Hormones. Kids have them. Both genders. Which was a real disappointment, let me tell you, because I was pretty invested in the sexist idea that I’d only have to deal with wild mood swings in my girl children. But no. Boys have hormones, too. And we often see the effects way, way earlier than we expect.
I remember sitting around with other mothers of 9-year-old boys several years ago. Not to be dramatic, but we were shocky and confused as we stumbled out of the smoldering wreck with minor lacerations and ash on our faces, struggling for air. We all sat there a little pale with eyes too wide, stumbling over our words, most of which came out, “The ??” Swear to God, it was like trying to parent Honey Badger, except maybe regressive Honey Badger with bonus tantrum material.
Well, we’ve been riding the kid hormone train for several years now — not to mention the fact that I’ve been trapped on it for nearly 30 years myself — and I like to think we know how to recognize the signs when we’ve got a new Honey Badger on board.
Screaming WHY DO YOU ALL KEEP BREATHING AT ME? YOU ARE DOING IT ON PURPOSE and GRRAAAHHHHH! Check.
You know what helps when Honey Badger’s on the train?
Well, technically time helps, but, as Anne Lamott says, that’s “a very hostile and aggressive position” and we might hope for bad things to happen to someone who tells us that things get better with time. Time? Who has time to wait for time? Honey Badger is going to kill us all.
The worst part for the new Honey Badger is, of course, the fact that the child doesn’t know she’s possessed. The rational being is buried too deep. It may be years before the rational being is able to build enough trust with Honey Badger to whisper, “Just go to your room, Honey Badger. Killing your pillow does less damage.” Frankly, my rational being isn’t always successful at this, and it’s been working on that trust thing for years.
So what do we do in the meantime? I have a new idea.
Our latest Honey Badger did something cool this week. She expressed herself. With screaming, yes. With raging, yes. With crying, yes. But also with art. Art! Which is — get this — appropriate and helpful. (Take that, Time.) And I must say, I feel that this particular work of art gets right to the heart of the matter.
So here’s my proposal: Let us take Angery Dragon and make her into flags. Flags we can fly as a warning to all who come near. And flags we fly in honor of everyone who fights the good fight despite our internal Honey Badger. Flags of mercy and flags of respect.
Also, t-shirts. I want mine in wrath black with Angery Dragon the color of molten lava. I plan to wear it 18 days per month.
It Takes One to Know One
If Honey Badger just boarded your train, you might also want to read
I love you. You’re not alone. Knock it off.
Got a Honey Badger story to share?
DO IT. Honey Badger don’t care, but I do.
Also, what color of Angery Dragon shirt do you want?