The Mother, Her Children, the Dinner, and Karma's Brutal Indifference
Yelling at Your Children Can Lead to Ibuprofen Dependence
Sometimes the powers that be work in mysterious, extremely karmic, and annoyingly effective ways. Not too terribly long ago, I was eating dinner with my three kids (at the time they were nearly 12, 6, and almost 3). My oldest was in a bad mood because he had had a lousy day, so he was sulking and repeatedly snapping at the younger two. The middle child was relentlessly griping that she didn’t like her food, and that she should be allowed to have more than one sugary drink per day, because not a single other person she knows on the face of the planet has such a mean mommy-all the while managing to whine and simultaneously aggravate both of her brothers. And let’s not forget the youngest child who was repeating every word which came out of the other twos’ mouths, announcing every 90 seconds that he’s got a poopy diaper, while also rubbing grape jelly into his hair and throwing chunks of fruit and bread onto the floor that I had mopped just an hour before.
Yet I stayed calm, and somehow managed to push-on without losing it. This in spite of the fact that my husband is at work, making me even more outnumbered than usual. Next the oldest stands up without asking to be excused, however I simply hold my breath and ask him to please unload the dishwasher. At this the 11 year old sighs loudly and rolls his eyeballs 180 degrees into the back of his head, no sign of respect anywhere!
Seriously, Roll Your Eyes One. More. Time!
..."There was also this sense of impending doom because I knew that my outburst was sure to come back at me in spades."
Now, before you judge me too harshly for the mini-breakdown that I am about to unload on this 11 year old boy, please keep in mind that the other two children continued to behave like chimps throwing their own feces at elderly zoo patrons. I stood up, pointed at the older boy and very loudly spouted-off, “Oh, no-no you don’t! The only person in this house right now with absolutely any right to freak-out on another human being is standing right HERE (now pointing at myself), and is desperately trying not to lose her DAMN MIND ON ALL THREE OF YOU!!!!”
Suddenly there was deafening silence, I think I may have even noticed a little tumbleweed blow through. I’m not going to lie, I admit that I enjoyed basking in the terrified stillness of my children. Though it only lasted a brief moment, as I instantly knew that the next mom-emotions to be cycled-through on this particular spectrum were those of remorse and guilt. There was also this sense of impending doom because I knew that my outburst was sure to come back at me in spades.
It's okay, I've had my meds now!"
With that, I sat back down with a sigh of my own, and not a fraction of a freaking second later, my (antique) dining room chair gave-way beneath my fat, bullying ass. With a menacing snap, crackle, and pop, I plummet. There I lie, on the wooden floor, amongst half-chewed fruit and bread, my back, butt, arms, and head all in agony. I scream again, though that time more at myself than anything, and all three children immediately said in perfect unison, “Are you okay, mom?!”
I told them that I was fine (as soon as my ability to speak returned), got up very slowly and looked up toward the ceiling while thinking, “Okay, big Guy, I had that one coming, I get it.” I apologized to the kids for losing it, and proceeded to clean off the table. I then went on to enjoy the remainder of the evening with my kids, as well as a healthy dosage of ibuprofen and humility. The poor chair was not so lucky.