Flipside: Little boy blue and white

By RUTHIE BLUM LEIBOWITZ
May 24, 2007 12:40

Mommy's crying again, but I'm not going in there no matter what, because it sounds like the bad kind. Like when the grocer tells her to pay the bill. Or when Daddy gets on her nerves.

4 minute read.



ruthie blum 88

ruthie blum 88. (photo credit: )

Mommy's crying again, but I'm not going in there no matter what, because it sounds like the bad kind. Like when the grocer tells her to pay the bill. Or when Daddy gets on her nerves. I'm safe when it's the other kind. Like when there's a "color red" warning and the sirens go off. And when the big booms come after. Then her crying's OK. That's when she hugs me hard, and wipes her wet cheeks all over my face. Like I'm king of the world or something. That's when she calls me an angel - no, she calls me her angel. Not like those other times. When I knock over things and they spill. Or break. Then, she gets plenty angry, all right. That's when she says "be careful," but it sounds more like yelling, even when she's quiet about it. That's when she huffs and puffs and gets out the bucket and the rags. That's when she starts mopping up all over the place. Which I can't figure out, to tell you the truth. Because one puddle of chocolate milk doesn't go so far. It pretty much stays in one spot. Unless it drips off the table. But that doesn't stop her from scrubbing everything else. And it's my fault, which doesn't help, that's for sure. I try to tell her I didn't do it on purpose, but she can't hear me when she gets all mean and snarly. Which is why I got so scared when the window smashed onto my bed and woke me up. "I didn't do it," I screamed. But she already knew that, which I could tell by the way she came running in to pick me up - with my blanket and everything. Like I was her little baby again. And she was bawling and kissing me all over the place and asking me if I was hurt. Not like that day when I kicked my brother's soccer ball into the mirror. Man, I didn't know which noise was louder - the glass smashing into smithereens or Mommy's shouting. I was sure that was going to be the end of me. "How many times do I have to tell you not to play with a ball in the house?" she exploded. And let me tell you, she looked just like a dragon when she said that. I thought fire was going to come out of her mouth along with the smoke that was coming out of her nose. When she got out the broom, I was sure she was going to clobber me with it. But she didn't do that. She never does, but my brother told me to watch out, since "there's always a first time." What she did was even worse. She just keep sweeping and sobbing, sobbing and sweeping, until she got a big blister on her finger. So I brought her a band-aid. I thought maybe that would make it better. And she took it, but she didn't even smile. SO, YOU can imagine that's it's been pretty great around here lately with all those Kassams. I get to stay at home with the good Mommy all day. She even lets me eat cookies on the couch while I watch my programs, and she doesn't care about the crumbs. She cries a lot, but it's the OK kind. "Don't worry," I tell her, and she pats my head. It makes me feel big and strong and special. Like my brother. Not that he doesn't get into plenty of his own trouble. But most of the time, he's got Daddy to worry about. Because he doesn't spill stuff so much. He's got what Daddy calls "an attitude," which gets him punished. But he's not like me. He's not afraid of anything. Not even of the Kassams. Not even of Daddy. Which makes Daddy crazy. He tries to lock him in the house. "Don't be a wise guy," Daddy warns him whenever he wants to slip out to see the cameras. That's how he got on TV. It was so cool. They asked him what it was like living in Sderot. He told them that we had no place else to go and said it was hutzpa that nobody cared. He was like a movie star. They even said his name and everything. And he wasn't shy at all. But, like I said, my big brother isn't afraid of anything. Not even of Daddy. Maybe that's because Daddy was pretty proud seeing him on TV - even though he didn't say so. Or maybe that's because he's 13. Maybe I'll be brave like that after my bar mitzva, too. IN THE meantime, I'm sort of happy with the way things are. What with Mommy forgetting about bedtime and all. She used to pray to God a lot. You know, asking him for favors and stuff. Now she prays to a man called Gaydamak to get us out of Sderot. I don't know why she thinks this guy can hear her through the walls. He must have super-powers. Like Spider-Man. I wouldn't know. My brother was supposed to take me to see the movie, but we can't go on account of the missiles. And there's no point making a fuss over it. There are some things you have to learn not to nag about. That's what my brother said. And hearing Mommy cry the bad way tonight, well, I'm no dummy either, no matter what my brother thinks. And if there's one thing I know better than he does it's that Mommy may be mad like she was before, but now she has it in for other people, not us. Not my brother. Not Daddy. And not me. Even when I deserve it. I wet the bed three times this week, and all she did was curse out a man named Olmert. ruthie@jpost.com


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