Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Bullies and such- True stories from the parent hood

I'm a bully.
I will put it right there out in the open.
I used to think I was a "victim" of bullies but I've been monitoring my communications lately and I've decided I'm a gosh darned e-bully.
I don't call people names or spread nasty rumors about them but I argue with people on Facebook and tell them their viewpoints are "disingenuous" (let's be real- I use other words too- especially if it's family and I feel all comfy and privileged)
I've caught myself saying that I feel sorry for someone for having a certain viewpoint- to their FACE even!
There's a word for me.
Who made me the Facebook communications police?
Anytime someone posts something I think is "wrong" I feel the need to start a tete a tete over it.
Now that I have "timeline" I'm all- EWWWW! I said that????? Someone slap me!
I would like to say I can't help it but yes I most certainly can!
So NO more of THAT, please!
I have a tiny human to raise.
This one.

Do I want her running around calling people names when she doesn't agree with them?
Yet I'm more focused on how other children treat HER and forget that every single process for change STARTS WITH ME.

A story.
I took Miss Thang to Brooklyn Bridge Park.
There are these posts that turn and have rubber handles which kids LOVE to hold on to as they get dragged mercilessly round and round and ROUND on the floor.
FUUUUN! Right?
I hate them but Lola is obsessed and wants to use them all the time.
So did this little 5 or 6 year old girl who shoved Lola several times until she tripped and fell.
The playground floor has 3 inches of light colored rubber material on it.
Lola bounced.


NO NO NO! Bad! Very bad! NO PUSHING!

Ok before you object at my yelling at some one else's (EVIL) small child I would like to add that I used my "Dixie voice". Dixie was the family German Shepherd who loved kids so much she would jump on their shoulders and lick their terrified screaming faces- she was SO FRIENDLY in that wonderful Godzilla sort of way.

The little girl jumped up in surprise and looked at her Dad who was standing 5 feet away with this HUH? look on his face.
Reminding me why I married him- Dave stepped in and explained as I was about to open the proverbial can of whoop on the dude.
The father hadn't been paying attention.
He was texting and missed the whole thing.
I walked away with my crying baby and felt guilty for having yelled at a small (EVIL) human and raving internally at parents who mentally check out at the playground.
A mother approached me.

I'll admit it. I cringed.
I'm all sass and attitude in digiland but in real life I avoid conflict.
Mostly because I'm scared I'll get that slap I asked for previously.

The Mom told me that the little girl had no playmates because she had been shoving kids all day.
Her Dad hadn't been paying attention or speaking to her after each incident.
She said she was glad my husband was speaking to the dude and showed me her 3 year old son's scratched up face.
I had no words.

I realized I better FIND a way to speak to parents calmly after a conflict because
1- I didn't want to be the googly-eyed yelly parent in the playground
2- the parent who has to apologize after her kid shoves another in the playground.

Which I was 2 days in a row this week.

Because Lola has started throwing hissy fits whenever she decides some other kid's toy is hers.

She shoves kids!
She hits them in the face!!!!
Right in front of me!
As I yell NO! NO HITTING OTHER KIDS! Say you are sorry! (that last part has GOT to be the stupidest thing I will ever say)

So I get the beady eyeball from other Moms.
I HATE the beady eyeball.
And the angry huff.
I HATE the huff!!!
And the pulling kids away from my demon spawn problem child.
This one:

It hurts me so much to see Lola standing alone and having no idea why her "playmates" left.
What if Lola is the school recluse who thinks shoving kids is proper social interaction?
It's all my fault!
I yell too much!
I snatch things. (like scissors... open dirty diapers.... the broom she was using to bash the brand new Blue-Ray player Dave finally saved enough money to buy)
I baby her too much.
I don't hug her enough.
I hug her too much.
She has no other playmates.
She's bored. She's tired. She's hungry.
SHE'S TWO!!!!!! (and a half)
But still!
Where did she learn shoving and kicking and slapping faces is the way to get what she wants?
I don't do that!

I called my Mom kinda late (10pm) last week to discuss this.
Lola wakes up and starts making the absolute MOST ANNOYING SOUND IN THE KNOWN UNIVERSE:

wwheee haaawwwww

Yes it's JUST as grating in person!
She sounds JUST LIKE the donkey we heard in the hills of Napoli as we walked around looking for pizza that didn't cost 18 US dollars a slice.
Yeah you think I'm kidding but I'm NOT.
You're in Ravello now, cheapo American!
Do you hear the donkeys braying Clarice? Ravello.
Except Lola's version is not REMOTELY this romantic. Even at a distance.
Us in Ravello.  Remind me to tell you how my Mom reacts to romantic bus rides
through long and twisty roads with no railing and fearless moped traffic.
So my Mom starts up.
"Michelle you really need to lay the law down with that baby or she will EAT YOU ALIVE before she hits 14."
(Insert mental image of Lola at 14 here.)  (Shivers!!!!)
"You don't have to yell or spank her. You have to be firm! BE FIRM Michelle!
You baby that child too much! She's almost 3!
Which reminds me..."
She launches into amusingly HORRID death and dismemberment story she read from random Puerto Rican news paper which is meant as a modern latinized Grim's Fairy Tales of parenting.

