The Happy Homemaker: "Breffis for Bradley", "Pierpont's Trip" and "Pierpont's Tantrum"

posted Aug 24, 2013, 5:49 AM by Terrence Moss   [ updated Oct 9, 2013, 2:53 AM ]

I inadvertently started a new story series on my blog that began with a rather amusing but improbable imagining of me as a husband and father. So I’ve decided to start posting them here three at a time…

“Breffis for Bradley”

It's Saturday morning. So much for mine and Bradley's "opportunity". Pierpont had stayed over at a friend's house, but Bradley fell asleep on the couch last night. Maybe I was too subtle when I told him to come upstairs when he was ready.

I walk down the stairs into the living room and sit down on the floor with my elbow on the couch and stare. Bradley's really cute when he's asleep. He starts off on his stomach but winds up in the fetal position using his hands as a pillow on top of the actual pillow. I study his face as if it's going to tell me the secrets of his world or show me what he's dreaming as if it's a white screen (make your jokes) and there's a projector on the opposite wall. 

After about ten minutes his eyes open. My smiling face and tilted head rested in the palm of my hand startle him a bit.

"This isn't too freaky for you is it?" I ask. Then I laugh, kiss him and climb on top of him. He closes his eyes and tries to go back to sleep but I ask him what he wants for breakfast.

"Surprise me," he answers without opening his eyes.

That means he wants something I don't generally make. So cereal is out. "How about fried potatoes and a quiche with crumbled chicken apple sausage, onions, red peppers and green peppers?"

Bradley thinks about this for a moment. "Um...No. Not that -- mostly because of the 'onions, red peppers and green peppers'. And then because I'm not sure what quiche is."

I look at him quizzically. He and I have been together for eight years and I've never introduced him to a quiche? "It's basically breakfast pie --."

"Shhhhh," he interjects with his eyes still closed. "I've heard of it, but..."

I pause for a moment to wait for the rest of this explanation. "But what?"

"I never knew what it was."

"I love that you don't know what quiche is."

Bradley opens his eyes and looks at me. He finally shifts his body around so that we're face-to-face. It was getting awkward and difficult trying to balance myself on his already-thin frame when he's resting on his side. "There are a few foods like that," he continues. "Like creme brulee. And tiramisu. No clue what they are."

I'm neither French nor Italian but I can't imagine in eight years of relationshipping that we never had or thought about hadding either dessert. "That is terribly cute. I love when you reveal stuff like that to me. It makes me want to marry you all over again."

A smirk makes its way across Bradley's face. "Now we all know that is not why..."

"Well, last night that it could have been why..."

"I was on my way up, but we have this comfortable 'death couch' where you fall asleep within ten minutes of inactivity -- no matter what could be awaiting for you upstairs."

"Would you like to replace me with the couch?"

"Nah. I like your lumps better."

"Nice save. So what say have creme brulee for breakfast today and then tiramisu for breakfast tomorrow?"


“Pierpont’s Trip”           

I was out running errands when my phone started to vibrate. I looked at the screen. The number was from Pierpont's school.

"Hello?" I said tentatively.

"Hello, Mr. Moss?"

"This is me/he."

"This is Nurse Kirkwood, the nurse at your son Pierpont's school."

"Is he...okay?" I asked with mild concern.

"Oh, he's fine. But I did want to call and let you know that he tripped today."

"He tripped?"

"Yes. He was running around the playground at recess and lost his balance."

I waited a moment for the rest of the story. "And then?"

"And then...that's about it. There's no 'and then'."

"So he...just...tripped?"

"Correct. But it's school policy for me to call and let you know."

"Did he hurt himself?"

"No."

"So why do I need to know?"

"In the event of an injury that occurs off school grounds that could be attributed to an occurrence on school grounds, we have to notify the parents."

"Of what?"

"Of the occurrence."

"But nothing happened."

"It's just a precaution, Mr. Moss."

"How would you like it if I called you every time Pierpont tripped here at home. He's a bit of a klutz. He gets it from me."

"It's just our policy, Mr. Moss."

"Should I also have you all call me every time he sneezes, coughs or does both at the same time -- he's able to do that, you know. It's the strangest thing."

"I'm just doing my job, Mr. Moss."

"I understand that, but you have to admit this is ridiculous."

Nurse Kirkwood sighs. "A lot of parents would disagree with you."

"A lot of parents are morons."

"I can't speak to that, Mr. Moss."

"That's okay, I will on your behalf because I know that's what you're thinking -- perhaps of me as well."

"Perhaps," she replies with a hint of a smirk in her voice. "Please give my regards to Mr. Hollinger."

"I will. Thank you for you calling even though you didn't need to."

"You're very welcome. Have a great afternoon, Mr. Moss."

"You do the same, Nurse Kirkwood."

We both hung up. I sat for a moment and chuckled as I realized that she was going to be on pick-up duty that afternoon. "I'll have to bring her some cookies -- again," I said to myself.


“Pierpont’s Tantrum” 

"Go up to your room until I figure out what to do with you," I said sternly to Pierpont as he stomped into the house and up the stairs to his bedroom. "And don't you slam that door."

"I hate you!" Pierpont shouted at me.

"Good. I hate you, too," I retorted flatly.

Pierpont stopped at the top of the stairs and turned around. "I like Daddy better!"

"That makes two of us. Now go."

Pierpont stomped his way to his room.

"Don't let me hear that door slam!" I repeated.

To my surprise, he didn't slam the door. Sometimes he does, sometimes he doesn't. Pierpont doesn't tantrum very often because why would he? I'm the best father EVER. But when he does, he makes me want to send him back to the pound.

I don't exactly know what caused this one. He's been a bit cranky of late but I don't know why. I thought he might have been a bit stopped up but I discovered the trick to that years ago in an episode of Two and a Half Men -- which we're essentially the gay version of (unless you're of the opine that Alan Harper is really gay, as has been joked about for ten years).

I decided to wait until Bradley got home -- not because I couldn't handle the situation on my own but because he likes me to save some of the parenting fun for him. I took care of the last tantrum, so now it's Bradley's turn.

Bradley and I take two different approaches to handling Pierpont's tantrums: I opt to be the smart ass, which makes Pierpont even madder. And the madder he gets, the more I laugh. I don't find the tantrums particularly funny, but I use the smart assitude and the laughter as a diversion tactic from the tantrumming.

Bradley prefers a more traditional approach. He doesn't spank Pierpont, but he does punish him -- and rather creatively. I've seen him give Pierpont books to hold out with his arms extended until Pierpont apologizes. Sometimes he'll stoop down to Pierpont's level and stare him in the eye without saying a word until Pierpont begs him to stop. Another time Bradley had him bend at the knees and hold the position while he read a chapter of a book he was reading -- or it looked like he was going to cry.

We never seek to make him cry.

Understanding our differing approaches, neither Bradley nor I interfere with how the other discipline's Pierpont -- which is why we take turns. The only commonality is that we end each punishment by giving Pierpont a hug and telling him that we love him even if he has these occasional tantrums. We also tell him that sometimes he gets upset and while it's understandable to so, there are better ways to communicate those feelings than by having a temper tantrum.

Bradley did something new this time. Pierpont HATES cauliflower -- so that's what Bradley served him for dinner. He boiled the florets to soften them up for him, but didn't allow any seasoning.

HARSH.

Don't tell Bradley, but when he wasn't looking, I sprinkled on some Lowry's salt.