When I was quite young and very frustrated with Mother’s parenting skills or lack thereof, I would hold my breath. Now, as you might guess, sometimes she did not notice. Something about being in a drug or alcohol induced daze. But when she did notice that I was holding my breath, she went crazy (or, I guess, crazier). Yelling, screaming. bellowing for me to stop.
I paid little attention to her and continued holding my breath. I guess I felt there was something I could finally control and since I was so used to tuning her out I found I kind of liked it.
One day, Mother decided to try a new tactic. Before I went into my breath-holding routine, she got a big glass of water filled to the brim. Mother was laying in wait for me and could not wait to use her new-found “cure.” I decided to hold my breath and blam! My face was hit with giant splash after splash of cold water and I ended up soaked from head to toe. Then Mother’s maniacal laughter began. Oh how proud she was of her little trick.
I was shocked and infuriated by her poor judgment. How could a bully of a parent do this to a young child? It just showed me that if you were in charge, you could do most anything. So along with the strait jacket, the dog harness and the switches used on my legs, add nearly drowning to her resume!
I never did hold my breath again, so mother always said that I learned my lesson. Not true. I didn’t hold my breath again because I was done practicing for the summer Olympics and the swimming trials. Ha! Ha! As it turned out, I could hold my breath under water for the length of the pool and back. I guess I could have been another Esther Williams!