Don’t Yell, Take a Picture!

153 days without yelling, 212 days to go!

Dear Nikon Dsomething or other, a.ka., my camera,

Somewhere along this process I realized something really important:  sometimes when my boys act naughty, when they are bound and determined to piss me off, to get under my skin, to do anything humanly possible to annoy me and set me off, IT ISN’T INTENTIONAL.

They aren’t out to make me yell, they aren’t out to get me (even though trust me, it sure as h*ll feels like it) they are just out to have fun. To enjoy life. To experience life in the way they know how. Which at times, sure looks pretty gosh darn naughty (um filling the bathtub with not 1, not 2, but 3 bottles of bath soap from under the cabinet?) and feels like a big ‘ole nuisance (um, cleaning up an entire case of eggs dropped on the floor as an experiment?)

But these moments, while frustrating as all can be, are actually pretty darn awesome. They are picture perfect in an a*s backwards kind of way. Because they show my boys not just being kids, but being people. They show them being Creative. Joyful. Resourceful. Entertaining. The list goes on and on. Yes, these moments of naughtiness are sometimes actually nuggets of awesomeness. And when they are, I stop, grab the camera (that’s you!), and pray that they keep being “naughty” so that I can catch the picture. So that I can remember forever the horrifically wonderfully amusing behavior. Yes, sometimes I even encourage them to keep doing what they are doing (GASP!) instead of reprimanding them.

And I am okay with that. Because I have learned that lots of moments that appear to be yelling moments really aren’t. They might be call for gentle discipline and reminders not to do that again, but they don’t deserve yelling. Or shaming. Or scolding. They deserve to be remembered. And I am grateful that as more days pass I take more and more pictures with you of said “naughty” behavior and follow up with gentle teaching because really, not only does that feel better inside, but it feels great to be able to watch my kids enjoy life in a carefree way.  In a way I struggle with so much as an adult.

That is what I love about kids. It’s cliché but true. They live life with less inhibitors and it can be pretty amazing to witness and can be one of the best parts of parenting. If I remember to chill out and enjoy the view. If I remember to grab my camera and not my yelling voice!

It ain’t easy. But lot’s of the time it’s worth it. I mean just look at all these kiddos enjoying life, being people, just like you and me. Okay, well, like me. Look at all the wonderful, not naughty, moments captured by your friends of kids being…

…CURIOUS!

Photo courtesy Beth T.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

…PLAYFUL!

Photo courtesy Caryn B.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

…RESOURCEFUL!

Photo courtesy Meghan T.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

…EXPERIMENTAL!

Photo courtesy Alison C.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

…DETERMINED!

Photo courtesy Becky

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

…ENTERTAINING!

Photo courtesy Jenny F.

 

 

 

 

 

 

…CREATIVE!

Photo courtesy Mary Rose S.

 

 

 

 

 

 

…PROUD!

Photo Courtesy Darlene W.

 

 

 

 

 

 

…INVENTIVE!

Photo courtesy Eva L.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

…DRIVEN!

Photo courtesy An F.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

…ENTHUSIASTIC!

Photo courtesy Robin J.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

…OUT RIGHT RIDICULOUS!

 

Photo courtesy The Orange Rhino's 4 year old...

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Yeah, my kids are a lot of things: curious, playful, resourceful, experimental, determined, entertaining, creative, proud, inventive, driven, enthusiastic and out right ridiculous! And yeah, sometimes they are truly naughty and they make me want to yell. But more often than not, it’s not that they are that THAT naughty, it is just that I find their behavior annoying at the time because it is a nuisance to clean up, to manage, to fix. More often than not, they are just enjoying life. More often than not, they are pretty awesome. And I am glad this challenge has helped me to realize that – has helped me to see the good more so than the bad. Of course I wish I discovered that earlier. But hey, it is never too late. It is never too late.

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9 thoughts on “Don’t Yell, Take a Picture!

  1. Awesome! I’ve been waiting for this post. So, tonight I totally thought of you (and this post) when my 3 yr old was being veeeery quiet in his room while I put baby brother to sleep. *sigh* He grabbed his trusty “I can do it myself” stool and went snooping on his window ledge where I put the things I need on hand in his room for me NOT for him to use. On that ledge were brightly colored bandaids (it’s summer, there are shorts, bandaids are a necessity at all times!). Well…the mostly full box is now empty because all the bandaids were used on his belly. It was pretty funny, didn’t grab the camera though because he realized very quickly that they were going to have to come off….and he knows bandaids hurt coming off…so he started crying and apologizing to himself for putting them on his belly LMAO! THAT needed a video camera (which I didn’t think to get). I then proceeded to carefully as possible pull them all off. That was, I think, punishment enough : /
    Ah toddlers! I needed this post tonight.
    Thanks!!!
    -Darlene

  2. My husband is gone to work by the time my boys and I get up to get ready for daycare and my work.  I often shower while they roam the house.  A few weeks ago, I opened the bathroom door to my 18 month old smiling at me while covered in black (thankfully not permanent) marker.  He proudly said “Mama!” Which I interpreted as Mama look what I did!  I couldn’t get mad at that face!

    • Oh my gosh, I love this! Thank you for sharing. What a great image. Sorry for the delayed posted…been a long week!

  3. I walked in on my youngest when he was 2 or 3, covered in baby powder. Like the whole container. I asked why he did that, and he said, ” To be a snowman.” Made sense to him. Imagine what must go thru their minds if they’re just making themselves snowmen and moms are yelling that they did something wrong.

  4. My daughter did an experiment in the viscosity of liquids. Using my laundry detergent. Thanks to you I was able to say “At least it was soap–easier to clean the laundry room floor with!”

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