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[Quiet Thoughts] It Ain't All Rainbows and Sunshine

4 years ago

1191 words

Photo: I am a little bored with muffins, so when I found this recipe for pancake squares, I was like, yesssssssss. Too easy, too quick, and very yummy. They are light and fluffy like pancakes, but square like brownies. I, of course, embellished with the spices. I was very concerned that little boys would hate them but, instead, they couldn’t get enough! I won’t make them all the time, but they are definitely in the rotation!


I know that I can’t speak for every mother out there, but it is probably safe to say that most of us didn’t walk into this gig with the intention of being “The Yeller.” That mom who is constantly screeching over this or that. I certainly had the intent of being the serene mom, finding patience each and every time instead of raising my voice in anguish.

My mother wasn’t a yeller. Hers was a lower sort of anger, the way of the mothers before her, where the knees would bend and the eyes would narrow while the hand was faster than a lightning strike and stronger than a strongman’s. “Little girl, if you don’t…” Oh my goodness, my heart just skipped a beat.

Father was a lecturer. Sit us down and talk talk talk talk talk talk talk… “and don’t you know that” talk talk blah blah blah “and you’d better look at me when I’m talking to you,” bllllaaaaddidyblahblahblah…. He’d raise his voice for emphasis. Sometimes slam his fist on a desk. He’d have made a good Congressman…

it felt like they lasted for hours. They probably lasted 20 minutes. He’d get to his beer and run out of steam. I’d yawn and heave my shoulders and he’d let me go.

I have somehow combined the two, and I have added a bit of my own. That bit is yelling. I don’t mean to, but I admit to it.

In my defense, the boys have been off the chain this week:

First, Minor has figured out how to effectively push Major’s buttons. He can look at his brother and do the following (and I’m gonna adjust the dialog for their blog names):

Minor: “Major, are you a Bay-jor?” 

Major: “No! I’m a Major!”

Minor: “Well, I think you’re a Bay-jor!”

Major: “NO NO NO! I’m a MAJOR! A MAJOR!!!!!”

and round and around they go. It can be at any time for any reason. They can be at the dinner table, and Minor will get a smile and a look, and Major will just start whining.


I say to my eldest, “Don’t give him the satisfaction! If you don’t show him that it bothers you, he’ll leave you alone!”

My eldest regards me coolly, the way that a 4 year-old who knows everything regards his mother, and then he nods his head in required acknowledgement.



All week, dear reader. All week. I tell him, “just ignore him!” “Don’t react to him!” “if you do that, he’ll keep saying it!” Have you ever been in a wind storm and you shout at the top of your lungs and you know the sound is hitting your ears and your ears only?

It isn’t just the name game, either. Minor has been chasing his brother outside and slamming his motorcycle into his. This, of course, sets Major into a rage like no other. No peace for the Mama, inside or out.

So I try to ignore it, praying they find a justice that works for them. Sibling justice. It’s a thing. Nope… too young for that. The torture continues.


When they aren’t at all-out war, they are simply running a-muck like they ain’t got no damn sense. Today, the boys made a game of throwing their toy matchbox cars at the playroom glass.

Thank you Jesus, none of the windows broke!

There was also climbing on furniture, jumping on furniture, throwing toys at each other, whining for any and all reasons…

So I was a yeller this week. I didn’t want to be. I didn’t set out to be. But I was.

I’m not a Sanctimommy. This isn’t a post where I tell you my enlightened reasons why yelling never works and it only harms and whatever such nonsense gets suburban women lots of followers and book deals. I will tell you that, though sometimes effective, yelling really didn’t make me feel any better. It got their attention, and sometimes that is needed when the house becomes a circus, but that’s about it. I imparted few lessons this week.

I am resigning myself to a few things: “Boys will be boys” is a real and actual thing. They will be competitive, they will be obnoxious, they will be destructive and I am going to spend too much of my life energies trying to reign them in. Time after time, day after day. It freaking sucks.

I am also resigning myself to the probability that I will never be the mother I want to be. I will forever lack the patience or wisdom to be the kind of mommy that the internet says I could or should be. I guess my Quiet Thoughts are on the fact that Motherhood has ugly weeks. There are weeks when I’m not going to be the world’s best mother. I’m not even going to be their best mother. Maybe the secret that Sanctimommies don’t want to tell you is that I think my sons also know that they weren’t the world’s best kids this week. Hell, they weren’t even my best kids this week. We all, in our own ways, fed into the chaos.

I could choose to spend some time feeling guilty…

but the boys are getting into their next fight, so I have to referee. So it goes. This too shall pass. Or so they claim.

Who are you today, dear reader? Who do you want to be tomorrow? If someone were to write your biography, what would the first sentence be? I’m sure someone would write about me: “She was the most impatient woman whoever lived but, where her expectations for everyone she ever met were impossibly high, they were nothing compared to what she expected of herself.” Good thing? Maybe. Probably not. History will tell (or, most likely, forget). In the meantime, my dear reader, I wish you dry weather if you live in the mid-west. I wish you (reasonable!) rain if you live on the west coast. I wish you a little relief from the heat if you live in the north east with me. I wish you chilled wine, crispy veggies, and slow cooked barbecue. I guess barbecue should probably be served with beer. GOOD beer! None of that IPA nonsense!


I wish you a game of chess under an old tree. I wish you time to listen to a commencement speech. I wish you a hearty handshake and an awesome opportunity. I wish you love and joy, and the wisdom of knowing that you are, without question, loved beyond measure.

Until Monday, take care.

4 Replies to “[Quiet Thoughts] It Ain't All Rainbows and Sunshine”

  1. I don’t think anybody is the person they intended to be, whether as a mother or as a friend or as a student or whatever — life just doesn’t work out like that. (I know I’m nowhere near as good a friend as I wish I was, nor as hardworking or committed or a student, nor as dedicated as a writer, and so on and so forth, because things get in the way and it’s just not possible to live up to the impossibly high expectations I set for myself on a regular basis.) But that doesn’t mean you’ve failed entirely to fulfill that role. It just meas you might’ve approached it from a different angle.

    Okay, so this comment is also an attempt to reassure myself that I’m not failing at life, but I mean it. From what I can tell, as somebody whose life is entirely different and who has never experienced the circumstances that are your life, you seem to be doing a pretty good job. I’m not an expert, I’m just a person. But yeah.

    1. You are very kind, Miriam. I don’t think anyone who is doing what you’re doing can be failing at life! AT ALL. 🙂

      It’s funny, my mom recently sent me a link to an NPR interview with Toni Morrison, who is promoting her latest book. She spoke about regrets, and how she has them, and that she lives with them and really thinks about them.. And my mother and I have been speaking a lot about that because we live in a culture that is constantly screaming “NO REGRETS!” and we’re taught not to have them, even if we do… and here is this woman, this sage in both of our lives, very clearly and unabashedly saying that there are regrets in her life, she has them, and they are a part of her day-to-day… it gave both of us pause (me and my mother).

      And while last week wasn’t a week I’ll REGRET per se, I am growing to appreciate to pause, to take stock and say that I could have done something better. OR to ponder where the path split between what I thought I wanted and what I got instead… and yeah, maybe that also means stopping and saying, “that was a complete and utter failure. What the hell was I thinking.”

      Anyway, that’s what I’m thinking about.

      You’re not “just” a person. You’re an awesome person, and I appreciate you, Miriam. 🙂

  2. Man, I so know how you feel; dunno how many times I wanted to drive my nephews out to BFE and leave them for someone else to find. Duct taping them to chairs should be legal.

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