I can’t swing a dead cat without hitting another new study that reveals nearly everything I do is causing lifelong damage to my children.
The latest online frenzy proposes that yelling at kids is now the new “spanking.” Italians across the land, like myself, are cycling through the day’s events and getting a smidge nervous.
I have my doubts that these so-called “scientists” even have children. Wait until you’ve had a child say “mommy” 84.67 times while you’re trying to work out how much those dish towels will cost after 20 percent off plus shipping — then we’ll talk.
Once more, a very scientific study I’ll call my own anecdotal evidence reveals that a woman can only be repeatedly called “mommy” for 16 straight times without the top of her head swinging open and confetti bombs blowing off. By the 17th “mommy,” something shifts in the atmosphere. The lights dim, the glasses rattle and shake, the house rumbles and mommy’s eyes turn wide and begin glowing like something you’d see in a Marvel comic.
A woman has her limits.
I’ve tried many different tactics to avoid the inevitable. I’ve said things like, “Mommy isn’t here right now. Please leave a message at the beep” or “I’m not mommy; I’m her twin sister Zelda” or “The next person to say ‘mommy’ will have to find all of daddy’s random socks that are mysteriously strewn all over the house and match it with a partner sock before getting their ice cream!”
But it never works.
They just started repeatedly shouting Zelda before leaving long-winded messages. Naturally, I’m just left with a permanent eye twitch and a house covered in lone, unmatched socks.
Nevertheless, I wanted to try my hand at speaking calmly under parental duress, if only for my own inner peace. After five long minutes of really giving it my all, I concluded that no one could actually hear me. My tone was no match for wild screeches, WWE wrestling matches over Barbie’s right shoe and the V-Tech shouting “Let’s play a game!”
Even so, constantly losing your cool can’t be good for anyone, especially the neighbors who like to keep their windows open. So, I resolve to trying to do better knowing that it’s OK for my children to see me be human and then navigate loving resolutions. My unconditional love and adoration will always outweigh the mistakes in the end.
And one day, when I’m visiting the grandkids and they say “mommy” for the 17th time, I can slowly brush the confetti off the counter and say, “See? Guess I wasn’t so crazy after all.”
Anna Lind Thomas is a humor writer and mom to daughters Lucy and Poppy and English bulldog Bruno, wife to Rob Thomas and founder of HaHas for HooHas. She writes for momaha.com.