Tuesday, September 13, 2011

I Might Have Overreacted Just a Weeeee Bit

Last Tuesday I picked up my phone to find this text from the mother of Ryan's school best friend.

Ryan spit on her kid's food and she had to drive a new lunch to school. Well isn't that a delight? Once again, I look like I'm raising heathens. I can only imagine the damage control this is going to require. "But you don't understand, he never, ever spits. There must be a medical explanation." Knowing that he's more of a "raspberry guy" than a nasty "hocker spitter," I assumed there was a rational response.

There was. In the car, he explained that Sam was singing at lunch, and he was trying to be funny. And like the typical goofball he is, he began making "musical" sounds in the form of spitting. My son is a musical genius. I should be happy he didn't resort to his favorite make-shift musical instrument, his armpit. 

Innocent enough, but I was pissed at him. This wasn't the first time these two have gotten into trouble at lunch. He had been warned.

Onward and upward I say! We soon found ourselves at the preschool to pick up the little ones. The same preschool we've been to 176 times before. The same preschool where I read him the riot act every single day about behaving. The same preschool where all the parents think I raise heathens (see paragraph 2). The same preschool...you get the picture. 

So I round up the little kids - and by "rounded up" I mean it literally would be easier with a lasso, but I think that's illegal - and headed towards the door. 

And in walks a mom with the cutest linen pants. Yes, this is important to the story. I happen to be in the market for linen pants. This must be my lucky day. So as I'm knee deep in conversation about the miracle that is TJMaxx, I hear the following:

"Aaah---, Aaah---,Aaah---, Aaah---, Aaah---, Aaah---!"

It took me a few very long seconds to realize that the sound was coming from my children and I turned around to find my son in the lobby annoyingly lifting his sister from behind using a technique that can only be described as across between a pro-wrestling move and the Heimlich maneuver while essentially bouncing up and down. Her feet were off the ground (picture the scene in Grease where Sonny lifts the teacher off the dance floor during hand jive).

And she was screaming in her most phony, dramatic voice. "Aaah---, Aaah---   Aaah---, Aaah---, Aaah---, Aaah---!" Yep, she got my attention. My attention, the attention of three other mothers and the school bookkeeper who was giving me a much-deserved "You're The Worst Mother in the World" look.

I snapped-to and ran to reprimand my two children. I said two, not three. Justin had walked off and disappeared into the bookkeeper's office. So I retrieved him too.

After unsuccessfully attempting to grow six more arms to escort the kids through the parking lot to the minivan, they were buckled in and ready to go.

Here's the part about the over reacting: I turned around and said the following: "Ryan you are an absolute embarrassment. How many times have I told you not to pick up your sister? Those other moms think I'm a terrible mother and I raised a bunch of ANIMALS. Do you know what 'mortified' means?"

I was pretty fired up, but I didn't think I quite made my point. "And Natalie, you have to stop with all the phony drama. It's annoying and nobody believes you. " Nope, still not getting my point across of how mad I am.

So I hastily whip up this little ditty: "And Ryan your birthday is on Saturday. I am not buying you a single birthday present. No birthday presents for mom and dad. NONE. Do you hear me? No birthday presents at all." Yes, pretty drastic, but I'm still mad. "And no TV or video games for two weeks." 

With this he began to whimper a bit. OK, I thought, this made me feel better. At least this elicited a response.

I relayed the story to my sister-in-law. She's a teacher. She said I was too harsh. So what if he's never been grounded before and I jumped right to two weeks?Shit Tanya.

At the pizza place that night where I reminded him of his punishment. He didn't need MY reminder. He didn't have his trusty DS with him and he had no choice but to actually TALK to us. That's punishment enough. Ever the martyr, he suggested that we just cancel his family birthday party. Oh no you didn't Ryan. Don't give ME"martyr" kid. I invented the martyr act. I said I'd have gladly canceled his birthday dinner if we hadn't already invited our relatives.

