“Give Me The F#@%ing Banana!”
And I didn’t say floating, flying, or farting.
It snowed yesterday, Saturday. I had had plans. We were expecting a parade of potential babysitters (I’m interviewing for a regular Saturday afternoon sitter), and then I was going to take the kids to the library.
But, it snowed. It’s the first snow we’ve had in a long time, and it was beautiful. It wasn’t alot of snow (maybe 3 or 4 inches total for us), but it was an impressively heavy snow, and still falling. All the sitters cancelled. So the kids and I went outside to help Hubby clear off his car, since he had drive down to work, no matter what. Then we played in the yard: made snowmen, threw snowballs, dug a snow construction site….
Eventually, hands got cold, noses got runny, and even Babyboy wanted to go back inside. So inside we went, shedding our wet layers. Soon, the kitchen entryway was covered in every winter outergarment possible, laid out to dry. Everyone wanted lunch, though it was only 11 a.m. We ate; we painted and drew; we even baked cinnamon apple muffins. I managed to keep them occupied without turning on the television for a long time.
At one point, when I was washing dishes, the kids decided to “go shopping”. This is when they fill a recycle grocery bag with items from our pantry and fridge. It’s cute, but it usually means that several fruits get mangled. We were really low on fruit, and though I was counting on Hubby to do a big shop later, I told the kids:
“Okay, you can put the fruit in the bag, but don’t play with it, and don’t take it out of this room.”
Yeah, right. Probably two minutes later, there was a spat of giggling, excited screams, and little feet running upstairs. I dried my hands and went to check on them. From the bottom of the stairs, I heard elephant stampede noises and loud yelling:
“I have a banana phone!”
“That’s MY banana phone, give it back!”
“No, you have an apple phone.”
“Apples can’t be phones! I want the banana phone! Give it! AAAAARGH!”
Then there were loud thumps and whacks and general mayhem.
I ran upstairs to find the kids wrestling on Babyboy’s bed. Babyboy saw me and held a banana to his hear, yelled “Hi Mommy!” while Babygirl tried to snatch it away. The grocery bag was empty and all the fruit was scattered over the floor and the bed, most of it under their little feet.
I, of course, started yelling, trying to yell over them: “Stop! You’re squishing all the fruit! I don’t want to have to throw it away! Give me that!” But I’ve got laryngitis (forgot to mention that) and my current yell is a pathetic hoarse whisper. So I ended up in the fray, trying to snatch the banana from Babyboy.
The kids thought this was all very funny. Their mirth, of course, made me CRAZY mad, and I got right in Babyboy’s face. As loud as I could, I rasped: “GIVE ME THE F#%&ING BANANA!!!!” I succeeded in grabbing it away, and angrily stuffed that and all the other sad fruit back into the grocery bag.
Babyboy and Babygirl both sat on the bed, watching me; not upset, but like they were wondering what the hell was wrong with me. Genuinely concerned. Then Babygirl said, shaking her head:
“Mommy, you should apologize. It isn’t NICE to take other people’s fruit away from them.”
Babyboy joined in: “Mommy, you should say you’re SORRY because that WASN’T VERY NICE,” and he emphasized each word by pointing his finger at me.
This went on, and they ended up jumping up and down on the bed, chanting:
“Mommy should say I’m sorry! Mommy should say I’m sorry!”
What do you do?
I realized that if any of the neighbors had heard my yelling, they’d be questioning my mental health. Thank God I’ve got laryngitis.
I also realized they were right, I should apologize, for using very bad language.
So we all collapsed on the bed in a big tickle-hug. The fruit was toast.
And later on, I found a very helpful article by Boston pediatrician and writer Claire McCarthy, 6 Ways To Stop Yelling At Your Kids (Or At Least Do It Less), originally posted on the Huffington Post.