06 October 2008

The Mind's Ear

My dad was visiting this weekend. We had a great time: two days of perfect, New England fall weather punctuated by trips to the park, some nice meals, and Maddie and Riley's first trip to the apple orchard.

Apple picking was a blast. It was typical toddler chaos, involving Maddie and Riley trying to eat apples off of the ground; picking apples off the tree only to take one bite, reject it, and demand another; and a surreptitious wee-wee by Maddie in the orchard. We took a hayride (two thumbs up from all participants) and the kids rode mini-John Deere tractors around a haybale obstacle course. We ate donuts and drank fresh-pressed cider from waxed paper cups. 

We also stood in line for what seemed like forever for the moon bounce only to have the twins decide that they didn't want to do it after all. In and of itself, that was fine. But we—I—had an embarrassing experience while waiting in line that has been eating away at me for two days now. I'd spent about ten minutes in line reassuring Maddie and Riley that none of the dogs with their owners at the orchard were going to hurt them. M&R are terrified of dogs, and even though there was not a dog within fifty feet of them, and all of the dogs were leashed and calm, they were going ballistic: crying, clinging, demanding to be picked up. I was sympathetic, but my reassurances fell on deaf ears, and since I knew nothing bad was going to happen, I was getting frustrated with trying to keep M&R calm. My nerves were starting to fray.

Then a little girl totally cut right in front of us in line for the moon bounce. No biggie, right? She looked to be around five, and she was just an excited kid, not a deliberately malicious line-jumping maniac. But between my already heightened annoyance, what I thought was a distinct lack of her parental presence, and my innate sense of Rule Following Virtue, I snapped, "Excuse me, but we are in line here."

Suddenly, the girl's mom was on the scene after all. "There's no reason to talk to a six-year-old like that," she barked from directly behind me.

She's right. There's not. Of course, she had no reason to talk to me like that, but still. She had a point.

"You're right. I'm stressed out about something else and I took it out on your daughter. I apologize," I said, invisible tail between my legs.

I'm not trying to beat myself up here. I don't think anyone involved handled this situation well. The mom should have told the girl not to take cuts. I should not have snapped. The mom should not have snapped. Whatever.

What has stuck with me was that I had no idea how I sounded. In my mind, I sounded firm but kind, like I was telling a girl old enough to understand the rules that she should not take cuts, especially in front of kids much younger than herself. What became clear to me when the girl's mom went all Protective on me is that I had no idea how I sounded. As soon as I was called on it, I realized how snippy and rude I'd been.

This experience came on the heels of me reading a post on Fussy, in which Eden (I act as though we are some kind of BFFs, when in fact I highly doubt she even knows who I am!) was at a wedding and ended up being the Mom Who Watched the Kids for while. She said (post from 25 Sept 08), of the other moms who would come check on their kids from time to time:
I realize I'm more on the causal end of the parenting spectrum, however, and maybe all the nervous mom energy that blew threw the room every twenty minutes was born of hard experience having to  pay for broken shit, so I will cut them some slack. But can we all agree to talk to kids in a normal tone of non-condescending, non-shouty voice? THAT WOULD BE GREAT.
I read that post on Friday, and thought, "Huh, I don't do a very good job with the non-condescending, non-shouty voice, and that is an excellent point." And I was trying to be mindful of that. The apple orchard experience on Saturday made me realize that even when I'm trying and even when I think I'm speaking in a kind, compassionate manner, I'm not always succeeding.

Do I expect that I will be non-condescending and non-shouty all the time? No. But, especially as Maddie and Riley get older and truly understand and take in what I'm saying to them, do they deserve to be spoken to in the same tone and manner in which I'd speak to an adult? Yes, absolutely. 

I'm going to try to really listen to myself this week. I don't do that enough. It's not the words I'm worried about so much; I usually get the words right. At least I think I do. But the tone. The tone! I want to hear myself. What do I really sound like? I'm ready to find out.

69 comments:

beeeeeeeee said...

I think I would have reacted the same way you did. Thanks for the reminder!

Shosh said...

