I was reminded this evening of an event that happened when I was four years of age. Jack A., my mother (whom will be referred to as Kim from this point forward), and myself were all having dinner at my grandparents home. I remember being asked a question, though I couldn’t tell you what it was and standing up in my chair and saying:
the way all young children do at one point or another. I’m not sure why I was throwing a tantrum though that’s the only thing that I can assume at this point in my life was what I was doing.
From out of nowhere came flying Jack A.’s hand and connecting with my face and nose. My grandmother was extremely proud of this china cabinet that sat parallel with the dinner table and I happened to be sitting in one of the chairs that was parallel with it. Back I flew, out of my chair, and into the china cabinet. I sat in the floor too stunned to realize what had just taken place. I didn’t even cry though my nose was broken and bleeding.
I can still hear my step father saying…
YOU WILL respond ‘Yes, Sir!; No, Sir!; Yes, Ma’am!; or No Ma’am!’. Now apologize to your grandmother and come finish your dinner.
I don’t remember the actual apology though I’m sure I did because I would remember if I didn’t. I wasn’t actually allowed to clean up and I do remember the fact that out of the seven or eight people that were at dinner that night, no one offered to clean me up.
The next day, I remember my mother throwing my clothes away because they had been too stained with blood to salvage. I still remember the metallic taste of my food that night and you better believe I ate every bite.
To this day, I will still address people in the manner of:
‘Yes, Sir!; No, Sir!; Yes, Ma’am!; or No Ma’am!’
I’ve even caught myself doing it with my children and for the life of me, can’t break such an ingrained habit. I wonder why?