsy, kitten of a boy. The formula I devised to reach this goal included a household ban on television, processed foods, battery operated toys, shouting, and graphic t-shirts. There would be excessive amounts of cuddling, singing, fairy tales, nature, line dried cloth diapers, breast feeding, finger paint, and nursery rhymes. I would swaddle him up, pop in an adorable binkey, and let him nap peacefully while I tidied up our bright and cozy little home so that he could receive all of this nurturing love in the perfect, non gender specific environment. Yes, I planned for everything. Everything, that is, except Enzo.
I delivered Enzo on a scorching July weekend (I had a plan for delivery too, HA!). Maybe the hospital hadn't planned on me because shortly after the miracle of childbirth was behind me it became painfully obvious that there wasn't a functioning shower for me to scrub the blood and puke and general funk, excuse me, the beauty and magic and empowerment off of myself. I also still looked about six months pregnant which was a shocking blow. Never mind all of that, I had my son and the adventure had begun.
Upon returning to said cozy little home (which was decorated with moving boxes everywhere because we had planned to buy a house but the sale fell through because of zoning or something, but never mind that too) I handed my not quite as tiny as expected bundle of hopes and dreams to my beloved husband and made my way upstairs to my long awaited shower. I massaged my scalp and breathed in the aroma my lavender shampoo when hark, what was this? Ariel had flung open the shower curtain and was shoving a tense, red infant who was emitting an earsplitting scream in my direction. Huh.
As time went on more and more of my dream crumbled. Enzo could not be set down. This meant no housekeeping, no pushing a carriage, no dealing with the fact that I still looked pregnant. Shortly before Enzo's birth Ariel had purchased himself a big screen t.v. as sort of a baby shower gift or something I couldn't understand. The result was this feeling that Jerry Seinfeld had a strong hand in raising my boy. The shocking economic shift from two incomes to one left Enzo's wardrobe to be decided by price tag rather than looks or quality. Breast feeding left me feeling like a prisoner sentenced to spend my life stuck to my couch and cloth diapers leaked in the night. I tried to carry on with the plan in spite of all this. Enzo still loved story books!
There was a moment though, when Enzo's Enzoness pierced through my fantasy entirely. We were at a neighbor's yard sale. I was rummaging through tables of dusty treasure when Enzo began beating me on the bottom. I guessed he had found his treasure. (Guessing was the best I could do because at eighteen months Enzo had invented a language that didn't even resemble English and it was all he would use). The treasure in his hands was a VHS copy of The Mighty Morphin Power Rangers Movie. And I knew then that raising this boy did not mean choosing who he was.
Enzo's passion for monsters, the super natural, science fiction, fantasy, super heroes, and a good brawl still is hard for me to swallow, but not as hard as it is for his teachers. Every year since he started school there has been something his teachers have called me trembling about. This year his teacher plainly told me that while he has never shown any physical aggression toward another student the things he says freaks the other kids out. Upon hearing this I tried to reclaim some of my old plan as Enzo resisted saying, "I only do what the other kids do!! They already call me a baby because you won't let me play M rated video games". Too bad Pal! The school sees every kid in this town and they feel YOU are too obsessed with gore. I'm taking it all away. I was wrong to allow cartoons, action figures, video games, comic books, and red #5. I'm sorry. I've failed you.
This morning I was folding laundry on my bedroom floor with Dorothy, who was unfolding it just as quickly. I could hear Enzo and Aston playing with stuffed animals the next room. Enzo was bellowing "THE COLOGNE-ISTS ARE COMING" over and over again during quite a commotion as frightened teddy bears were thrown about the room .
Finally I shouted to him, "Enzo, are you trying to say colonists?"
"Oh yeah, Ma," he replied, "We are learning about the Revolutionary War at school. We finished learning about the French and Indian War".
Too violent, eh? Aww screw it! I let him watch The Avengers (animated) after breakfast because I really can't win, and I'm tired of trying to.
And in other news, today is the eight anniversary of the night my sister, Mrs. Witherell, was ripped open to rescue the baby girl that was dying inside of her and her twin brother too (not what Alyssa had planned on) and she and her husband, Michael began their journey of surprises! Happy Birthday Savanna and Troy! The Joneses love you to bits!!!