Wow. the way you reacted to the mother was really amazing. a lot of people would have snapped back at her. but what impresses me most about this post is that instead of just being annoyed at the whole situation, you took the lesson from it to improve on yourself instead of whining about how other people should improve their behavior. if everyone were as good a person as you the world would be a much better place!

Giovanna Diaries said...

Ohh, Were you snappish?
Well, I'm guilty of that myself...but in all fairness, I would have totally snapped back at that mom! Really, she should have seen you had your hands full and she definitely should have addressed her daughter's cutting!
At the fair this weekend the boys attempted cutting (in excitement) but I at least addressed it and said, "Boys, no cutting, wait your turn!" and apologized to the parents. I'm sure there were parents who were annoyed at me a bit...but I'll never see them again! And really, what more could I do?

Cair said...

Snick, I had a similar situation with a kid cutting in line in front of us when I was at an amusement park with my niece. In this case there was no parent around (really, who lets their 4-year-old run around alone in a huge amusement park?). I told him he needed to wait his turn in line. All of a sudden mom shows up and says "why are you talking to my kid?" in what felt like a very aggressive manner. I mumbled that I was asking him to not cut in line and she glared at me. I felt pretty small, and also evaluated my tone - which was a little stern than it needed to be. It's not been long that I've felt comfortable confronting other people's kids. This made me second guess it. I really feel like it does take a village, and we all need to help all kids make good choices. But my tone also needs to be nurturing and not punishing. Thanks for the reminder.

Anonymous said...

WOW, you impress me. I feel that you were right to say something to the child. However, I applaud your effort to evaluate your handling of the situation and improve yourself in the future. AND, good for you for recognizing your misplaced frustration and acknowledging it to the mother.

For what it's worth, I've been trying to HALT myself recently.

Thanks for the reminder. I'm going to try to do better at this myself.

Jeanna

AdoptaMama said...

I once told a friend's 6-year-old daughter that something going on between me and my daughter (also 6) was none of her business. The mom called me on my tone (you're speaking to her like an adult, not a 6-year-old!), but after the third or fourth time of telling her daughter nicely, I had finally had it with her. (And really it was NONE OF HER BUSINESS!)

It's tough to admit your own downfalls and I applaud you for seeing this as an opportunity to improve yourself. I guess I should take a lesson from that! ;)

Anonymous said...

i think that you were behaving appropriately -- to say something, to evaluate your tone in doing so, and to apologize when you found it unnecessariy harsh. it would have been nice if the mother could have responded with an apology or at least a little kindness of her own. i hope you truly are not beating yourself up.

"ready to find out!" i took voice lessons, and it has forever helped my relationship with my spouse. i am much more aware of my tone and have more options in how to use my voice (it had been an issue for me and our therapist suggested it. talk about humbling) i understand taking the class was a luxury not having kids yet afforded me, or at least made much, much easier. but just having people give me honest feedback on my tone and thinking about how I sounded at different times -- things you can obviously do without a formal class -- helped me to sound more pleasant.

pleasant. what a word. not that we should be soft spoken happy girls all of the time. hell no! but let's face it, who wants to too often sound unpleasant to their families?! i'm not saying snick has my former issue -- how would i know? but I applaud you for thinking about this important aspect of life! have fun!

OTR sister said...

I loved your response to the mom.

Melanie said...

Thank you for this post. My son is 3, I'm 36.5 weeks pregnant and have been Extra Mean and Yelly of late. I needed this post in order to check myself.

katia / crazy for trying said...

I had a kid (at least 2 y.o.) push my 14 mo. old at the playground yesterday while saying "Get the f**k out of my way."

Needless to say I gave him a piece of my mind and might have even threatened him a little when telling him to never touch my daughter again. Sad part is that I knew nothing would come of this from his caregiver as these types of kids often have neglectful parents (I'm generalizing here!!)

I probably should have spoken to his mom but quite frankly she frightened me and I would have been no match.

Cape Cod Kitty said...

Thank you for sharing that story....I am trying to work on the same thing after a recent incident where I hurt the feelings of my 2 yr old granddaughter. Not to bore everyone with the details, just know I was very tired and in a lot of pain and she was testing my patience a lot. I am still ashamed when I think about it. My daughter never said anything (she was right next to me), but I will apologize to her when next we are together. It was all in the tone, too. I actually, think you handled that situation well.

