Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Can I Get an AAAAAAAAAAH, Man?

Remember how hard I was working this year to yell less at my kids?

yellingI blew it all last night.

It felt good and I won’t apologize about it.

The day started so promising. Ran two miles. Had two good cups of coffee from two different stores. Pleasant experience dealing with the bank over an ATM issue. Collection of appreciative birds eating at the feeder outside my office window.  Me and Murphy met the Things at school and we walked home in the unusually warm early March sunlight. Thing 2 and I had our first game of catch for the year out in the front yard. I helped Thing 1 spend her birthday money (and then some) online on a decent first camera that – yes, sweetie -- is in the pink color you wanted.

Then around dinnertime all hell broke loose.

Someone’s touching someone else. Someone’s bothering me when I’m trying to do something. I can’t do this with that one here. I won’t leave because that one wants to do something here. She drooled on my special blanket! He pushed me in the stomach! But you said. But mom said. But blah blah blah.

I tried reasoning.

I tried sending them to their rooms.

Motherflucker, I tried enough.

Laws were laid down and consequences spelled out at Who-concert volume.

Lips curled. Tears fell.

Yet no one has said, “I’m sorry.”

Especially not me.

Not this time.

But, at last, all is calm again.

Parenting: Not for the faint of heart or the meek of voice.

(I’m still here. Just waiting for the guilt to kick in.)

+ + +

On a lighter note, I discuss the evil that is overpriced and overly complex highchairs on this week. You’ll think better of me after you read that one.


  1. Yeah! Lay the smack down on'em! You are the law! When you feel the guilt coming, it helps to clean something. Like the liquid out of a beer bottle.

  2. Oddly enough, I never feel guilty for yelling. I'm glad the birds are appreciative where you live. They tend to poop on our windows here.

  3. Hmm. I couldn't hear you screaming from over here. That's probably because I was hauling out the dreaded top-volume YOU'RE GOING STRAIGHT TO BED AFTER DINNNNERRRRRRRRRRRR! for very similar reasons.

  4. The thing about yelling is you have to be careful about over-doing. Not because of the kids but for risk of getting a sore throat.

  5. I agree 100% with Ed. Sometimes yelling can lead to a sore throat. Pace yourself, take frequent breaks and drink plenty of water. If symptom persists, send the kids to boarding school.


  6. Consider it preparation for that insane teacher/coach/boss they encounter later in life. When other kids tremble with fear, yours will comfort them by saying, "Don't worry. It's only serious when the 3rd vein bulges at their temple."

    Proud to say that my middle school kids are at the 4th level now.

  7. It happens.

    I could not imagine yelling frequently with our first son--he spoiled us. Then, the challenging twins certainly opened my eyes to the realities of bad behavior.

  8. AAAAAAAAAAH, Man! Although I really believe this needs an AWWWWWWWWWW, Shit Man. When the guilt kicks in, drop me a note. I'll open a can of whoopass on you if you think that'll help.

  9. This was me after I got home with the boys recently from an attempt to have their photo taken in which, upon arriving at our destination, they apparently morphed into corpses because they were so unresponsive and unmovable to the photographer's request. I pulled out an arsenal of goodness so they knew my wrath - the seething commands issued through clenched teeth. The silent treatment of epic proportions on the drive home, interrupted only three times to shake my head in disgust and mutter things like "Amazing" and "So disgusted."

    Then, when we got home, I came unhinged. There were tears (mostly from me) and THERE STILL HASN'T been any apologies. Happily, the guilt went away pretty quickly, though.

  10. Oh, man, I am so with you. There's nothing more effective than a good yell from a parent that doesn't do it very often. I'm all for yelling at the appropriate moment.

    I did sort of a similar post way back when.

    If nothing else, it makes YOU feel better and that's worth something, too.

  11. I went apeshit on my boys last night. In the car. Wanted music. I turned it on. Loud like they like it. They're SCREAMING over the music - to turn it Louder. I turned that shit off and said no more music. At the light, I turn around and both have the lip quiver and doe-eyes. Felt like ass. And know what my mother went through.

  12. Oh, one more gem. I yelled at my 4 year old this morning "you're such a whiner!"

    That's gonna come back to haunt me when he's in therapy. I know it.

  13. A well placed and timed yell sometimes is just necessary. It's the daily yelling that loses its effect.
    The cat eats the birds here. Talk about a nature show! Plus, he leaves us entrails on the porch.

  14. My dad was a yeller. I feared him. Fear is good.

  15. Way to go! When the reasoning and room sending doesn't work, the yelling at The Who level HAS to begin.
    I did it with my boys and they turned out alright... after a little therapy. Now one is in the Army and REALLY knows what yelling is, he thought I was bad - HA!

  16. Dude, I hear ya. I could have written this post myself.

  17. Oh man, I so know what you mean, just did it actually as I was trying to read your blog. Why does the 2 year old need to strip naked when I am on the computer?

  18. AWwwww, man! It's always the days that start out all smooth and sunny that get ya. Puts you off your guard. Two comments: don't wait for the apology until you've given your own and :Protein Snacks In The AfterNoon! Dude: one ounce of prevention (bribe/chocolate) is worth a pound of Guinness at the end of a good day.
    Snarf, I am so not going to tell you how many times I have yelled at my kids if this is the first time you've fallen off the wagon.

  19. I have to yell sometimes to cut through my sons parental ear muffs. I will ask him to do/change/stop something nicely, then I'll ask him nicely, then I'll ask him threateningly, and then I'll blast some volume to get his attention. Kids have this tune out ability whenever they are doing something fun....some kind of switch is pulled that only filters out authority....very strange.

  20. You're so normal. I feel guilty for you. Better? Now go be the great father that you are. :-)

  21. Sometimes you just have to do it bro. It sucks, but you need to lay down the dad law. Wait til they get old enough to roll their eyes and appear completely disinterested in what you have to say, Those are the moments when you wish you could just go totally old school on them. But if you did, someone would call the cops and that would be a huge hassle. It would, however, make a great blog post!!!

  22. I've got a really strong voice. When I want to be heard, everybody hears. However, I hate to break out that voice because it even scares me a little. Unfortunately, we all have these moments where our Mr Hyde comes out for the sole purpose of restoring the proper order of things. Then we tuck it away and hope it's a while before we have to whip it out again.

  23. Yeah, you know, had one of those "Thank God I got that operation and won't have any more of these things" evenings myself.

    So did you drink the coffee while running two miles or did you wait until you were done?

  24. Bill Cosby once said about raising children, "No matter how calmly you try to referee, parenting will eventually produce bizarre behavior, and I'm not talking about the kids."

  25. I love the Bill Cosby line from Tgoette. I am hoping to get more and more patience before my son gets older. I don't want to be a yeller.

  26. My mom was a yeller when I was growing up. No instant communication in those days, so she had to get us from wherever we wandered off to. I was determined I was NOT going to follow that path. Strangely enough, the times I lost it when my kids were young, I still remember . . . with a wince and a twinge.

  27. Sometimes you've gotta do what you've gotta do. I'm not a big fan of yelling, but I'd be lying if I said it never happens. And dang it, sometimes it NEEDS to happen!


REMEMBER: You're at your sexiest when you comment.


My Uncool Past