Listen up, young man, because I’m only going to say this once. You have been acting more and more disrespectful to your mother lately, and frankly, she’s at the end of her rope. Between snapping rude profanities at her to making ungrateful demands, you’ve treated her more like a servant than the woman who raised you. Your mother has noticed it, I’ve noticed it, and all I have to say is that if you think you can talk to your mother like that, then you’ve certainly paid very close attention to the subtle ways in which I’ve completely torn down her sense of self-worth for years.

Take this morning, for example. I was walking past your mother in the kitchen—making a passive-aggressive remark about the price of food as I always do, to indicate how much I resent her for not working—when I hear you demand that she make you pancakes. Demand it! You actually expected her to drop everything she was doing and slave over a griddle for you that very instant, as if she had nothing better to do!

Let me tell you, when I heard those words come out of my own son’s mouth, I couldn’t believe my ears. It was so obvious that you have no more respect for your own mother than I do, and that you’ve really picked up on some of the nuanced ways in which I make her feel like dog shit.

Honestly, nicely done.

I mean, who do you think you are talking to your mother like that, anyway? Do you think you’re someone who’s observed his father insult her intelligence for years, either by using condescending language, calling undue attention to minor mistakes and shortcomings, or habitually putting down her own interests and opinions? Do you think you have the right to make constant demands on her time without the least bit of thanks, as I’ve done literally thousands of times? Or maybe you think you’re better than her, just because she’s been beaten down too much to ever stand up for herself.

Honestly, who do you think are? A son I’m very proud of? A fucking master of humiliation and insults? Because I have to say, I think you’re both of those things. I really do, little buddy.

After all, this is your mother you’re talking to! What makes you think you can treat her this way? Is it watching me treating her exactly this way—if not much, much worse—for your entire childhood? Because that would make me so damned proud, son. So damned proud. To see my own flesh and blood talk to his mother the way you talk to yours, with so little regard for her feelings, and to see your mom come to me in tears because of the way you’ve made her feel like less of a human being, well, it just makes me want to hug you real hard and then go out and buy you something extra special that your mother has explicitly asked me not to buy you. I’ve got to say, you’re really coming along.

So I want you to think real long and hard about the way you’ve been acting. Do you understand me? I don’t want you to just shake this conversation off, because I’m being dead serious with you, young man. Do you want to be the kind of kid who corrects his own mother and makes her feel stupid? Do you want to be the kind of kid who, when his mother expresses interest in how things are going at school, completely ignores her, like she’s not worth answering? Do you want to be the kind of kid who leaves messes everywhere, expects his mother to clean them up, and then makes hurtful comments about how tired and out of shape she’s looked lately? Because if that’s the kind of kid you want to be, and you think you can get away with it, then go for it, dude. Show your mom who’s boss.

Say, where is that dummy, anyway? Come on, let’s go find her and hint at how she needs to lose some weight. I’ll let you take the reins.