Michelle said...

I also have recently tried to impose a less shouty voice rule on myslef latey, and it's working for us. My daughter is listening more when I say things... and sometimes I only have to say things once! It takes a while though, and your kids are really little, so be patient.

Anonymous said...

Stacey, it's clearly time that you admit what the family has known since you had the twins and caregiving fell soley to you; it's time to give the twins to one of the many family members who would take them.

Your patience, as you well know, are just not there. They've come a long way but it's time. Having a stranger in the house WITH the twins and teaching the twins such inappropriateness is just not acceptable anymore.

We ask that you take the high road before anyone has to proceed through the legal channels and Child Services.

Melissa said...

Life wasn't so great for me after having open-heart surgery in 2006. I was hurting, scared and angry -- wait, check that -- PISSED as hell -- that this had happened to me at age 37. I was barely keeping it together, trying to recover physically and mentally while also taking care of a 22-month-old child.

As part of my cardiac rehab in those early months, I would leave my son in our YMCA's babysitting room while I exercised. After I dropped him off one day, I could see through the glass wall on the other side that an older child (about 5) had come up to my son and taken away his little stuffed tiger. He was holding it over his head and waving it back and forth in a teasing way while my son cried and reached for it helplessly. My son, whose mother had almost JUST DIED. The YMCA staff member had her back turned to this scene as she tended to another child.

I could feel the fury bubble up from my very toes. I stormed back in and confronted the little Nazi who was tormenting my son. I grabbed the tiger out of his hand and said menacingly: "Oh, you think it's funny to tease a kid who's younger than you, huh? Sure, that makes you a big man. How would you like it if I took away something YOU loved?"

The room went silent as the kids all stared at me in awe, a grown woman talking to a little boy as if he were my equal. The boy, no longer a tormenter, had shrunken down to size, quivering. The staffer touched my shoulder gently. "Hey, go easy, they're just kids."

My face felt as hot as if I'd turned a hairdryer to it. I picked up my son, mumbled an apology to the staffer, and ran out to my car so no one would see my tears. I realized that I overreacted not only because of the injustice of a child taking my son's toy away, but also the injustice of what had happened to me. And my son had witnessed my terribly inappropriate reaction. Not one of my better moments. I'm not proud of it.

I resolved, from that point on, not to take out my heartache (no pun intended) on those around me. Not always an easy thing to do. We all have our moments, and we all have heartache of one sort or another...and under pressure, sometimes we (you, me, other moms) snap. When it happens, we should apologize and/or forgive.

Snick, you handled your situation MUCH better than I did (and doesn't it seem minor by comparison?) :-) ... as always, I'm impressed by your self-awareness and your resolve to learn from experience. That's really all we can do.
Hugs,
Melissa

Snickollet said...

Anon:

Wow. If you know me in real life, please have the courtesy and courage to talk to me about this in person, OK?

If you know me only through this blog, please at least have the courtesy and courage not to be anonymous. My e-mail is in the sidebar.

I'm not yet sure how or if to respond to what you're suggesting. So I'll leave it at that for now.

-snick

Anonymous said...

Snick,

Don't listen to that anon. Don't respond. Don't acknowledge.

If everyone (myself included) could be as self-aware as you are, and think about everything they do and say and how it affects people, before they do and say it, the world would be a much better place.

We all snap at people without thinking sometimes. That doesn't make it right, but it does make it understandable. You realised what you had said and apologized for it. No further action necessary.

Rebecca said...

To anonymous who is threatening to take the twins away: what the f*ck? It sounds to me like Stacey is doing the best she can, and a great job at that -- how would YOU do if you had to raise two little kids by yourself?
Maybe, instead of threatening to have Child Services come in, you could step in to HELP her, if you're so concerned with how the twins are doing.
I sincerely hope, for Stacey's sake, that you are just some random asshole and not actually a member of the family, as your tone suggests.
Stacey, I think you're doing a great job! Raising twins has got to be hard for anyone, and you're doing it alone. My hat is off to you in a HUGE way. Keep up the good work of raising two adorable tiny humans!

Anonymous said...

