My “Cruella” Tendencies

101 days of not yelling, 264 days of LOVING MORE to go…

Dear Disney,

Congratulations! You created such a smashing move in 101 Dalmations that whenever I hear the number 101, I think of all those cute puppies. And then often times I think of Cruella De Vil. The mean, awful wretch of a woman who didn’t just scare the puppies, but who scared the bejeezers out of me as a child. She was intimidating, angry, scary, rude and so much more. I couldn’t fully watch 101 Dalmations until I outgrew my fear of her. Which took a while. And she wasn’t even real, but oh was she nasty! Now that I am older, she doesn’t scare me, instead she scares my children. And not because they have seen the movie. But because I have acted like her. A lot. A lot more than I like to admit.  While I used to do a phenomenal impersonation of Cruella’s nasty voice, please don’t ever call me for a voice over. I’d rather never use that voice again.

Thanks for understanding,
The Orange Rhino


I haven’t thought about Cruella in ages. But now that I am doing this Challenge, now that I am on 101 days of not yelling, the imagery of Cruella De Vil has come back.

Huh? What is the connection? Isn’t The Orange Rhino Challenge about loving more? Yes it is. Stay with me. This is how my brain works: 101 Days à 101 Dalmations à Cruella à She was so mean and scary à Wow. That is HOW I used to be when I entered the Level 6 and Level 7 Yelling Zones.  Mean and Scary. Mean and Scary sounding. Mean and Scary looking. Just admitting I was that way sounds as ugly as Cruella looks.

Um, pretty certain I've looked just like that. Pointing finger and all.

And it sounds even uglier when my kids used to say it to me after I yelled.

“Mommy, stop yelling at us, you’re so mean.”

“Mommy, stop yelling, you scared me.”

“Mommy, I don’t love you anymore. You hurt my feelings.”

And the best one liner from my wonderfully perceptive 5 year old:

“Mommy, you don’t yell at people you love.”

Ugh. Thankfully I am now on 101 days of Not Yelling, of loving more, and thankfully these sayings from my children have ceased. (But have no fear, I am still sometimes told that they don’t love me anymore. You know, because I didn’t let them have three scoops of ice cream. For breakfast.)

And to be clear, lest you think I was a total Villain, I was not as horrific as Cruella (and neither are any of you!) She just comes to mind because I too was angry, intimidating, rude and scary when I yelled AND because I read on Wikipedia or something like that, that “Cruella is not a schemer. Instead, she acts purely on impulse and is thus prone to reckless behavior” and that was SO me.

I struggled with finding the impulse control to not yell. Yelling is SO easy. When I was tired, frustrated, moody, lonely, overwhelmed, fill in the blank…my impulse control went right out the window and reckless behavior, in terms of yelling/screaming came right in, without missing a beat. It never even knocked as a warning. It just came right in, unannounced. How rude!

Hello!!! I'm here! Mrs. Reckless behavior, ready to yell and be nasty. Hahahahaha!

Learning to control my impulses truly couldn’t come at a better time.

You see learning not to yell is more than just learning not to be scary, not to be mean, not to be rude. It’s more than just learning to be more patient, more calm, more understanding. It’s about teaching too, like teaching my kids about impulse control.

And right now, my kids really need me to be a better teacher, a better example, because they are all at the age where impulse control is hard as can be. Just today #2 pushed another kid at school. 75% accident. 25% not. The note from the teacher read:

“….impulse control has improved although has not been perfected.”

Hmmmm…seems like I am not the only one working at impulse control.

We are ALL works in progress. Even my kiddos.

I often forget that. I used to forget that A LOT and I think it was a big reason for my Cruella tendencies. Because I expected too much. I expected my KIDS to have perfect behavior an awful lot and when they didn’t, hellooooooo Cruella. “Get off that couch! Clean up your room now! Do what I asked you to do 5 times already!!!”

So on this 101st day I remember Cruella. I remember that I don’t want to be like her anymore. Because she is scary and mean and I want to be calm and loving…even when mad. You know, like a Fairy Godmother.

Bippity, Boppity, Boo! The laundry is done, the house is clean, the to-do is complete, the children are singing kumbaya, nothing to make me yell.










I mean an Orange Rhino…obviously!

As loving and calm as a Fairy Godmother, but more determined and strong, in a good way!




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2 thoughts on “My “Cruella” Tendencies

  1. I really appreciate you discussing the journey you are going through.  I have been through all those same emotions this year.  My scary mommy moment is when I was yelling and I felt veins popping and my kids response was, “Oh she must be tired.”  I don’t like that it was so normal for them they weren’t upset by it. I have been seeking the other reasons I yell and I find a lot of times it has nothing to do with the kids, I am upset about something completely different.  The fact that you recognize the need for change is awesome, keep on going!

    • Sorry for the late reply! It got lost in comment world. Anyway I really appreciate your reading along. You must have known what I was going to write about tonight. Tonight’s post is for you! Thanks for the support 🙂

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