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I Got Punched in the Face with a Clementine

A Toddler's Tale of a Blind Mama Mishap

By Sirena Carroll - The Blind Single MomPublished 4 months ago 3 min read
(Photo supplied by author.) One-year-old Gabriel's attention is captured entirely by the task of peeling a clementine. He wears a blue long-sleeved shirt adorned with a green dinosaur, and his hair is playfully tousled.

All I wanted was my seventeenth apple of the day. It wasn't a big ask.

"Apple!" I demanded, pointing to the top of the fridge.

"Clementine," you corrected.

I knew you couldn't see my look of consternation. I hope you felt it, though. I mean, seriously? My most advanced words to date were "hello" and sissy's name. You thought I'd parrot back a three-syllable linguistic monster when I had a perfectly acceptable alternative?

I'm one. I might be an expert on the only way to build a structurally ambiguous Lego tower and what constitutes proper breakfast-grapes, cheese, Fruit Loops, and bubble gum ice cream pops. I know how to switch the settings on my talking thermometer (it's not my fault you don't speak French.) My superiority in these areas doesn't mean I'm well-versed in your ridiculously convoluted language.

"Apple," I insisted. If you can use "totes" as an adverb, I can call a clementine an apple. I assure you, my mistake's far less offensive.

You gave in and retrieved the smallest clementine from the bag. Yeah, I saw that. I'm the sighted one in this relationship, remember? I notice and judge you mercilessly when you're stingy with the fruit.

This is where the offenses began. First, you peeled the clementine. You taught me how to peel them yesterday, and then you deprived me of an opportunity to shower the carpet with citrus skins. In some countries, that's a violation of fundamental human rights.

After you stripped me of autonomy, you reached toward me with the fruit in your hand. In what I can only assume was an act of heartless disregard, you bopped me right in the nose with the thing! It didn't hurt, but really. Are you blind or-


I didn't cry because I'm used to your blunders by now. At twenty-two months, I've withstood many a blind mama moment. You've never assaulted me with produce before today (lawsuit pending), though you have bumped into me plenty.

I made a noise of surprise, pointed at you, and issued a firm "No!"

I don't know why you found my correction funny. As an unpaid intern, you ought to receive constructive criticism with more aplomb. Instead, you let out your real laugh. It's where your teeth show and your eyes crinkle at the corners. You might get wrinkles faster laughing like that, but you're pretty when you do. Your fake laugh looks like your loaded diaper face; it's more terrifying than anything I could make.

Even as I gobbled down the clementine slices, I engaged you in conversation. You might occasionally try stuffing fruit up my nose, topple me over when I'm communing with my inner ninja, and go so far as to put me in a safety harness in public.

But you've also let me stick my feet in your face every night since my birth.

Your tactile parenting approach makes me feel loved whenever you trail me through the park with a hand on my shoulder. You didn't even bite back when I used my teeth in protest during the Great Swing Debacle of 2023. I could so have made it across the swing's path in time.

You know what? Never mind. I will need you to sign an NDA regarding that entire incident.

I'm saying you love me when I tried drinking the all-purpose cleaner. You cherished me even when I helped put away folded laundry by overturning the basket. You haven't sold me to the circus yet.

You can't see me. My lawyer is of the opinion that is, in fact, why you bounced an orange off my face.

It's all right, mama. Like I said earlier. I see you.


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About the Creator

Sirena Carroll - The Blind Single Mom

Killing Misconceptions, One Story At A Time

I'm Sirena, a book-loving blind mom opening up on the unique life of single and co-parenting with a disability.

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  • L.C. Schäfer4 months ago

    This made me actually laugh out loud 😁 Very adorable, please write more pieces from your toddler!

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