You are a fabulous mother, don't let Anon. get to you, Snick!

Christen

Caustic Cupcake said...

I love your response to the other mother; it was tactful and probably made her think about how she had phrased what she said.

While your embarrassment certainly has its place in helping you be a better Snick, try not to be too hard on yourself. I love L. from The Homesick Home's post about traditional discipline in Japan; kids were more inclined to behave because they knew discipline could come from any adult at any time, not just their adults. I think a few harsh words from a stranger every once in a while go a long way to helping kids pay more attention to the way they are perceived in public, too.

I guess it's a startling revelation at any age to realize- or remember- that other people are listening and watching.

Watercolor said...

Hugs hun. You are going just great with these beautiful kids. Heck, I probably snap at my dogs more than you do your kids, lol! And they are furry bundles of pure love who I adore and spoil rotten.

No one is ever perfect. If you were, you'd be, well, God. So unless you are our new Messiah, just being aware of yourself is enough. hugs!!!

Snickollet said...

Watercolor--

Oddly, when I was in college, I had a dream that I was the second coming of Christ.

How embarrassing is that? VERY. And yet, I admit it.

I guess I have a healthy ego :).

-snick

Anonymous said...

Another approach is to assume that the kid does not in fact know better, or that he/she has forgotten the rules of courtesy.
Then you can phrase your reminder as a question: Could you please go to the end of the line, so that we are all taking turns? Or, Do you suppose you could line up--there is where you could stand. Or, Wouldn't you like to stand behind M&R, and then you'll be in line next? If you phrase a reminder as a question/request, you probably won't have to worry much about tone.
Pat

Nancy said...

I'm always so impressed with you. A) to have said something to the cutter. B) to have apologized to her mom instead of exploding back. C) your response to that stupid anon person who should be blocked from your wonderfully honest blog.

Anonymous said...

I'm not the same anonymous as earlier but I honestly don't see how you could say such a thing as to her kids needing to go to family members. She's doing a wonderful job as a mother and I don't blame her for ocassionally yelling at her children every parent does it in some form or another. Atleast Snick is able to be humble and admit she was wrong and apologize cause I can honestly say I wouldn't have done it myself. I would have told the mother that she needed to teach her child some manners. And to me it sounds like Snick has a great resource of people she loves and cares for who feel the same about her and her children that these children (granted will miss out on a great father) won't lack anything in the emotional dept or need dept. And as for the man she is dating that has nothing to do with her raising her children. Snick seems the type that her children come first. Quit accusing someone of not taking care of her child properly. If you want to see a neglected child I could show you plenty. Snick I would just ignore that comment because anyone would be able to see you take care of your children and love them!

Robin

Astrogirl426 said...

Oh! Oh my god. I just read the comment from anon. I actually read it several times, all the time hoping that it was a joke? Maybe they were kidding? As in, 'Girl, you snapped at that kid? And I hear you fed the twins chicken nuggets from a package twice this week for dinner? Damn, I'm gonna have to call CPS 'cause this just can't be tolerated!'

But, it doesn't seem like a joke. So for anyone who is worried that Snick's kids might be taken away, let me tell you this, as someone who is a mandated reporter and thus has some knowledge of how these things work: Snapping at some kid in line (and honey, if it had been my kid, I would have been all over myself apologizing to you and telling my kid, "We don't cut in line! Apologize before I sell you to the gypsies again!") and (gasp!) having a boyfriend, even one who (double gasp) spends time IN THE HOUSE, won't get Snick's kids taken away. It will probably only get the person calling CPS a good hearty laugh. They have more important things to worry about than someone who doesn't agree with her parenting style. You know, like parents who beat their kids and give their 18-mo. olds pot.

Anonymous said...

One of the reasons I come back here to read so regularly is because there are so few honest places of discussion of how to handle our "stress on the job" as moms.

Especially when - God forbid - we admit we aren't perfect. I so appreciate Snick's honesty and also desire to grow, change and learn as a mama. Thank you for making discussions about this candid, real and full of the love we have for our kids.

You give new meaning to healthy!

~ML

Anonymous said...

Snick,

I love your blog! You are very
honest and truthful about everyday
situations and feelings that all of
us experience.

