A bellow commences, shrieks of horror surround me, and the quiet ambiance has swiftly gone astray. Soon, time will mean nothing. In these next 12 hours all that will occupy the mind is survival, sanity, and the obscure knowledge that it must come to an end at some point.
I am the canvas that has been coloured on one too many times. I am the one who stands idly by while being battered in outbreaks of a violent tantrum. I am the one who can remember but never reminisce with another living being.
I am the bedroom walls of a three-year-old.
This is my story:
When the open window shows nothing but dark, this is my solitude. I dream of better days in these hours of night. I sometimes wonder where the woman went who I once encompassed, she was wonderful. Covering me in beautiful paintings and washing me regularly. She never would make me endure the ghastly episodes of what I deal with today.
Daybreak is upon me now, the shadows of a rising sun shows up prudently and I fear what today will bring. The girl opens one eye and looks around. … She must be plotting over what torture methods she will use today. The tacks inserted into me are beginning to sting, and I doubt if this ‘blanket fort’ will ever be taken down. The weight is desperately burdening. I so badly want to let it go. But I cannot, I have seen how the girl acts when something does not go her way. It is much too risky as she often takes the frustration out on me.
As she waddles towards the door I sigh relief. But before she is totally out of range, I drop the pivotal push pin that holds up the majority of the fort. It falls and with it falls my hopes of having a peaceful day. Soon the woman will enter and begin puncturing me once again with pins, nails and anything else to shut the kid up before having a tantrum.
It starts — she sees it fall out of her corner eye. Immediately the beating begins while simultaneously screaming for who she and the boy call Mama. The woman enters and torture ensues. As Mama sullies my façade with pin and nail holes, she doesn’t seem to notice the girl removing a mucous-like substance from her nostrils and smearing the stringy affliction all over me.
What have I done in my life to warrant this mockery?
Finally she is done, and I believe that I will be given the gift of a few hours of peace, as they usually reside in the living room for the morning hours of the day. That is when I hear the woman tell the boy that he and his sister will be inhabiting her room for the morning as she has company coming over. Selfish, horrid Mama.
The two small children get settled in by deciding to ‘decorate’ me with the childish scribblings of a wax-based device. Mama later scrubs it off with an abrasive mixture of toxic cleaner that leaves yet another scar on my once prime paint.
I flash back to a time when Monet and Van Gogh hung lovingly off me. It was a better time. A kinder time.
These children have no regard for my feelings. Currently they throw toys at my base to merely see which ones will bounce back. All the while the mother laughs blissfully with her comrades while drinking coffee, I imagine. I loathe her.
They leave and I wonder how long I will receive solitude for.
The girl returns shortly after. She attempts to open the doll house to play but appears to be having difficulties. Her screams of frustration are almost more than I can take. Mama refuses to help the kid and it is exasperating. She tells her she is busy. Why woman, why? Just help your child, so she will shut up! You are not the one stuck here having to watch this atrocity.
Bedtime is now upon us, only a half hour more of this juvenile misery and the night will be mine. I wait patiently through some Dr. Seuss literature, then gaze into the hallway bathroom where the girl brushes her teeth. Soon, so very soon I will get my dreams back. Mama gives the girl a goodnight kiss.
The lights go out, and again I revel in the memories of fresh paint, beautiful panel hangings and the calm contour of a life lived so many moons ago. The hope to regain this existence lives on, and in some distant future I believe that I will once more know the love of the finer things. One day.
Lindsay Brown is a Sylvan Lake mother of two and freelance columnist.