I walked away from him to grab a diaper from the changing table, but I stopped in my tracks and considered not changing him. I wondered to myself if diaper rashes can lead to something greater, ultimately being a cause of death, but in the middle of my deceitfulness, he let out a piercing cry that nearly shattered my ear drums. At that moment, something inside of me snapped. While he screamed, my anger screamed louder. The walls were talking, reminding me of each and every thing I’ve done for such an ungrateful bastard. They told me I deserve silence, so I walked back toward the crib slowly, fuming and submerged in wrath, and imagined throwing him out of the window. But that would take the fun out of doing the job myself. I reached into his crib and picked him up. His face was two shades lighter than the blood I imagine will spew out of him once I‘m finished, tears streamed out of his big brown eyes faster than little ants in roaming in their colony, and I waited to feel something. I waited to feel anything for him that wasn’t hatred or resentment. As my body grew hot and his screams got louder, I knew that feeling would never come.
“SHUT UP!” I yelled directly into his face.
For a moment, he stopped. His eyes wide open and his mouth shut, he looked at me in amazement possibly trying to figure out what just occurred. I drew my face back from him, hoping the problem had been solved, but it was short-lived. He wriggled his little body in my hold, swatting his hands at me and screaming. He’s always screaming. I violently threw him back in his crib, groaning and grabbing my hair tightly as tears rolled down my face. Two big babies just sitting in a room crying. Except, one baby was bigger and badder and refused to be outdone. Feeling like new strength had resurrected itself inside of me, I eerily smiled, deciding that I would end this once and for all. I walked to the kitchen, leaving his relentless cries behind, and filled a pitcher up with scalding hot water. When I got back to the room, I placed the pitcher of water on the night table. His cries were weakening, but my ears were still ringing from his previous laments. I peered at him from over the crib railing, my face cold and still, wondering if I was still angry. Again, I searched his face for a cute little nose, eyes that could make me weak, or a mouth that I wanted to receive kisses from, but nothing. I need him to disappear. That’s what would make me love him.
Instead of putting him through my personal torture chamber, I thought maybe if I asked nicely, he’d stop and I wouldn’t want to kill him. I smiled sweetly, wiped his tears, and stroked his face gently.
“Baby, do you want to stop crying for mommy?” I awaited a miracle, but it never came. I could tell he was getting angrier by the way he tried to slap my hand away, scratching me in the process. A slew of obscenities came out of my mouth and next thing I knew, my hands were wrapped around his neck.
“I was trying to be nice, you ungrateful little shit.”
My hands got tighter with each passing second, the color being drained from his face little by little, and then he started turning blue. I could feel him trying to get out of my grasp, but he was getting weaker. His writhing was slowing down, his eyes slowly closing, and finally, I had my silence. I released him from my chokehold and watched in amusement as he gasped for air. His wailing continued shortly after, but in the meantime, I fetched the pitcher of water. His chest rose and fell quickly and heavily. He tried to catch his breath, but between the tears and the lack of air in his lungs, he might just end up killing himself before I have to. For a brief moment, I thought I felt a twinge of pain, causing me to take a step back and ponder my actions, but then I realized it wasn’t pain. It was excitement. I grabbed the pitcher of water and poured it over him. He turned his face quickly, but with his mouth open, there wasn’t much he could to avoid the splash. Steam rose up and I could hear him try trying to cry out in pain, but it came out as a forceful gargle. Completely soaked in his blue onesie, he rolled around the crib looking for an escape, but each time he got to his knees, I pushed him down. Blinded by droplets of water in his eyes, he felt his way around the crib in search of his pacifier, in search of something to save him. I found the pacifier and pushed it further away, laughing at the sight of him looking hopeless. I looked at the clock perched up on the lima bean green wall of his nursery and saw that Chad was due home at any moment. I was running out of time and needed to end it once and for all. I took one last look at him, then reached to pick him up. Even though I harmed him, he still reached for me. His eyes told a sorrowful tale that could liquefy cement, and all he wanted was a hug. His little frown trembled from fear and defeat, he extended his arms out to me saying, “Mama..ma..mama.” If only he knew how much I hated being called that.
I laid him down on the changing table behind his crib, and I began to choke him, once again. This time, he watched me intently as I tried to bring him to an early death. He didn’t wriggle as much, nor did he try to fight me. He seemed to be accepting defeat. Either that, or I’d weakened him. I allowed my hands to strengthen around his tiny neck, strangling him and attempting to rob him of his last breathe. Veins began to appear in each part of his body, but mostly his face. As I held him down tighter and longer than the last time, I finally began to see his life vanishing. I could see it escaping his small frame, but really, it was all in his eyes. But then, I heard the door squeak. Out of fear and shock, I released him immediately and turned to the door to see Chad staring at our baby. My body began to shake, mortified that I’d been caught, scared that I’d have to explain, and upset that I allowed myself to get caught. I slowly distanced myself from the table and tried to read his face, but he stood there emotionless.
I didn’t know what to say. Honey, I tried to kill our kid?
With his hands in his pockets, he walked over to the baby and picked him up. Chad rocked him back and forth, rubbed his head softly and told him everything would be okay. I stood there frozen in my place, my mouth slightly ajar in amazement as he slowly gave our child back his life. He kissed his forehead and then the turned to face me.
With his face still lacking any sort of emotion, anything telling me that he thought I was a monster, he continued to cradle the baby in his arms. He looked into our baby’s eyes, furrowed his brow, then looked into mine, and asked,
“Do you need a hand with this?”