I am very happy that you are feeling joy in your life but I am
concerned that ANON is a family
member who is not happy about you
dating and will use anything to
cause you more heartache. The calling Child Services really
disturbed me.

I wish only the best for you and
the twins!

kate said...

Anon-take your bad attitude elsewhere. Why don't you just stop reading? You're a pathetic human being. At least have the guts to post your name.

Snick-I think you're doing a wonderful job! I don't have children and I've snapped at people like that before. I'm just not as nice and would have told the mom where to stick it!

Lori said...

I'm completely impressed with your ability to remain calm after the Mom called you out. I'm sure I would have snapped back. I certainly would not have had the presence of mind to apologize! And then to recount the incident as a learning experience? Honestly, you're amazing. And thanks for sharing so that I may pause the next time and think about my tone before I speak.

Pam said...

If it makes you feel better, I would have acted the same way. Over the summer my son was in the hospital and we were out on the playground. Some much bigger kid (who wasn't sick BTW, just a sibling) pushed my baby tried to take his car-which was his. His parents were nowhere to be found. I yelled at him and went and got a nurse to get his parents. Now I realize I overreacted, but I think as parents that Mama Bear comes out when we think someone isn't being fair.
Pam

Cynthia said...

Snick: Thanks for your honesty. Not only are you helping yourself, you are helping others by being honest. Good for you! As for that Anon post: I had to read it a few times too. I was shocked that it was a serious post. That person should come forward. If they are posing as a family member, shame on them! I know it is difficult, but take heart knowing that that person's issue is just that - THAT PERSON'S ISSUE. This person must have a very low self esteem or a personality disorder. If they did not they would be talking with you compassionately and helping you. That is, if their issue is real and not made up in their head. You take care. You deserve the best in life and love.

Lyndsay said...

I (like many others obviously) am impressed that you had the presence of mind to apologize to the mother. I would have turned beet red and ran for the car! I think it's beneficial for your kids to see moments like that... because we're all going to be there at some point. Thanks for the reminder!!

Anonymous said...

Snick,
Like you said, if this anon person is really a family member, they should contact you in person. Your blog is not the place for them to be discussing such matters. If real concern is there, then they should be real to your face.

Anonymous New York said...

I think you handled the situation well and your post serves as a good reminder to me to speak to those I love with kindness. I am often guilty of getting snippy when I should just take a breath and think before I speak.

Keep up the good work, Snick!

Anonymous said...

Is thatAnon Blogger for real? I had to read it through twice.. What are they smoking, drinking sniffing? I am a single mum and I think that snick is doing a fantastic job and living the life of someone living in 2008, not the dark ages!and the happier she is the better her children are going to be for it!

Anyway her snapping at another child once in a while is hardly cause to call in the authorities!own...Is called Play ground politics and it a jungle out there...

the SA connection

Melissa said...

I have to delurk here because I'm upset by the anon comment. I too really hope that's a poor joke. Snick, I don't know you personally, but I can tell you are doing a wonderful job and a wonderful service by sharing your story with us.

Anonymous said...

Long time lurker, first time commenter.

For me the whole thing about the non-shouting condescending voice hit home when I heard my son using that exact same tone himself. Oh my - I sound like that?. Ugh.

Sometimes we just need to have something jar us back into reality, and for me, that did it.

Without responding to trolls, you must know that you are doing a great job with M & R, and you honestly don't take enough credit. Hang in there, and thanks for letting us take a peek into your life.

AngelaM

SummersComing said...

I had to delurk to comment on Anon. That has got to be the most....vile thing I have read in a long time. I am trying to remember that maybe this is a family member that is in pain or suffering but my God....what a rotten way to act!

Misplaced anger like that needs to be addressed in therapy. Furthermore, by dragging CPS into this would mean taking that worker away from children that REALLY need intervention. Shame on you anon.

Anonymous said...

My first thought was that the Anon comment was a joke, meant to point out that you were being pretty hard on yourself, Snick.

But if they meant it - !!! - no way is that person a) a human being, b) a parent, or c) anyone who actually knows you.

To the commenter: you should be ashamed of yourself. That was the nastiest thing I've read in ages.

