Engaging Each Day with Action Words

Temper. — A tale of a MommyVerb Fail.

on April 2, 2013

It was a typical Saturday morning of controlled chaos. Breakfast was over and everyone had eaten a decent-ish meal. I was doing that thing I do where I walk around and put things back where they belong and try to straighten and kind of clean up as I go. Remember, decluttering is my superpower. Just then, I look up to see that a small scale water gun attack as begun out of the blue in the living room between Felix and X and Y.

Cute. I smile at the giggles and squeals and the protests of dear Felix who just wanted to sit on the couch and watch a home improvement show. Then, it started to escalate until Felix now has a spray bottle of water and is dousing the girl child. She flies past me and returns moments later in combat gear…wearing her swimsuit, carrying a towel. Soon, the battle gets heated and I begin to call for retreats from both sides.

To no avail.

The girl-child has now spotted the water propelling equipment that I have just confiscated from behind enemy lines and has now pushed past me, completely oblivious and focused on her target, leaping up onto the counter top, bumping the computer that resided there and…

Stop. Enough. Stand over here. I have her cornered in hopes of regaining control of the land.

And then she yells in her best ‘7-going-on-15’ sarcastic voice, “It’s not MY fault. Thanks a lot, Daddy.”

Now for the quarantine. “Go to your room and find your controls.”

Commence her flair and the stomping and wailing and slamming of doors.

And then I followed her retreat and used the classic lines of:

“The next time you stomp off and slam this door, I will take it off the hinges.” I followed up with a good old fashioned standby “Who do you think you are?!” and then ended with “Stay in here until you have control of yourself and while you are here, … clean up this room!”

I know. Nice combination, right. I know you are impressed with my parenting skills now.

As I walked out of her room, I may or may not have slammed her door, I thought to myself, “Great work, Mom. Yell at your daughter to get control of her emotions. Nice.”

It is true. I fail on occasion. I get flustered. I lose my patience. I yell.

And while I feel incredibly guilty and ineffective afterwards, I also recognize that …  Sometimes, it just feels good to yell.  It’s an awesome release of energy and frustration.

I’m betting when the girl-child is stomping up the stairs, so loud that I worry she is going to put her foot through a step…I’m betting she kinda feels the same way.

But … what I do well is own my actions. I take responsibility for when I mess up. And I hope she notices when I do this. I hope she sees a good model of an apology. I hope she is a witness to what a sense of humility looks like.  These are important for her to know, be able to do and understand.

I went back to her later and told her I was sorry for yelling. I resisted the temptation to explain where she went wrong in the hopes that she would own her part. Felix had a conversation with her too. They worked it out. All was well within minutes.

And we move on. That is just how it rolls in families. All is well. Things fall apart. People fall apart. You put it back together and put them back together… tahdah! All is well again. Until the next time. 🙂

I’m hoping there are lessons for everyone in my family in these moments. Lessons that help us know when enough is enough. Lessons that help us listen when we need to. Lessons on how to say “I’m Sorry.” Lessons that teach us that we can disagree and lose our tempers, and always know we still love each other.



3 responses to “Temper. — A tale of a MommyVerb Fail.

  1. Lead Our Lives says:

    Oh my! You mean you’re human? I feel that among the best things we show our children is how to simply be…as humans. We have feelings and sometimes we react and are sorry for what we did, so we ask forgiveness and show them what love is all about. Wonderful, real and healing post! Such a great storyteller!

  2. Amy says:

    There is not a parent alive who has not lost their temper and if they say they haven’t, they are lying.

    You’re awesome and it helps the rest of us to read about other parents losing their cool every now and then. Love this post. Thanks for sharing.

  3. Yes, best role modeling is to show we’re not perfect either and that we need to all take responsibility for our actions. What a great Momma you are!!! (psst…I checked the Handbook–your initial response is totally what is expected, and occurs VERBATIM daily, so you’re all good)

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