Saturday, April 25, 2009

You Kids Are Driving Me Crazy

I am sure by now you have heard the story of the attorney in New York who put her kids out on the side of the road. I wrote this story some time ago and posted it on my other blog. I thought it was appropriate to bring it back now. If you don’t know what I’m talking about you can go here and watch the news report. Mom arrested for booting kids out of car
Mom arrested for booting kids out of car
Mom Arrested.

I am almost certain that my mother was crazy. I mean certifiable, card carrying, one flew over the cuckoo’s nest crazy. How do I know this? I know this because my siblings and I made her that way. We would run around like wild Indians acting like the King and Queens of Sheba and drive her insane.

My mother would utter these almost not quite sentences. What did ? Who did? Don’t you? Where are your? These would be followed by a garble of words that would sound very much like Martian or Greek. She would tell us over and over again. “Stop it RIGHT THIS VERY MINUTE! I MEAN IT!” Did we listen? Oh, no, we didn’t listen. We could hear her. We knew it meant almost certain death or at least being grounded from your favorite toy or person. Did this change anything? Absolutely not, we would continue doing whatever we were not supposed to be doing. We would smile at her and giggle a little. Then it would happen. She would make the final proclamation “I AM NOT JOKING!” This would be followed by the words that would announce that she would now be throwing a grand mal screaming Meme hissy fit. "YOU DAMN KIDS ARE DRIVING ME CRAZY!"

When my mother would fall into this state of temporary insanity she would say and do almost anything to get our attention. One fine November day back in 1960 something my mother had all three of us precious sweet spawn of Satan’s children in the car. I am not sure where we had been or where we were going what I do remember is my brother aggravating my sister and me from the front seat. He would turn around from his shotgun position in the front and poke and pick and needle my sister and me. My brother ALWAYS rode shotgun, unless my Dad was there. I did not grow up in a democracy. We would in turn yell and scream, hit and punch, whine and cry whatever it took to make him stop. Only it didn’t make him stop it only urged him to continue his harassment.

My mother warned us. She tried to tell us that there was bad stuff coming. She would keep one eye on the road, one hand on the wheel and she would slap at us in the back seat. She declared in her most severe mommy voice several times “Do not make me pull this car over!” Did we heed the warnings? Of course we did not heed her warnings, we were invincible. We were young stupid. We were fearless idiots. We were fearless right up until my mother made the statement that set the world on edge. “YOU DAMN KIDS ARE DRIVING ME CRAZY!” Then she did the unthinkable, the unimaginable. She did exactly what she had been threatening. She pulled the car over. She opened the door and told her three sweet hellion devil children to get out on the side of the road. She did not even exit the vehicle to make sure we had gotten out of the car she just pulled over. Looked at us with the look of a crazed sociopath and said “GET OUT OF THE DAMN CAR NOW!”

I being the youngest just knew this didn’t apply to me. Surely she didn’t mean me not sweet little innocent me. I was but a mere baby, heck I was the baby. Surely Mother wouldn’t put her dear sweet youngest mephistophelian child on the side of the road to freeze or get hit by an errant meteor. My older brother and sister made perfect sense I mean they were the ones that started it. They were the ones who delighted in making me run crying to my mother. They forced me to tattle on them. I knew my mother would let me stay in the warm car with her. Then she turned that cold deranged stare on me and said “You two Queen of Sheba. GET OUT!”
She shut the door and put her foot into that accelerator like Ricky Bobby with the tail end of his NASCAR on fire. All we saw was the glow of Thunderbird Taillights fading into the golden November afternoon.

I wasn’t afraid was terrified in fact I think I may have peed a little and I began to console my brother and sister cry uncontrollably. We immediately started blaming each other for our situation grabbed each other’s hands and began to walk home while my brother continued to needle, harass and aggravate and my sister continued to beat the crap out of him. We walked the whole way home. I’m not sure how far it really is probably a couple of miles but when your 8 it feels like it is 400 miles. I cried and whined and my sister and brother really did make sure I was alright.

I knew we had finally done it. We had done what my mother always said we would do. Only this time she had really gone over the edge. She was certifiable, she was cuckoo, and she had made a trip to loony town. She had gone crazy and didn’t even take us with her.

We made it home, but she wasn’t there. As we walked up the drive to our house she came driving down the street. We could see her in the car. Beehive piled high, cigarette smoke wafting out the window, her cat eye sunglasses on her face and her expression was stone cold. She got out of the car and we all ran over and hugged her and cried and apologized for being little ass-hats. She hugged us back and told us to go get cleaned up for supper.

Years later when she and I sat chatting over coffee and slot machines she told me the truth of that day. She told me how she was on her last nerve working 80 hours a week, taking care of the three of us kids and my dad. She told me how she remembered she hadn’t slept in days and the bickering and arguing finally just got to her. She said she couldn’t think of any other way to get our attention and let us know she was serious but put us out. She said that she circled the block and made sure we got started in the right direction then kept enough distance to make sure we were alright followed us home. She said she kept her glasses on so we couldn't see that she had been crying.

It worked. It made me pay attention. I knew anytime she said “Don’t make me pull this car over!” She wasn’t joking. She would pull this car over and she would make us pay attention.


Staci said...

Gladys, I mean Queen of Sheba, you are the funniest person alive!

Tatersmama said...

Lawdy... which one of us hasn't done this, or at least wanted to?

The link was broken, but I'm going to go googling and see if I can find it.

The Texas Woman said...

Oh, dear me.

The Texas Woman

Kathy said...

I don't think I've heard "ass hat" since I heard one of my three brothers used the term (in reference to another sibling) in, oh, let's say, 1967. What a great story.

Bob said...

Wow, you're right! We did have the same mother.

I bet you never knew Mom had another family of eight kids living on Van Buren Street and that she drove a '54 Nash -- which would explain why she was so stressed. (I mean stressed from the other kids, not the Nash.)

Suzy said...

I think we all had the same mother and or father. My mother would say, "Who do you think you are, the Queen of Sheba?" Then she'd take a yardstick and chase us with it, trying to swat our legs which always made us laugh and her angrier.

Jean Martha said...

You have an award over on my blog...I'd never leave you on the side of the road! ;)

modernemama said...

It's called teaching your children a valuable life lesson.

Toad said...

You have won a major award. It must be from Italy. It's fragile.

Thank you for making my day.

lagirl said...

My husband tells a similiar story and he says it taught him a great lesson; one which he still remembers to this very day.

terri said...

Your momma was a smart woman with a big, big heart!