parenting

Book of Bulmash, chapter 149

Book of Bulmash, chapter 149

empty kid's bed.jpg
  1. Behold the empty bed of the nine-year-old child! Look, and see the glee this absence hath bestowed in the heart of this boy's mother.
  2. The boy had ignored the radio alarm designed to wake him. He slumbered despite the family dog's whine to be let out for bodily relief.
  3. But the boy could not ignore the sound of his mother breathing,
  4. For she had crawled into her son's bed and laid her head directly next to his own, so as to weaponize the breath of life.
  5. As the air left her nostrils, it roared inside the semi-conscious boy's ear like the sound of a thousand vengeful bees pursuing their prey.
  6. Of course, the child turned his head away from the sound. But this solution was short-lived,
  7. For his mother simply began breathing heavily in the other, newly-exposed ear.
  8. The child squirmed and grunted in protest, but to no avail.
  9. At last the boy cried, "Begone, mother!
  10. "I am awake and shall rise from my bed anon! Only thou must remove thyself and allow me to exit!" 
  11. "But my son," the mother responded, "thou hast plenty of room to exit, if thou climbest to the foot of thy bed.
  12. "There and only there doth an escape route wait for thee."
  13. Thereupon the mother resumed wielding her exhalation as a method of driving the child out of bed.
  14. The boy leapt out of his cozy nest, desperate to flee his mother.
  15. And once he retreated to the silence of the bathroom, the mother was wracked with a fit of giggles that buoyed her throughout the remaining morning routine.

Book of Bulmash, chapter 101

Book of Bulmash, chapter 101

Illustration by The Boy, inspired by "Least I Could Do: Beginnings" comic

Illustration by The Boy, inspired by "Least I Could Do: Beginnings" comic

  1. After recovering from her youngest child's latest tomfoolery, the mother cast her thoughts back to a time nearly lost in the mists of memory:
  2. To the days in which she parented only one child.
  3. Then were the days of tenderness and learning, every milestone a first for mother and babe.
  4. The first baby was full of smiles and musical burblings, and he snuggled unto his mother like a champ.
  5. Yet the mother found herself seized by anxiety.
  6. For she delighted so deeply in her child that she feared she would burden him with her affection, yea, to the point of smothering.
  7. The mother and father discussed the possibility of bringing another babe into the home.
  8. For it seemed to them that parenting was, all things considered, not THAT hard.
  9. Soon the new babe arrived, an infant who soon grew robust in size and noise.
  10. Then the parents did learn a hard lesson, that two children are far more challenging than one,
  11. And also that a second child may reveal a will strong enough to try the patience of ten adults.
  12. So after yet another difficult bedtime, the mother soothed her frayed nerves with the fruit of the vine and the cocoa bean.
  13. Suddenly, she found herself thunderstruck with the irony of her children's unconquerable wills, in the face of her futile attempts at discipline.
  14. "Verily," the mother murmured, "I have done this thing unto myself."

Book of Bulmash, chapter 103

Book of Bulmash, chapter 103

calm breakfast.jpg
  1. The mother peered into her coffee cup, trying to name the peculiar experience in which she found herself.
  2. Had her soul left her body without her notice? Had she awoken to life in another universe?
  3. Was the Apocalypse truly upon the family?
  4. For the nine year-old had arisen from his bed with very little resistance that dawn.
  5. The child recounted to his mother that he had resisted the temptation to sneak downstairs to the kitchen at midnight;
  6. He had consumed a snack, but not one forbidden to him at that hour;
  7. And further, the child announced, "I refrained from eating my snack upstairs in my bed --- nay, I ate at the kitchen table as I should.
  8. "And then I cleaned up after my snack and returned to my bed to sleep."
  9. The mother's eyes scanned the kitchen, but found no evidence to disprove the child's tale.
  10. With some effort, she closed her slack jaw.
  11. Meanwhile, the boy proceeded to consume his breakfast and morning dietary supplementation.
  12. Then a great and nearly-incomprehensible revelation dawned in the mother's mind:
  13. The child was Following Directions... without being goaded into this behavior by maternal rage and frustration.
  14. The family was witnessing a morning ritual that would nourish all, body and soul.
  15. The mother made sure to thank her son with genuine gratitude, bestowing a kiss to the forehead.
  16. Then she returned to her caffeine and thanked the Almighty for what was surely a hallucination that would vanish with the rising sun.