By Abby Byrd of Little Miss Perfect
A preternaturally articulate toddler, who requested he be identified only as “Thor” has revealed the answer to an age-old research question of child development experts: Why do toddlers scream when placed on the laps of elderly relatives?
“It’s a bloody terrifying glimpse of the future,” stated Thor, who recently completely lost his shit when his mother lifted him up to put him on the lap of his wheelchair-bound great-grandmother at Shady Pines Nursing Care Center.
“First of all, the place smelled like mashed carrots, feces, and despair, which I remember distinctly from my fourth month of life,” Thor explained. “Then they wanted me to touch that sad, shriveled woman. It was too much. Her eyes were blank. She was supposed to know who we were, but she didn’t.”
Thor went on to say that his family was visiting only because they felt obligated, having declared his great-grandmother “the most obstinate human being on earth,” “spiteful,” and “vicious.”
“Apparently, she has piss in her veins,” said Thor. “I don’t know what that means, and I’m not sure if it’s catching, but I didn’t touch her just in case.”
After the visit, Thor’s mother told him, “Don’t be afraid. Everyone gets old.” While it was intended to be comforting, this statement caused Thor to throw himself to the ground and begin screaming again. He continued to be distressed even after she calmed him down a second time and said something eloquent about personal choice trumping genetic determinism and the fullness of life tempering the ineluctable march of time.
The toddler known as Thor reports that although he still plays with Legos, he spends most of his time dreading a visit to Shady Pines and anticipating a future in which he is physically and mentally crippled and completely alienated from other human beings.
About the Author
Abby Byrd is a teacher, a grammarian, and the poster mom for existential angst. Her work has appeared on Scary Mommy/Club Mid, In The Powder Room, BLUNTMoms, Mamalode, The Good Men Project, The Reject Pile, and The Big Jewel, as well as in two anthologies. She is a frequent contributor to MockMom. Follow her on Twitter, on Facebook, and at her blog, Little Miss Perfect.