I’m Going to Exploit You….So Hard!


My brother, and my son

I was wrestling with my son the other day, which we do quite often. I had to tell him not to be so rough, as I’m not as young as I used to be, and he is quite tall now.

He doesn’t perceive me as ‘an older woman.’ He always responds, in my claims of “being too old,” “You’re not old!”

He showed me his fist and claimed, “watch it or you’ll never breast-feed again!” I cracked up and said, “I hope not! I’m 54 years old and you were the last one for me!”

It reminded me of the time I was on a flight home. I was sitting on the flight attendant jumpseat in the front of the plane. I was watching a woman at the window seat. She had a little toddler, barely able to walk and she was playing with her. Her husband, (I assumed) was interacting with the baby. The little girl was wobbly standing at the legs, and would hand them her toys. As the man would fumble to hold onto the small items. He seemed to be about 75 or 80. The woman seemed about late 60’s early 70’s.

I thought it was so sweet to watch the pride they had playing with her.  The woman was so affectionate. Every few minutes she was kissing or caressing the baby. I thought, they must be either taking their granddaughter to Florida on vacation, or they were returning her to her to her parents, after her visit to grandma and grandpa’s house.

As I watched them, the woman lifted the toddler to her lap. At which point she pulled open her wrap around dress, and began nursing the baby! I was in shock, as I looked around, to see if anyone else noticed this. It was the most bizarre scene I’ve ever encountered on a plane. Perhaps even off of a plane!

Yes, there were others who had noticed this very disturbing picture. I saw the eyes of the people directly across from them. When the flight attendant, which had been working up front finished her service, I began to share the story with her. “What??! Are you kidding me?”  It was clear that she had no idea about their story and she was also in shock. Then she added to the story, “Well, her husband is blind, you know.” “Oh my gosh!” I said, I noticed that he seemed to be overly involved in the tactile senses. He almost seemed to be discovering his world, as the toddler handed him, her toys. Now I understand, that part. But I’ve got to get the story from this woman.”

I waited and I finally had my chance; here she is standing in line to change the baby. And as all the airlines have designed it, the flight attendant jumpseat, is smack dab in front of the lav.

She finally was in front of me, and I commented, “You’re baby is so beautiful, How old is she?” “Oh, thank you,” she said. She’s 18 months. We’re taking her down to the Key’s on vacation.” ” As my mind started to click off the months of gestation, added to the age, I still couldn’t make this work, in my head. “Oh,” I said. “They’re so much fun when they’re this age. And so easy to travel with them. I remember when my daughter was her age. It seems they grown up so fast.

Then she asked, “Oh, how old is your daughter now?” “She’s 23,” I said. “Oh my goodness! You look too young to have a daughter that age!” She commented. Now, I froze. In my mouth were the words, but I couldn’t return this compliment. I already know that the woman had this baby at an age, most of us are entering retirement, and I still couldn’t believe this. Especially to see her nursing. I thought, perhaps she was a wet-nurse.

Now, she changed her baby and returned to her seat, only to return with her husband and baby. Now she had to guide him into the bathroom, and I could only wonder in amazement. “How strange is this life of hers? She must care for her baby, at the same time as her husband. And in a short time, the baby will be responsible for caring for her own parents.

Now, I was thinking of all of this, and I realized what a blessing it is that I have my son. Even though I thought I was pretty late in the game with him. I was 42, when I had him. And yes, he was planned. It’s just that he took his time coming to me. Now, he seems to be witty beyond his years. But had I been any older, I may not be able to enjoy all of his antics. Nor would I be able to participate in his constant energy-zapping,  activities.

As we were wrestling again, he said, “I’m going to exploit you so hard!” This spoken, right after I threatened to spank him. I laughed so hard, as it was clear he had no idea, what the word, exploit really meant. I was still laughing when, he must have realized that he used the word in the wrong context, and he asked, “What does that mean?” I realized now, that he must think it means to spank, or discipline someone.

I explained, “Well, it’s taking advantage of someone, for your own gain. Just like using someone like your uncles disabilities, to gain attention for someone,  with a selfish motive.I had reminded him, that this did actually happen to my brother, with many people, before he had come to live with us.

At this point, my son looked at him and said, “Kevin, I bet those people said, “I’m going to exploit you so hard, you can’t walk!” Then you probably said, “Ow, that hurt!”

Now I was laughing to the point of tears. He kept saying, “Kevin! I”m going to exploit you! Later, I was in the pool with him, and  he tried to act like he was going to spank me. “I’m going to exploit your butt!” He said. “Oh, believe me, I wanted to do that most of my life, but Kim Kardashian, beat me to it!” “What?” He still didn’t get it, and I sure wasn’t going to explain.

Then he noticed a small bruise on my arm. “What is that?” He asked. “Oh,” I said, “That’s from you. When you exploited me.” Now, I know, he has changed the meaning of an overused word, and I think his definition, is far more meaningful. So, I think I”m going to exploit him!