Shelley

Plumwin said...

I've been reading for some time but never commented and feel the need now. I have a 22 month singleton and a husband at home. Sometimes I read one of your entries and cringe....at MYSELF. Man, if I can be half the parent you are, good for me. Seriously, reading your blog keeps me in line sometimes. I have nothing to complain about at all and dealing with two kids as a single parent is absolutely astounding. I envy your strength every time I read here. Don't let anyone tell you differently.

Mama Mama Quite Contrary said...

Don't feel bad about what happened in line at the orchard. We've all lost our patience with our own or other people's children. When you apologized to the mother of the line-cutter, you taught all the children a valuable lesson about having respect for others and taking responsibility for your mistakes. Any kid would be lucky to have a parent who is as self-aware and mature as you are!

buddha_girl said...

*sigh*

I feel like I've been nothing short of hateful to Buddha for the past week or so. I loathe myself when I do that.

Allison said...

Snick,

As someone who's commented anonymously a few times (although never maliciously...only supportive thoughts from me!) I'm loathe to suggest this but maybe it's time to turn off anon comments. If we have something we really need to say, we can stand behind it. That was just waaaay over the line.

A.

Anonymous said...

I agree with allison.

I post anonymously. Just to lazy to log in, but I would understand if you started blocking the anon option.

s_ivan said...

Snick, remember what it was like in the PeaceCorps? You would have been expected to do far more than be snippy with that kid in line - you would have been expected to give him/her the ol' one-two for good measure.

Why are we focused on adult "tone" when speaking to children when right and left I hear kids use shamefully sassy attitude towards adults?

I don't think that woman in line was doing her kid any favors by teaching her it is okay to speak to you as she did. Don't be hard on yourself.

Beth in CA said...

Snick, we all know you are doing an amazing job parenting; I suspect a troll is just trying to stir things up with an outrageous (so outrageous as to be utterly laughable) comment. I'm all for turning off anon. comments if it will weed out the trolls. You are far better at self-reflection and growth than most of us who have half the challenges...

erinwithalatte said...

Stacey, I was so shocked to read Anon's comment that I had to interrupt my husband's watching of G4 to read it out loud to him and shriek, "PEOPLE ARE SUCH A$$HOLES!" I read your blog daily and I am so impressed by your parenting, I can only hope that I'll be half the mother you are when it's my turn. Haven't got much new to say here but wanted to be another voice of support for you -- you are a fantastic mom and you deserve some affection and excitement in your life, whether it's from Mr. Coffee or anywhere else!! ((hugs))

kris said...

let me tell you, you are a heck of a lot nicer to the cutter than i would have been! opk (other peoples kids) can be the biggest pita in the world. wait until they are older and their 'friends' are hitting them or sitting on them and crap like that. my question is, do parents not teach their kids any good behavior these days? why do i have to go out and tell the little monsters that 'we don't hit here', 'we don't kick each other here', 'we don't (name 6 other obnoxious things) here'.. you were very polite, believe me!

Fairlington Blade said...

I've had a few uncomfortable encounters with my twin boys and other kids.

There was one time we were at a friend's house. I was keeping track of my twin toddlers (I think about 18 months old at the time). One neighborhood girl was being particularly stubborn, shoving one of my boys who just wanted to play in the little house that she was in. Later, she threw a ball with considerable velocity AT one of my boys. Definitely not a friendly act. It took significant self control not to whip it back at her. The first time I had to deal with a child making me seriously pissed off.

I've been lucky that parents have been charible in virtually every playground encounter. One of my boys (Z) has some degree of autism. So, he's not too clear on the it's somebody else's turn now. I've been thankful for the generosity of spirit other parents show.

Anon@1350 - Go away and troll somewhere else. You have no idea what you are talking about.

BB

Amy said...

Ha! Funny as in late Sept. my kids lined up for a fair ride and were apparently and CALLED UPON the fact they were lining up in the wrong place and could they please get in LINE??

My daughters were mortified and upset when they relayed the story to me. The daughters strive to live life CORRECTLY!

So yeah, when you have something to tell a child use tact and kindness. We all need a reminder once in awhile :)

(It is called the MOTHER BEAR instinct.. protect thy child!)

