Don’t mess with the bull, young man. You’ll get the horns.

I heard on the radio this morning that there has been some kind of significant study showing that yelling at your kids is just as bad – if not WORSE – than spanking them. Well, then. This is one of those hot button, easily misinterpreted studies, in my mind. Of course no one wants to belittle their children or destroy their self-esteem. Of course no one should yell demeaning or insulting things at their children, but I think there’s a difference between, say, Shut the fuck up you stupid kid! and Don’t touch the stove! but according to the woman being interviewed, there IS NO DIFFERENCE. Instead of losing your shit because your child almost grabbed a pot of boiling water off the stove, you should tell them calmly not to do that and remove them from the kitchen. WELL THEN.

I guess I just may as well have taken my blacksnake whip – remember Farmer Boy? Badass Mr. Wilder and his blacksnake whip. – to all the children at the playground today because I yelled at a whole group of them. Perhaps yelling is too strong a word. I spoke VERY SHARPLY to them, including my own children and their friends, because there was an icy snowball-throwing incident and Jake took one to the face. I VERY SHARPLY informed the children that they were not to throw snowballs, especially not in this weather with the “snowballs” being chunks of gritty ice-like snow. “If this behaviour continues,” I said in a loud, sharp voice, “I will go and tell the principal. I DO NOT THINK YOU WANT ME TO TELL THE PRINCIPAL, DO YOU?” Then I pointed my gigantic mitten clad hand at the group of them, who looked at me wide eyed and silent, and turned and walked away.

As I was walking away, I heard one of them say “That was the book fair lady.” Don’t cross the book fair lady, children.

Ah, but if this study is correct I may as well have beaten them all with sticks, or a blacksnake whip. No matter! The snowball throwing ceased immediately, and so I CARE NOT. The end more than justified the means, in my opinion.

The weather finally has broken, so my constant humming of Hold on for one more day has really paid off. Today I did not feel like I was going to die while walking the dog; I put on my pretty winter boots instead of my Joan-of-Arctic Sorels. I am full of light and optimism. This is a good thing because yesterday I feared for my sanity. I dropped the boys off at their karate practice and went to Superstore. At 5:00 on a Thursday. Since when did my personal judgement get so flawed? This was a terrible idea. All I needed, really, was a couple of eggplants and a tube of bubblegum-flavoured toothpaste. The self-checkout was filled with imbeciles with giant carts full of, apparently, only produce and bakery items. My blood pressure is rising just thinking about it. Please wait for an attendant. Please wait for an attendant. I almost shoved people out of the way to do it myself. “NO! NO! DON’T PUT IT ON THE SCALE UNTIL IT ASKS YOU TO!”

It’s probably a good thing I didn’t. Yelling at someone for their incompetence with the self-checkout would surely be damaging to their self-esteem. In any case, it’s Friday, and I’m ready to crack open a bottle of wine and watch a few episodes of Downton Abbey. Happy weekend, everyone! xo



  1. My sister has observed that I yell just to be heard above the din. I think I yell “HEY!” more than any other word. My neighbor tried not yelling for a week or so. She then decided her lowered tone was more menacing and creepy.

  2. You are brave to take on playground duty. When I’ve been on the playground of my daughter’s school at recess (not as a volunteer but just passing through on my way out from other volunteering or attending events) it’s a madhouse. This year they have implemented a complicated wrist band system that divides kids into groups and restricts them to a certain part of the playground (they rotate through the areas). This was supposed spread them more evenly through the playground to address the parent concern about inadequate supervision, but I don’t know if it’s worked. I do know the kids resent being split into groups and not always being able to play with their best buddies, so I guess nothing is ever going to please everyone.

  3. you always give me a good chuckle. Thank you!!!

  4. So, it’s not like I yell at my kids often. My mother was a yeller and I REALLY wanted not to be a yeller when I became a parent. But I would have to either have had some kind of brain surgery that removes the part of your brain that becomes aggravated when your children don’t listen, do something dangerous, or are just totally insane in order to stop yelling entirely. I can actually see myself running around like George Costanza’s dad screaming “SERENITY NOW!” and losing it completely if I tried (serenity now, insanity later)


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