After Kelly’s hilarious (but alarming) “Stop poutin’ and start shoutin’” proclamation, I decided that maybe we do a wee bit too much yelling around Casa Cass.
If you know me and Dan, that might surprise you because we’re both pretty laid-back, easy-going people (I can hear you laughing, Dan).
But kids will drive you to do things you’re not proud of. For instance, screaming things like, “The next time I find a granola bar wrapper stuffed between the cushions, I swear to GOD, I am going to make you EAT IT!” (Even the dog has caught onto the laziness of my children, he routinely roots through the cushions for leftovers).
So when the editors at BlogHer teased the post 12 Steps to Stop Yelling at Your Kids, I just had to click. Turns out The Orange Rhino (find out why the strange name here) has been not yelling at her kids for nearly a year. A year. My first thought? How on earth does she get her kids to do anything? She explains that and gives alternatives to yelling here.
I joined the Orange Rhino herd via the Facebook page for support, and I’m proud to say that I haven’t yelled at my kids in nearly a week. A week, I tell you! Aren’t you proud of me? (OK, before my husband rats me out, I will say that I’ve made, ahem, hand gestures behind their backs a time or two….don’t judge.)
Orange Rhino suggests you become familiar with your triggers. Like any human from age 3 months to 93, my biggest triggers are being tired, hungry, or overwhelmed. (PMS doesn’t help either, but that’s a whole ‘nother blog post).
Then there are the little things that drive me up the wall. In the interest of knowing my weaknesses, here are the things that threaten to derail my peace train:
No, this does not count as yelling. Do you see all caps?
1. Missing iPod charger. I hate playing hide-and-seek with the iPod charger. You might think it makes sense to buy several. Tried that. Doesn’t work because then they all go missing and you’re still down to the precious one. I decreed it should never leave this outlet in the kitchen but, as you can see, it’s not there.
2. Wet towels anywhere but in the bathroom. Every time they get out of the tub or shower, I remind them not to leave their wet towels on the floor. And, every time, I find the wet towels on their floor. In a not-so-proud mommy moment, I once threatened to wrap their dead body in the next wet towel I find.
3. Shoes all over the mudroom. A decade of daily reminders has not stopped my
brats ingrates little darlings from kicking their shoes off just inside the door. But, on the bright side, at least they fling them toward the shoe racks.
4. Garbage in the couch, behind the couch, under the couch, etc. I remember doing this as a kid, stuffing food wrappers in between the couch cushions and throwing trash behind the console TV. My mother would go ballistic and I’d be all…”Jeez, Mom, chill. Don’t have a cow.” (It was 1986). Truth: It was me (at least some of the time). And, Mom, I’m sorry.
5. Abandoned craft supplies. This glue gun has been on the floor for six days. I refuse to pick it up. I refuse to scream at Lauren to put it away. I may be stepping over it until she goes to college. I’ll say this, I’m not giving her a dime for college until that glue gun is picked up.
6. Whining about bath and bedtime. Oh, how I would love for someone to make me take a warm bath and go to bed early.
7. Brushing hair. Kelly starts screaming before I even touch the bristles to her head. So I’ve (mostly) stopped, which is why on more days than not, it looks like a nest of squirrels have made a home in the back of her head. Whatever. I’m out.
8. Sister squabbling. More irritating than nails on a chalkboard. Ignoring it usually only serves to escalate the problem. Duct-taping their mouths shut is frowned upon by the Office of Children and Youth. What to do? What to do? Orange Rhino?
9. Socks, (dirty) socks everywhere. Stuffed in the couch cushions (again…seriously…what is WRONG with these kids?), tangled up in their bedding, wadded up under their beds, tossed on my bathroom floor, left in their boots, and pretty much everywhere but in the laundry. Between them I think they have five pairs of socks that actually match now, and I tell you, I do not give a shit.
10. Yelling at me. It doesn’t happen all that often, but when it does, it boils my blood. I remember yelling at my mother maybe five times. If you look carefully, you can probably still make out her handprint on my cheek.
Honorary mention: Toothpaste spit all over the sink (and the mirror above the sink – WTH?), water bottles left all over the house (like it’s my job to pick them up), and math homework (especially long division).