Tim Duluth was six years old. He was a small boy, tall, but thin with bad posture. He was the kind of kid who was equally happy playing in the park or in his imagination. Not many things angered Timmy. But he was angry. And he was not going to eat his peas. No matter what. He'd rather die.
Dinner had been over for hours. It was getting close to Timmy's bedtime, and the showdown was approaching. His mother was making more trips to the kitchen. Timmy could almost hear her biting her tongue. He felt a little bit guilty. He had no problem with his mom. He loved her. But he hated pees. But it wasn't about the peas.
There was something inside Timmy that made him want to do the exact opposite of whatever he was told to do. Years later, shifty eyed 'specialists' would give it fancy names. Oppositional Defiance Disorder, which sounded like a special ops army unit - or a punk band. There were others, too. The reality was that Timmy was stubborn, did not like peas, and, therefore, was not going to eat the stupid, crap shit peas.
His mother walked behind him and stopped. He felt her hands on his shoulders.
"Timmy. I understand, but those peas will make you strong."
"I'm not going to eat them."
And then Tim had an idea. Without a word, he began to shovel peas in his mouth until they were all gone and his mouth was packed full. He reached for his warm milk.
"Tim! Stop, you'll choke!"
Timmy smiled as he took a small sip of milk, all that would fit. Then he grabbed the edge of the table and swallowed. It was like swallowing a ping pong ball, but he didn't choke. His mother sighed.
"Timmy. What are we going to do with you?"
Leaping down, Timmy smiled.
"Whatever. Fine. Brush your teeth and wash up. It's bedtime."
Timmy ran to the bathroom and stuck his finger down his throat. The peas and milk came up in a warm rush. He flushed the toilet, but only half the peas went down. He flushed again and a few more went, while the rest floated back to the surface. He was about to flush for the third time when he heard the knob to the bathroom door turning.