Her intention is to SHOCK and AWE me into correct parenting practices with this latest tale of death and/or parental incompetence.  (Which usually ends in said parents getting locked up.)
I'm tired, frazzled and scared crapless.

My child is going to hell in a hand basket and I'm the delivery person!!!

Everyone goes to bed. (but I stay awake several hours trying to figure out how to stop the donkey brays and the constant face slapping of fellow playground denizens)

The next day grandma visits.
YAY! We love grandma visits!!
I very much love my Mom. Grimm's Cuentitos De Adas Muertas aside- she's freaking awesome.
Lola starts the donkey braying. Again.
This time because I snatched away a screw driver my husband had left out (This is very RARE. The Mr is very good at putting tools away but I'd been "instructing" him on "proper air conditioner installation" and he got distracted.)
Lola had been trying valiantly to insert said screw driver into her left eye socket when I realized- AHA! A perfect moment to implement proper parental discipline practices!

"No Lola!"
"Give me that RIGHT NOW!"
"NOOOO!!!! Do NOT put it in your EYE!!!!!"
(this is all me by the way)


"wwheee haaawwwww

Feeling terrible and getting down to her level:
"Stop braying! I mean... I'm sorry honey- here- have this BLUNT PLASTIC TOY instead."

"wwheeeeeee haaawwwww
Only LOUDER and with more accent on the "eeee" bit.

"Awww!" (much hugging and piercing of my eardrums with WHEEE AAAWWWs) 

Then my Mom adds, curiously:
"You really can't stand to hear her crying, can't you? What's wrong with letting her show her emotions?"
No she didn't get her own subscription- this is a recycled box.
MuChOS SmOoChEs!


  1. Thank you for this fabulous story! I'm not a mother yet, and you seem like a great one. I have 9 nieces and nephews I helped raised in my teens... and none of them brayed! But shoving, pushing, violence, I think its a bit of a stage. Obvi if she keeps doing it, then you have a problem, but I think they all go through a bit of it, especially if she's a mini diva (which she is). Most important thing I can say, courtesy of my aunt-in-law's "demon" daughter - T(5) isn't the demon she seems. She gets in trouble a lot because baby bro J(3) is being bad and then she gets caught for it. Case in point - J is biting T. T pushes him off her (she is tiny and skinny and he is big tough boy) and he falls and wails. T is in trouble, time out for pushing. J - off scott free. Saddest part - she didnt even bother to say he was biting her, she is so used to taking the rap. Don't worry... this phase will pass!

    1. Thanks Victoria- this has got to be one of the best comments ever. I just caught her bashing another toddler WITH A ROCK in her hand this afternoon- luckily she didn't make contact so he just pushed her away and she wandered off- I was so horrified I took her right home. Lil Miss is gonna be the death of me.

  2. Parenting is trial and error! I don't know about you but I didn't get a manuel! I love the brute honesty of your story. I chuckl as I reflected on my parenting skills and how they have (somewhat) evolved over the past 14 years (my boys are 10 &14), too! I will never forget one day a few years ago when I was with a group of friends and friends of friends and one guy asked me what my parenting style is. My answer "Bi-polar" LMBO! But really, I can be calm and soothing sometimes but if I feel that my children are being hurt or hurting someone else I go ballistic! I'm a work in progress! It's funny that just the other day my oldest son mocked me because if they something I don't like they get the head swivel and "Excuse Me?" which is basically saying "WTH did you just say to me?" Ha! So, now I'm a little more predictable and less bi-polarish when it comes to my parenting! So, I say all this to say don't fret too much because as long as you love your baby and teach her right from wrong and as long as your recognize and actively work on things that you can do better it will all work out fine! Thank you so much for sharing this story- I did giggle at the thought of your baby girl receiving her own SC kit! heehee! Spoiled much? LOL!

    1. I meant manual not a manuel--I guess that would be a male nanny or something! Heehee! Hmmm, may need one though...

    2. Hmmm Manuel the manly nanny- my husband would NOT approve! Yes work in progress!!!! I cry work in progress! Thanks for the share Nitasha- feeling better by the minute here. :)

  3. Great read :) Yes, parenting is a battlefield! And yes, this too shall pass! I have 3 girls, 6 and under and each age has its own set of challenges for sure! They can ALL be SO sweet and also SO bad! Every day has its own set of challenges. I am with you on the taking up for your kid, especially when the other parent isn't looking - that happens ALL.THE.TIME. and I am always the first to say something LOL! In fact, I think the boy next door is a bit scared of me - whoopsie. But, will not yell at my dog and bang on my fence with a baseball bat - just sayin'.