And yes, I drove that message home several times during dinner. I'm proud to say that he now knows the definitions of the works "mortified" and "heathen."

And shut up: You know we gave him a present for his birthday, but he's still grounded from the TV and video games. Because my kids aren't allowed to make me look like an ass in public. That's their father's job.


  1. It's so funny to me sometimes how frustrated and angry we can get when dealing with our kids. I'm generally pretty laid back, but the kind of situation you described would have sent me over the edge, too. I almost never get angry - except with my kids, especially the oldest because I swear she's always determined to fight me. And I especially hate if they manage to make me (in my opinion) look like a bad mom in front of other moms. The ones I think are perfect moms and who never seem to fight with their perfect kids. Of course, in reality, I think most moms understand and go through the same things (though there are definitely some judgy moms out there!).

    And I know the exact scene you're talking about from Grease.

  2. Good for you. That is the quickest way to send this mommy into a punishment-frenzy overload. You make me look bad in front of the other mommys = 1 week in the brig.

  3. I just need to say that I can relate to every single word of this post.

    Every single one.

  4. Kids have a terrible way of doing this to us. I almost always overreact with my kids and then I end up feeling bad and giving them back whatever it was I took away.

  5. LOL - you are awesome for sticking to your guns. Of course you had to give in on the gift, but the other stuff, good for you.

  6. haha! Sounds like my life. I'm sure the other mothers were just glad their kids weren't currently embarrassing them. Whenever my mother (who has 7 kids and has taught school for 26 years and should know better) tells me about some crazy thing some kid has done, I always tell her that I just can't guarantee that my children wouldn't do the same thing so I refuse to pass judgement.

    Oh, one year my kids didn't get to go see Santa Clause (they did get presents) and just yesterday they missed out on going to the State Fair as planned.

  7. Oh my gosh I love you. Right about this time is when I wish I lived in Florida. I overreact always. I go for worst case scenario punishment and somehow skip the 2 minute timeout.

  8. Do you ever holler "ARE YOU FREAKING KIDDING ME????" at your kids? Perhaps in front of others? Or ask your eldest if she has been smoking crack? And she is 10 years old? Great! So glad to hear I'm not the only one.

  9. Oh wow. You poor thing, you've got your hands full. Next time make their dad pick them up, lol!

  10. I was like that my first year of teaching! It took a lot of deep breathing and wooo sahhh-ing to be able to come up with punishments that fit the crime.

    I'm terrified that when my son is old enough to make me look bad in public that I'll lose it too.

  11. lol this post totally made me laugh. I have definitely been in the position of getting overly riled up to the point of taking more and more away to get a reaction out of my kids. I don't feel like I've gotten my point across until I get a whimper or some tears out of the deal. Hey, they need to know we mean business, right?

  12. I always overreact and take every single thing under the sun away but then never follow through.

  13. This is hysterical. I always overreact. It never fails. Since my son is obviously too young for any type of corporal punishment, it's usually my husband that ends up getting punished. "your son acted like a jack-ass today - give him his dinner and his bath and put him to bed!"

  14. I swear they sit there and wait, and wait, and wait until we are in public and then something inside of them tells them NOW and they unleash all the embarassment they can muster! Drives me insane!!

    I'm glad your son got the message and hopes it sticks.

  15. Ha! It's so so so true. My kids only pick the worst times to make me look the worst mother ever. They act like total assholes everytime a teacher or principal is around. WTF????

    Lots of yummy love,
    Alex aka Ma What's For Dinner

  16. All I've got are laughs! This is my life but you tell it ssssoooo much better! Hilarious once again!

  17. Why do I love you?
    #1. I thought you said "heathers" instead of "heathens"
    #2. you made a Grease reference
    #3. you can loose your shit and admit it.

    God love yah!
    Or sorry... the person or spirit to whom you pray, love yah!

  18. I don't think you overreacted at all. Damn heatheren chirren.