Molly said...

I always try to speak to kids who do something "wrong", like cut in line or throw sand on the playground... etc... like I would speak to my own kid... and teach them why what they are doing is wrong.. but then again, they always walk away when I am right in the middle of it. Such is life as a philosophy major. That comment about calling Child Protective Services was WHACKED but most likely not a member of your family.. I mean COME ON, what kind of psycho would do that on your blog?!

Shazam! said...

Ok, so never leave a comment because well (now don't be jealous!) I'm Snick's friend/co-worker so I just give her my comments in person! I just read that insane anonymous post about saying she should give her kids up because she may have snapped at a little brat that was cutting in line?? What?! It's by far the most stupid, insane comment I've read on any blog.

So to the complete horrible human being that wrote that off base, just mean comment...you need to take your bitterness and miserable existence some place else. We have ALL snapped or used a tone that perhaps we shouldn't have. It's called being human jackass and it take a big person to admit the mistake and try to learn from it. We should all do the same. If all parents had kids taken away because they lost their patience, well no one would have kids!

As someone who has seen Snick with her children and spent time with them, she is a great mom and her children ADORE her. I mean these cuties are attached at each hip! There is so much love there.

Anyway, just needed to chime in because that comment made me so angry!!

Anonymous said...

I came to realize a while back that I spoke in a similar tone. I realized that I had/have a lot of suppressed negative emotions and it's a way of releasing without using cutting words. I also realized that even if you use the right words, the tone you use can be just as destructive and cutting. The road to recovery is slow and progressive. Don't give up! Especially for the kids sake.

django's mommy said...

I totally thought Anon was kidding- how could s/he not be?!! Lordy.

What has helped ME be aware of my tone? Listening to how my 3 year old speaks back to me. He parrots what I say and how I say it. It's verrry interesting and quite humbling.

Snick, like 99.99% of your readers, I think you are doing a fabulous job. Keep on keepin' on.

Jane said...

I still think anon is Sarah Palin.

Shazam! said...

HA! Jane...the Sarah Palin comment made my day. That was awesome.

Cyndi B. said...

What does Sarah Palin have to do with this?

original anon...you're a bully and a coward for not speaking to the right person face to face. You got a problem, go to Stacey. Bringing up your opinion on a public comment board is rude and frankly offensive to me.

Anonymous said...

On the other hand, we are only human. People get peeved, annoyed, bent out of shape, what have you all the time. Though we regret our actions and tone of voice during such times, children do learn about the normal range of emotions in others and that those emotions are not always positive. More importantly, a part of growing up is to realize that the reactions of others does not necessarily mean we did something wrong. In this culture of 'helicopter parenting' far too many parents are ready to jump out at anyone they feel has mistreated their child. As a teacher, I see a huge difference in parents in recent years. They are only too ready to call me or send an email to protest any exchange I may have had with their now junior-high age kid. This is, in my opinion, to the detriment of the kid, who is perfectly able to handle the emotions of being asked to spit out gum and get to work right now! All the while dealing with my finely honed technique of raising one eyebrow and giving the 'teacher look.'

That is not to say that children and young adults should not be treated with respect and dignity. Of course, they should. But it's not necessary to beat ourselves up for a sharp word or an occasional bad mood.

Sherry
Tempe AZ

courtney said...

It's especially hard when talking to other people's children. You have no idea how they're usually spoken to and/or disciplined.

Don't beat yourself up over it.

Anonymous said...

Cyndi B., I think Jane's just stating the obvious: that Anon 13:50 and Sarah Palin seem to have an awful lot in common, such as:

- They're both, um, intellectually challenged.
- Their views of the world (and of women, it appears) seem to be stuck circa 1955.
- They both like to engage in unprovoked, thoughtless attacks.
- They both like to make idle threats.
- They both think they know what's best for other people's families.
And lastly, and maybe most importantly:
- They're both going to lose.

Aimee said...

Argh! I struggle with the same thing. The words are ok, but the tone (and even volume) of my voice need work. I'm especially aware of this when I'm around other parents, especially the more quiet-toned ones. I always feel like the Failure Mother at those times.