  4. Fun read (as always!)

    As the parent of three kids less than 3 years apart (now 3, 4 and 5) all I can say is that for family disputes, by the third you kind of let them duke it out between each other and the last one standing wins!

    As always - the problem arises when it's someone ELSES kid involved!

    I tend to step in gently at first with a patient nooooooooo and the slip them the evil "do that again and really bad things will happen when we get home - like no ice cream EVER" look that mothers perfect on their own children when the other parents aren't looking - that usually does the trick!

  5. I love when you share your life challenges with us. I used to be the girl who would hear someone with their bratty children in the store screaming and acting crazy and I used think, Dang! They need to control that little snot!! Then I had kids and realized that its a lot of work! It would be fine if you really could "control" them, but they have minds of their own and they react different ways at different stages...and I've learned that you can have another child but what you finally found to work with the first doesn't have ANY effect on the next?! So then you're juggling trying to keep your sanity because you have two kids with two different personalities...and a billion different people out there telling you what will work? My personal goal that I'm thinking I will finally overcome when my oldest is in his 80's, is yelling when I get stressed!!! Because of that, it isn't surprising to know that anytime my oldest gets mad because he can't do something...he lets out a loud scream...and he gets in trouble for it....I always feel like such a hypocrite to correct him when at some point in the same week (yesterday was that day actually)I will be doing the same thing! Believe it or not, I am a better mom today than I was yesterday...but so many times I still feel like failure in the parenting arena. Someone told me thats why grandparents have so much fun...because they finally "get it" once the kids are out of the house, and that means they can finally enjoy the next generations of kids.

    1. I was just reading today that you are supposed to keep the family dramz out of your scrap blog for obvious reasons- (ie- people will think you are bananas). Considering it takes about 5 minutes to figure that out when you speak to me in person I figured it would be ok to just share and let the chips fall where they may. Thanks for your stories everyone- it's good to know I am not alone. :)

  6. There's no such thing as a perfect parent - we can only hope that our best is good enough. I still feel like a failure some times - hmmm ... quite often (mine's 9) - just when I work out how to deal with stuff she grows and changes and it's some new challenge! In the space of 60 seconds I can go from loving the very bones of her to absolute fury and back again - internally at least - I try not to act it out :). I tell myself that if I show her love and tell her right from wrong and listen to her then that's about as good as I can get - and I don't want a robot child - personality is good! Love your post and you sound like a great parent to me - one of the reasons I love your blog is your honesty :)

  7. I don't know about you but I didn't push an instruction book out straight after the placenta. At least you recognise when to step in and stop the destruction - round here there are so many that are to busy texting, smoking, swearing away to their mates about how drunk they got at the weekend to notice their angels beating the crap out of each other and whatever else gets in their way.

    I remember the two's. They are called terrible two's for a reason. They suddenly have to learn this alien new word 'no' after being pandered to for the first part of their lives. I swear they are testing boundaries and seeing how far they can go. I had my eldest doing one of those lay down on the floor screaming tantrums in the shops a couple of times. Once I stood and out screamed her. Shut her right up (and everyone else in the shop! LOL!) and the other time I said "ok, you get on with it. See ya!" and walked out the shop. Only as far as the door and I could still see her. She was on her feet and with me in seconds. Slipping her hand in mine. You just have to be boss.

    At the moment we have a teenage nearly 15 year old going through dilemma's with her once besties who are now bullying her, we have my middle girl who was a tomboy and at 11yrs is now dealing with all these feminine emotions and we have the 4 year old minx, crikey can she tantrum for England when she's tired... so I'd like to say it gets easier... but I'd be lying *g* It's certainly never dull! But - talk to their teachers and they can't sing their praises highly enough. Stick in there ;)

    1. Thank you Miss Carmen!!! Been making the playground rounds today- no slapping! YAY! We met another Mom and her 2 year old boy and Lola finally found the best friend she was looking for- there was much rock throwing and childish squeals of delight to be heard all through Brooklyn- and no crying! WOOT!!! I did try to walk away from Lola when she threw her third tantrum in a day last week- uhm it wasn't a good thing- the playground Moms were... displeased. I got many huffs- much beady judgy eyeballing. So it's DEAL MOMMY! Or get the JUDGY EYeBall!!! I feel them on my shoulders- they burn!


Ok peeps lets CHAT! You tell me what you REALLY think and I PROMISE to keep it open minded here.