My name is Amanda and I am a yeller. I can say this with a little less shame because I come by this trait honestly. My dad is yeller, his dad before him; in fact, I would venture to say I come from a long line of yellers. Does this make the yelling OK? No, but I am not nearly as terrifying as my dad was when he would get all fired up and start cursing in Croatian. Watch out! That big man always looked like he was two minutes away from bursting an artery in his neck when he got going. Fast forward twenty years and he is a teary eyed, sentimental, hours on the floor playing trains, tea party drinking grandfather and dam proud of it. I, however, do not have that luxury. I have two nut job kids that ignore 95% of what I say the first 100 times I say it; hence the yelling.
A few months ago I convinced Hubby that he needed to work from home at least one day a week. I promised we would leave him alone during the day, but he could sneak upstairs during lunch and help me during the most God awful time of the day, post nap/pre-dinner, and he would have more quality time with the kids (or give me a few free minutes, but whatever). After hours of me whining, he agreed.
Today he was super stressed and had about a million things going on when the kids decided they NEEDED to see their daddy. After two minutes of Mimi banging on his computer and Monkey turning the lights on and off, Hubby lost his shizzz. What happened? You have stuff to do,the kids are not listening, and you are going bananas? Tell me more about this…..
Then it happened, he yelled at them. It was actually a pretty weak yell (by my standards), but he yelled none the less. Both kids burst into tears and were devastated! Devastated! At first I was annoyed because I am the only one that gets to yell at the kids, but what really got me going was the fact that they were sobbing, snotty, sniffling messes on the ground because their beloved dad raised his voice to them. Are you kidding me? I scream like a maniac with smoke coming out of my ears and no one flinches around here. Mimi is immune to any volume change in my voice because she has heard my crazy yelling since day one. She can’t tell if I am talking normally or threatening to send her off to grandma’s house. Should I have their hearing checked?
I just don’t get it? How can dear old dad slightly raise his voice and both kids are shaking in their boots. I go bat shit crazy and reach new decibels with my voice and not one flinches? How do I fix this? If I started to whisper all day what would happen? Would that throw the kids off their game? Would Monkey put his shoes on the first time I asked? Would Mimi stop climbing up and down the stairs after one request?
Yelling is not the answer, and I should really learn to tone it down, but nothing and I mean nothing feels better than to yell “What are you, three?” to Monkey when he has ignored my request for the umpteenth time. It is ridiculous, but I imagine using it in the future.
You got your nose pierced? What are you, 16?
You failed psychology because you didn’t go to class? What are you, 20?
You drank too much wine and stayed up too late reading a smutty book? What are you, 32? This was me last night—don’t judge
If an avid yeller like my father can be reformed, there is hope for me, right? Maybe I should save up the yelling for their teenage years (shudder). A toddler and a preschooler can’t be embarrassed by a yelling Mommy, but I could embarrass the hell out of a sassy teenager. So until then, things are going to be quiet around here. Let’s see how long this lasts.