Once upon a time, in a kingdom far far away, there lived a narcissist called Speedy. You’ve met Speedy before. He’s the one who liked to fight things. He fought a speeding ticket (Police 1: Speedy 0) and fought with dogs (Speedy 1: Dog 1)

Many many years ago, Speedy decided to embark upon fatherhood. He and his wife had a little girl. A little girl with eyes the color of cornflowers and hair the color of honey. We’ll call her Honey, because everyone called her Honey.

Now, Honey was just three years old and already known as a “picky eater.” Oh, she liked good things like toast, scrambled eggs, fruit and French fries. But she wasn’t so keen on fish sandwiches, legumes and vegetables. On this particular day, Mrs. Speedy decided to serve peas with supper.

There are peas, peas and peas. Garden peas are sweet, crisp and delicious. Frozen peas are so-so. And canned peas are beyond disgusting and deserve to be drowned in mayonnaisey pasta salads. I suspect this story is about canned peas.

When suppertime rolled around, Honey ate her chicken. She ate her mashed potatoes. She drank her milk. But she wouldn’t eat her peas.

Now! Speedy was a devotee of the child-rearing books written by Dr. James Dobson. Y’know the books! Dr. Dobson prefaces his book on child-rearing with a tale about how he chased a dachsund round and round a room beating it into submission and states that women get post-partum blues because their babies are ugly. Personally, I wouldn’t trust anyone who wrote like that, but…whatever.

Speedy was raising little Honey like a Great Project by-the-book (except for that “self-esteem” part which he labeled “sinful pride.”) He’d boned up on how to break the Will of a headstrong child and he’d been ready for Little Honey’s “ain’t-gonna-eat-my-peas” moment for a long time. This was the moment he’d been waiting for. The peas would either be his Waterloo or Honey’s Waterloo. Speedy believed his success or failure in forcing Little Honey to eat her peas would be the deciding factor of whether she would continue to respect, submit and obey him…or he would lose control over her forever. He seemed to think that either he’d succeed in forcing Honey to swallow those peas or the next thing he knew…she’d be out drinkin’, smokin’ and takin’ drugs. It was now…or never.

Again I say..whatever with a big, fat eye-roll!

“Eat your peas,” Speedy said.

Nope. Ain’t happenin.

Little Honey was sent to stand in the corner.

“Eat your peas,” Speedy said.

Nuh-huh.

Little Honey probably got a spanking.

“Eat your peas,” Speedy said.

No.

Little Honey was sent to her room.

Speedy was gonna win this fight if it was the last thing he ever did!

The next morning, Honey woke up to a breakfast of…you guessed it! Last night’s peas. Again, she refused to eat them.

Finally, Mrs. Speedy grew her 1st ball, put a little starch in her spine and talked some sense into Mr. Speedy. “She’ll never respect nor obey me again,” he whined. But Mrs. Speedy was adamant. There was no way she was serving her little daughter those peas for yet another meal!

Oddly enough, and to Speedy’s great surprise, this story has a happy ending. Honey did not become disrespectful. She did not become disobedient. Nope! She was still the happy, sweet, respectful, obedient three-year-old she’d been before the Green Pea Fiasco. When she grew up, she didn’t drink, smoke, take drugs or sleep around. She was a Good Honest Girl…which didn’t stop Mr. and Mrs. Speedy from suggesting and suspecting her of every vice from lying to pornography to trying to seduce (“being cute” they called it) a relative. Again…whatever! They’d raised her much better than that!

Is there a moral to this story? Not really. But there is a peek into how the mind of a narcissistic parent works. Because of their lack of insight and empathy, narcissistic parents are forced to raise their kids “by the book.” Instead of tailoring their parenting to the child, they tailor their parenting to “the book” and parent The Great Project accordingly.

Oh..and they’re scared shitless. Scared of their kid’s normalcy. Scared of their kid’s keen insights. Scared of their kid’s honesty. Scared of their kid’s will. Scared of their kid becoming an adult and an equal. Scared, scared, scared. And that’s why they dominate, infantilize and terrify their kids.

I’m afraid I can’t say that “Speedy lived happy ever after” because after more than three decades of anger, blackout rages and complete domination, Speedy’s wife finally grew her 2nd ball and told him, “When you rage at me, it makes me want to leave you,” while Honey went No Contact with both of them.

So I guess this tale does have a happy ending after all. To quote Bilbo Baggins, “Honey lived happily ever after to the end of her days.”

THE END

(And she still won’t eat canned peas!)