Why isn’t this enough

Posted by

I want you to show me why this isn’t enough.”

They’ve been in the kitchen for a long time. Two cartoons worth at least. Mommy’s voice had that funny little wiggle in it that meant she was about to ugly cry again. She does that a lot now.

Mommy bought the pretty paper last week. She said she was going to put it on the walls in the kitchen. I was surprised when Daddy showed up to help. I think Mommy was surprised too, but kinda happy, at first. Daddy hasn’t been home much lately. That makes Mommy ugly cry too.

It started out okay. They didn’t really talk much, but they were using their nice words… ‘thank you” and “please.” Then Daddy got mad because Mommy wasn’t doing something right, and he kept telling her that it was all wrong.

I thought the paper looked really pretty, but he said it was all crooked or that Mommy needed to use more glue. He said a bunch more things that didn’t make sense too, and I could tell Mommy was getting upset. She scrunches up her face funny when she’s sad.

Mommy started crying and Daddy started yelling. I was scared. They were talking about stuff I didn’t understand.

Daddy was slamming the rolls of paper around and Mommy was trying to make him be quiet.

I just couldn’t stand it any more, I walked into the kitchen, afraid to say anything, but afraid not to.

“Stop it! You two sound like you hate each other!” I was crying hard, that hiccupy crying that you can’t stop no matter how much you try.

Daddy took a step towards me, his face all screwed up and red. I’ve never seen him that mad before.

“You, shut up!” He had raised a paint brush, still dripping with white goo.

Mommy stepped between us, her back to me. Looking over her shoulder she shooed me back into the living room.

“I want you to show me why this isn’t enough,” she said. She was facing Daddy and was almost too quiet for me to hear.

I may only be six, but I don’t think they’re talking about the kitchen any more. I want to know why we’re not enough for Daddy too.

Peer challenge

For the IndieInk Writing Challenge this week, femmefauxpas challenged me with “I want you to show me why this isn’t enough.” and I challenged Michael with “‘Rhode Island is neither a road nor an island… discuss’ Mike Myers in SNL skit ‘Coffee Talk with Linda Richman'”

9 comments

  1. Such a well-written piece. And so full of sadness. My favorite part: I want you to show me why this isn’t enough,” she said. She was facing Daddy and was almost too quiet for me to hear.

    I may only be six, but I don’t think they’re talking about the kitchen any more. I want to know why we’re not enough for Daddy too.”

    Like

  2. This seems most appropriate in light of the band back together post you did the other day. The little girl here reminds me of myself at that age, only she’s a little less self aware. (I was this weird cross of naive and brutally alert).

    Like

  3. Mine divorced before I knew them married, but the tension, bad words and talking about each other to friends was just as bad. I felt the pain here because I’ve been there.
    In today’s open book (blog) society, I feel worse than ever for kids of divorce.

    Like

  4. wow…I assumed this was just another piece of your terrific fiction until I saw the tags at the end.

    Such a horrible experience for a child to go through, at any age. Definitely makes you think of things differently.

    Like

  5. This post actually got to me in a way that I could feel the 6-year-old’s pain. You managed to elicit an extremely strong emotional reaction from someone who has practiced not being so emotional. Well written!

    Like

  6. So few consider the view of the child when all of this kind of stuff goes on. This is so well done. I wonder if some parent is going to read this and maybe change the path of conflict, a little, so the child is a bit less affected. I know it makes ME think.

    Like

    1. That I can still remember this particular fight of my parents’ more than 40 years later, I can safely say kids can be traumatized more than adults think they can. If this does make someone stop and think, then my job is done.

      Tara R.

      Like

Join the discussion...

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s