At the grand age of twenty-four, I became a mother to my elder son. He looked so much like my husband that I should have known that he was trouble. But I was fooled by the tiny packaging.
When he was not even quite four years old, we had a debate on the way to the babysitters, who only lived about three minutes from our house. It all started with his comment, “Mommy bulls are mean, did ya know it? But Daddy bulls are nice. You can ride ’em.”
Now, I had so many objections to that statement, I barely knew where to begin. I mean, really, Mommy bulls are mean? Because they’re mommies? Never mind that they don’t exist. It’s the idea. Then, you can ride Daddy bulls? Who said? Not while I have breath left in my body. Huh uh.
But I started with what would seem to be the least controversial. “Elder Son, there are no such things as Mommy bulls. Bulls are boys and can’t be Mommies.”
“Mommy, you’re messing up my words. I don’t want ya messing up my words. Listen. I saw Mommy bulls.”
“Elder, honey, no, you didn’t. There aren’t any such things as Mommy bulls.”
He paused, then, in a rather scandalized voice, asked, “You mean you’ve never seen ’em?”
And so I lost. To a three-year-old.
It was a bad sign.