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Monday, December 8, 2008

A Picture Worth A Thousand Words - and I'm afraid.

So yesterday I was going through a stack of papers in our little office/den/art room/whatever and I found this:

So I go over to CR ('cause it's obvious it's her style), kneel down beside her and I ask in my sweet mellow mama voice (which is too rare obviously):

"Hey CR, what's this?"

"It's you."

"What am I doing?" 
(And I already know the friggin' answer - I'm just hoping here.  I mean, my eyes are closed and well, it does say "Haaaaaa" - I could be laughing)

"You're yelling," CR replies calmly.


(My mind racing wondering what kind of long-term damage I might be doing.)

Me again:  "When did you draw this?"

"Oh, one time after you yelled at me and I was crying and I drew this."

"I see."

And with that I turned and walked out of the room.  And I'd be lying if I said I wasn't feeling a little bummed and a bit concerned and just, kinda shitty.

When I showed this drawing to my dude later that night, he said "Well, at least you have your eyes closed and you look kinda peaceful when you're yelling."

He knew I needed to hear that just then 'cause he's that kind of dude.

He knows me.  He knows I struggle.  He doesn't like my yelling either.  I'm surprised I haven't found a picture of me yelling drawn by him.

So what to do with this information?  

As usual, another moment of mommyhood that brings me to my knees, but in a different kind of way. Making me look deep within and wonder how in the hell I can change this really bad behavior that at times, is just....well, a little much.

I want to get better.  I really do.  My kids, although they are friggin' crazy energy insane and LOUD (just like their mama), don't deserve the amount of yelling they get from me.

On the flip side of things, I guess I'm happy that CR is working through her feelings and doing her own kind of art therapy.  She seems to have gotten over the yelling incident that inspired the drawing.

Isn't that way I should be looking at it? 

Or am I fooling myself?


  1. I thought the same thing about the art therapy.

    I laugh that she gave you three ears on one side of your head - or at least it looks like that in the picture. Is that better to hear yourself yell?

    I used to yell. I complained to my doctor about my short temper and my anxiety and my inability to sleep. Lexapro really has made a world of difference in how I respond to things. There I go, being the prescription meds pusher!

  2. I hate to break it to you, but...there will be a LOT MORE YELLING before it's all said and done.

    But, there will also be lots of laughs, hugs, tears and wonder. Life is good.

  3. LOL! That's really funny and cute!

  4. yep Vodka Mom's right.. mine are teens and they seem to recovered from (aka blocked out/repressed/ignored) all of the yelling I have done/still do. It doesn't make you a bad mom... just a loud one ;P

  5. If it makes you feel any better, I stumbled upon this letter written to me by my 6 1/2 year old daughter after I stood my ground in having her play a game using the correct rules. In other words, I wasn't bending the rules for her to win. Using her words, spelling and punctuation, it reads as follows ...

    "Big, fat, mean Mrs. Mommy

    Dear, fat mother. all I cold right on this letter is that your Big, fat, and mean. I am playing right. your not! I am toldollity better than you.

    Love, your better girl, Georgia"

    In addition to that lovely printing were two portraits of me. Both included fangs and triangle ears with a very mad face. Yes, my dude reassured me that it's good she can illustrate and write out her feelings.

    Oh ... the teenage years ... what am I in for????

    Oh and by the way, for those of you who don't know me, I am not fat!

  6. Kim - I don't think it's a triple ear thing - it's like the noise simply reverberating through the house..

    Vodka Mom - and yes, that's why I read you - for scary glimpses into my future where I can try to heed the warning signs...

    Kristy- oh yeah funny and cute - just wait until you're little baby girl starts doing this kinda artwork of you..

    Dizzblnd - I'm not a bad mom? Thank GOD.

    Ames - that friggin' letter alone is worth its own post. Time to think about guest blogging for me again. Thank God for Georgia - that letter just saved me... : - )

  7. I yell at mine all the time - but it's usually followed up with lot's of hugs and kisses. I'm hoping they balance each other out.

