I’m surprised I haven’t gone deaf yet…from my own yelling. After having a kid, I have two tones: quiet to avoid a headache and really, really loud. When I say loud, I mean everyone can probably hear me down the block, while a chainsaw is running (okay, I’m not sure why there would be a chainsaw on our block, but you get the idea). When it comes to yelling, there’s the great, the good, the bad and the ugly.
The Great Yelling
There are the basics, like yelling when my football team is playing. Sometimes this scares my daughter and she covers her ears. I try not to yell, but it’s hard to keep myself in check. I think she’s catching on because the other day, in the middle of nowhere I heard her shouting, “Get ‘em, get ‘em, get ‘em!” She was playing with her Polly Pockets.
Then there’s my secret-weapon yell. When I want my daughter to do something she doesn’t like, I add a lot of animation to my tone and facial expression and I YELL it. “IT’S TIME TO GO POTTY! WHO’S GOING TO GO POTTY THE FASTEST?” or “LET’S FIGURE OUT WHERE ALL OF THESE TOYS GO! YAY!” or “LET’S EAT OUR VEGETABLES! YAY! WE’RE GOING TO GROW BIG AND STRONG!” You would think this wouldn’t work anymore, but it does (I probably just jinxed myself). Right now, I can pull the wool over my daughter’s eyes with my pinkies. SHE LOVES IT!
The Good Yelling
There is the validation yell. “GREAT JOB COLORING THE PRINCESSES!” or “GREAT JOB GOING POO POO!” or “YOU ATE ALL OF YOUR VEGETABLES! I’M SO PROUD OF YOU!” or “YOU WASHED THE CARS!” Hopefully, the last one will someday apply to my daughter as well as my husband.
This one is neither good nor bad, but it’s a daily occurrence. We live in a house with a LOT of stairs. With a kid, there’s ALWAYS something that I forget upstairs. If my husband is up there, I usually yell-ask him to get me what I want. “CAN YOU GET HER SOME SOCKS?” or “CAN YOU GET HER A HAIR TIE?” or “CAN YOU GET MY PHONE?”
The Bad Yelling
This usually occurs when my husband forgets something. “YOU WENT TO THE GROCERY STORE FOR MILK AND IT’S THE ONLY THING YOU FORGOT?” or “YOU BOUGHT STRAWBERRIES WITH MOLD ON THEM?”
For my daughter it usually involves eating or using the potty. “EAT YOUR VEGETABLES! IT’S BEEN 30 MINUTES!” or “GO POTTY! WE NEED TO BE AT BALLET IN 10 MINUTES!” or “GO TO TIMEOUT! RIGHT NOW!”
The Ugly Yelling
This involves something breaking or someone hurting my family. My parents had this really bad, CorelWare, when I was a kid. The two plates I have left are old and dingy, but they are covered in sentiment, probably as much as a piece of antique, ancestral jewelry. Well, the other day, my husband broke one of the plates. It wasn’t a simple accident. The dish didn’t slip from his hands in the sink, while washing it. He was careless and placed the plate on the edge of our kitchen counter without equal distribution of weight. And, when I say the plate was on the edge of the counter, I mean only two inches were supporting the other 8 inches.
My husband can be a klutz when it comes to dinnerware and glasses. In fact, since we moved in together, I no longer have ANY of the wine glasses I owned pre-cohabitation. He broke them ALL. So, this is where I let out a yell so loud that I think I may have disabled my eardrums for about 10 minutes. I was like a shotgun going off, with the smoke steaming out of my ears and pores. “YOU BROKE THE ONE CHILDHOOD THING I CARE ABOUT!” Then, of course, I sobbed like a little baby. I’m pretty sure my own kid called me a crybaby.
Then, there was the way I yelled at the driver that almost hit my kid recently in the Trader Joe’s parking lot. That yell is so loud and fierce; it could get me into trouble sometime. It ALWAYS involves at least one F-Bomb and several visible veins on my forehead. Again, you mess with the bull, you get the horns. In this case the horns are a synchronized flip off and the steam is rushing out of my nose!