Thank you for talking about this and for being so honest!

As far as the Anon comment, I strongly suspected that a family member, mostly likely one of John's relatives, reads your blog and makes these kinds of comments (I remember another one a few weeks back and commented about this then). I empathize with you. My in-laws came across my blog and read a stupid two-year-old post about my MIL’s burned hamburger and called us while we were in St. Louis for our daughter’s surgery to raise hell about it. Some people are just too self-absorbed regarding how –they- think things should be and are really judgmental about it.

I think that Anon's comment is completely ridiculous. You feed your children a healthy, vegetarian diet, set proper boundaries, love them tons, and make a strong effort to have them involved in activities (parks or seeing friends during weekends).

Listen, if they won't take a crack ho's kids who live in squalor and see God knows what, there's no way in heck they'll take your kids. Let Anon try to call CPS. Although, I agree with Allison. Turn off the Anonymous comments.

BTW, isn't there a law that punishes people for calling the authorities for no reason or just cause? I'm just saying...

Anonymous said...

Please keep your political thoughts
to yourself. There are a lot of
us who enjoy reading Snick's blog
who are voting for MCCain and Palin!!

Anonymous said...

Well, I enjoy reading Snick's blog too, and I enjoy living in this country, and if McCain and Palin get elected, they're going to destroy it. Wake up.

OTRgirl said...

On Sunday, our pastor concluded his sermon by saying, "When you get home at the end of the day, are you good news to your family? When you go to return a pair of shoes and wait in a long line, are you good news to that teller?"

It was a different way to frame that idea, but was a good reminder for me. Your post reinforces that.

Anonymous said...

I think Snick would be the last person in the world to tell us to keep our political opinions to ourselves.

That's what's wrong with the community that I live in. Everyone has been so bullied by the McCain/Palin supporters, that they are afraid to even put an Obama sign in their front yard!

I got stopped in store parking lot, and asked what I am doing in this town with an Obama bumper sticker on my vehicle. I feel like I am in the twilite zone! Some people really scare me. And we are supposed to go on living with leadership that bullies us into believing one way?

GO OBAMA!!

abernier said...

That anon@13:50 comment was out to lunch, one fry short of a Happy Meal, one brick shy of a load, in other words, it was CRAZY. And unfortunately, there are many awful, crazy people out there, but fortunately, most of them can't exert any power over us, besides annoying the heck out of us. As many have said, there is NO WAY any of these threats are realistic. I just feel bad that you have to feel even a little bad over this. EVERYONE has had a situation where they spoke a little too impatiently with someone else's child. We are an intensely social species, and it's totally normal. Hitting someone else's kid is not acceptable, and you didn't come near that. Anyway, from a fellow mom-of-twins, you're doing great, and you know this, as do all of your friends and relevant relatives.

Christine said...

I just saw the anonymous comment and am completely frigging blown away. Like many of the other moms on here, Snick, I draw strength from you. I mean, if you can do it, and do it so well, alone, with two, how can I complain about having one and a partner?

I second (third? fourth?) the need to shut off anonymous comments. Anyone who needs to hide behind a computer can eat my ass. You are an AMAZING MOM, and don't let a weirdo get to you!

Yummy Mummy said...

I am new to your blog, and I am disgusted/ outraged at what that ANON would say to you. i have a 13 month old, and when my husband is out of town I can barely make it through the day. Your story touched me the first second I read it. I admire your strength and I know I could never make it through anything that you have been through and come out even close to as amazing of a mother as you are. You are an inspiration to everyone, and I hope that your pitiful family member who posted on your blog realizes what an absolute pig that they are. Don't you dare give them a second thought. My thoughts are with you.

robin

Mainly a midwife said...

Love your blog. And laughed at your post. I recently had a moment like that: My 6 yo son (Riley) has been totally harassed by this little girl at school (she likes him). One day while we were waiting for the classroom to open she was chasing him at school trying to pull him down to the cement(by his arm, shirt, wherever). After nicely saying "let's keep our hands to ourselves" several times... I leaned over to her and quietly said in a low tone "YOU LEAVE HIM ALONE". I couldn't help it. The Mama Bear came out.