2006 sometime. I don't remember the date. Primo is still in his Fairview apartment with the crazy laundry people upstairs. We are going somewhere. We are in a hurry to leave the apartment. One of us - I can't remember but if I ask Primo, he will remember because he is The Rememberer - opens the freezer.
A vase that was sitting on top of the fridge crashes to the ground. It had been in the back but must have gradually worked its way forward.
I go to get the vacuum cleaner. I do this without more than an, "Uh-oh!"
Freaks out. I mean, total Drama. He says, "Oh no! Oh no!" He is very, very upset.
"Relax!" I say. "It's just a cheap vase from TJMaxx!"
But he is horribly upset. Horribly.
I don't understand. What's the big deal about breaking a $15 vase from a discount department store? It's not like it was a 2,000 year old Ming vase in a museum. In beer units, it was worth three domestics or two imports. It is not a big deal.
"Let's just clean this up and get out of here," I say.
Primo can't relax. I have never seen anyone react so strongly to something that I think is inconsequential.
"Just what was it like in your house when you were a kid?" I ask. "What happened if you spilled milk or something?"
Oh, he got in trouble, he tells me.
"Yeah, but what about when you were little? It's one thing to get in trouble when you're seven and your dad has been warning you to stop goofing off. It's another when you are four. Four year olds have accidents. Big deal."
Nope, he still got in trouble. Big, Sly pitching a fit trouble.
What kind of parent yells at a little kid for something the kid does accidentally? Yells at him enough that 40 years later, the kid still gets horribly stressed if he breaks something?
I would say that is a parent with very poor parenting skills.