  8. well, my 7 year old daughter does the same thing when she is mad at me. Makes pictures of mommy with mean faces and it always says, mommy you are the meanest. I'm convinced she does it out of love! lol.

  9. I think your kids live in a house with loving adults who care about them, and in the end that is what's going to be important.

    When I was teaching, I realized that when I got a little low-blood-sugary (was a little hungry, in other words), I would sometimes be filled with seemingly uncontrollable righteous anger, and I'd yell at my students. I've found just eating a little trail mix or a cracker when I'm feeling that way (and having regular meals generally) really helps put me back on an even keel. Just a thought.

  10. I am a yeller too! I feel so bad afterwards, maybe we will team up and make a News Year resolution:)

  11. I don't like to yell either...I'm not sure anyone does, but honestly I am not sure I have every met anyone who didn't yell at their children from time to time.

    I agree that her drawing, although not fun for you to see, is good for her...kind of like a journal without the writing. Maybe she could have a drawing process her feeling good and bad, a sort of safe place for her like a diary.

  12. I yell too. I always feel bad about it afterwards too. I think its normal. My parents yelled. THeir parents yelled. I'm just trying to teach my son that I only yell when He doesn't listen to me the first time. (or the second, third, fourth, fifth....).

  13. Oh Lee, did you get yelled at growing up? I did.

    Am I better person for it? No. Am I lesser person for it? Nah.

    By the way, I remember with great fondness the first time my now eleven-year-old told me, "I hate you. You're the worst mother in the world."

    It still warms the cockles of my heart!


    Just kidding, but really they aren't going to like most of what we HAVE to do, if we are trying to produce self-reliant, responsible, caring adults someday.

    Don't sweat it! You're a good mama! How do I know? Cuz you care!


  14. Oh - sweet baby girl. And...I yell alot. There are no drawings of it though - my kids are going to need real therapy. Great.

  15. I yell too much, and I hate my voice sometimes. If I can't stand to listen to it, why should I make them listen to it? but...they're nuts and it's sometimes the only thing to get through to them...or so I choose to believe.


  16. Art therapy. That's exactly what I thought while reading this.

    I can't imagine you yelling. I don't think I've ever heard you yell.

    I thought you were singing. And another way to look at it is that she didn't draw you looking mean. But what I really want to know is what the hell is coming out of your ear in that picture???

  17. That's a tough one. I know mom's want to be saints sometimes, or something somewhat kinda a little close, but it's just too rare. You're human. Like you said, she's over it.

    As long as you give more than enough positive praise, hugs, and good ol' fashioned love, all that will, in the end, overpower those temporary breaks in patience.

    (Coming from, not a mom, but a kindergarten teacher of many years.)

  18. As least she is working through it. Maybe you could try the art therapy and just draw yourself yelling when you would feel the urge. It might make for some interesting pictures... and we would love to see them!

  19. I think the art therapy is great. It's a nice way of self-expression or release.

    I am certainly a yeller at times. I usually feel crappy afterwards as well.

  20. I love that story, it's adorable!
    Cute blog, found you through Mission Monday

  21. I adore this story! And I wish my kids would work through it with art and not by beating up their brothers.... sigh. I think boarding school is our only option some days!

  22. When my boys were toddlers especially, and one year apart, I swear my normal voice was yelling. But, I think, like others mentioned, that we laughed a lot too. They are teens now and SEEM to be healthy and normal, but then again they are teens and it's hard to tell. I always say to moms-- if you WONDER if you are a bad mom, if you THINK about yelling or the things you say to your kids, then you are't a bad mom because bad moms don't care of enough to think about these things:)

  23. One of the best ways for me to see what's REALLY going on with my youngest is to come across one of her little doodles. She does it often and they are great interperations of our household.
    It's cheap therapy.


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