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Who would tease a baby?

Our youngest son was around 2 years old. My husband’s family was at our house on a Sunday afternoon. I offered refreshments. My father in law had his usual scotch. (I remember talk about comparing Johnnie Walker Red & Johnnie Walker Black.) He liked it straight and in a tumbler. Mother refused even water or a can of ginger ale, because if it was from my house, it might have been not Kosher, so nothing for her, ever.

Baby and I were trying toilet training. He indicated he was willing to try the potty and I took him. Before long, success!

Baby was delighted with himself and was enjoying my applause & praise. He couldn’t wait to run out to the others & tell them all that he was a Big Boy.

He had been wearing rompers, one of these little one-piece jumper things that button on the shoulders. He ran out to the living room before I got him buttoned up. Half of his little suit was hanging down, but he was feeling so proud & rushing out for more praise.

My father in law shamed him, almost to the point of becoming abusive. He mocked the two year old for his clothes hanging down like a girl's dress & started calling him “Girly Boy.” It wasn’t just once. He kept repeating it until he made a 24 month old child cry. And he made me angry as Hell!

No one did anything. Everyone just sat there.

I was furious. I took the glass of scotch from his hand and told him that no one who makes my child cry drinks my scotch! I looked around the room ans saw every mouth hanging open. No one had ever talked to him like this before.

They looked like they were watching a tennis match, from me to father-in-law, to see what would happen next.

But there was no more verbal drama. Just silence. No one moved. He stayed and stared at me. And then he and his wife rose & left. Not a word, just got up and walked out the door.

Decades later, one of the brothers said that he thinks his dad liked me for that day, for being tough.

I don’t know and frankly don’t care.

But I do know that, for the next holiday, my husband bought his father a bottle of Johnnie Walker Scotch And that his father refused it. He said that he drinks bourbon.

Never drank scotch.


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