I've done some studying about this fellow.
He was not a very nice man.
Rather unpredictable and volatile, to put it nicely. He had a hair-trigger temper, easily set off. His royal court pretty much lived in fear, never knowing when the king would be in a dark mood and suddenly have them sent to the guillotine. It would have been fairly stressful to live like that, I'd imagine, wondering every second whether this would be your last day on earth. One wrong move and you'd be finished. You could be his closest advisor and trusted confidant one day, and the next day find yourself in the tower awaiting your execution all because the king didn't like the way you looked at him.
Yes, that would have been an awful life for sure. Thank the good Lord I was born in this era and in this nation.
But then, something occurred to me.
There are millions of citizens in this nation and around the world at this very moment who are living a life of terror under the reign of rather insane and volatile kings and queens. They are trembling and doing their darndest to keep their ruler happy, or else. Each and every day, they come up with activities of leisure and fun such as this:
or this: themed food designed to thrill and delight.
(It's supposed to be Mater. Work with me here.)
Chocolate pudding teddy bears.
Taco teddy bears.
Sometimes these poor, persecuted subjects do things like present gifts to gain the favor of their king or queen, praying that it will be looked upon and remembered when trouble arises. They want to be counted among the loyal and faithful. They NEVER want to be on the wrong side of the execution committee.
If you are reading this blog, chances are that YOU may be one of these poor folks I'm talking about.
I've been studying world history with my oldest this year and we've learned about cruel and ruthless leaders such as Napoleon, Louis XIV, Bloody Mary, Peter the Great, tons of Vikings, and countless others. They were all pretty mean when it came down to it, willing to do just about anything to get what they wanted. And most of the time, they did.
Just today I found myself experiencing both the triumph and relief of my little queen's approval, as well as the gut wrenching, gnawing terror of her disdain.
Just to be nice, I picked up this little number for her as a surprise (partly because the dog ate her favorite pi's last week and she's still in mourning).
This is the kind of thing she would wear every single day if she could. I loved seeing her so happy and blissful when she put it on and pranced around the house.
We had a delightful morning. We did puzzles and a rhyming game and she helped me fold clothes. It was a joy to be in her kingdom.
Then, the tide turned. I could almost feel the temperature drop in the room as she looked upon me, her previously wonderful subject (whom she said she loved more than anyone), as if she might take the place of the hooded executioner herself if she could.
And what, you ask, was my crime? What on earth could I have done to find myself in this precarious and dangerous position so quickly?
Well, folks, I'll tell you the truth. Give it to you straight.
I served her LEFTOVER macaroni 'n cheese.
That's right. In full blown defiance to her commands and decrees, I dared to place before her on her favorite Ariel plate a serving of macaroni that was an entire DAY old instead of making a fresh batch.
People have suffered greatly for far less offenses than this.
Perhaps the fact that she'd been chewing on my jewelry right before lunch had left a strange taste in her mouth which only freshly made food could get rid of. I don't know.
As I placed the meal before her on her throne, she looked at it for the briefest instant before letting out the most terrible and fearful screams of rage. The Ariel plate was sent flying across the kitchen, crashing to the floor and sending the hated macaroni everywhere.
But she was not finished yet. Anything within her Highness' grasp was hurled to the floor as well, which unfortunately included a plastic bottle of opened sprinkles, her blanket, and her fork.
Now, here's where the analogy breaks down. In the days of these infamous rulers I mentioned earlier, the offending party would've been imprisoned, tortured, likely even killed for their crime, whether guilty or not.
In THIS kingdom, however, occasionally the faithful servants and subjects have had enough. Her Highness received a rather abrupt awakening from her fantasy world of her divine right.
She found herself unseated from her throne and placed in the dungeon, otherwise known as the living room, where she spent the next several minutes raging and proclaiming her outrage quite loudly. She took refuge under my royal curtains.
She'd calm down, I'd allow her to join us again, but then we'd start all over. It was a rather long process.
But at the end of the day, all was well. Peace was restored to her kingdom. All was as it should be again. She picked up the macaroni (with the help of the dog), presented me with a tearful (and super cute...she's really good at it) apology, and gave me a big kiss.
And just like that, I was back in her Majesty's good graces.
I bid her good night the end of the day, all tucked in her finest bedding and fluffy friends surrounding her on every side, and then backed out of the room slowly and carefully, smiling all the while, hoping and praying to not anger her at this late hour.
Dictators, kings and queens, and political leaders could take some lessons from the toddlers of the world. Good luck, my fellow subjects, you faithful mothers out there. May your King or Queen continue to look upon you with favor.