Poop and Self Awareness are cool. Soap Suds are not.

Day 2, Take 2

Dear Self Awareness,
You are what I need to help get me through this Challenge. If I can just figure out why I yell, what my triggers are, then maybe I’ll be able to stop! So please, come fill my head with lots of deep thoughts and insights and more so, the ability to admit to myself the truth about why I yell.

See you very soon I hope,
The Orange Rhino


I should not be writing right now but if I don’t, I’m going to lose it. The baby is sick and had me up all night (again!) so I’m tired. Which means one thing. It is only 6 am and the boys already have the upper hand! My oldest two woke before their “yellow suns” and started playing at 6 – instead of staying in rooms quietly until 630. Now, at first blush you say wow that’s great  – they played together and you got to stay in bed an extra half hour. Yes this is all very true and very much a miracle. But when they are cooped up together for that long – even if willingly – my 5 yr old gets all keyed up and inevitably will start picking on his brother.

Sure enough … ”#2 is a baby butt, #2 is a baby butt #2 is a baby butt.” #2 comes running in bawling. Cue baby to start crying and 2 year old to start banging obnoxiously on his door to come get him all at the same time. Ah the beautiful symphony of noises that fills my home so early in the morning. And now you know why I set my alarm and try to get up before them. So that I can be PREPARED for the onslaught.

So today, instead of yelling I picked up my computer and starting typing the frustration out hoping that it would calm my nerves down and bring me some relief. Anything. Bring me anything just so that I don’t scream!

Enter #1 and #2. “Mommy, Mommy you have to come see #2’s poop! It’s so cool looking.”

And all is well with the world. Poops are cool and now the baby is laughing at himself. Nothing like a good laugh to re-set my stay-cool button.


Um yeah, that was an EPIC FAIL. My stay-cool button must have malfunctioned because not 2 minutes later I kissed Day 2, Take 2 of not yelling good-bye! Shortly after pressing “Save” it donned on me that it was TOO Quiet. Rule of Thumb: If you have 4 boys under 5, or maybe just any number of kids, period, if it is TOO quiet, be afraid. Be very very afraid.
I anxiously walked out of my room. Lo and behold…there were SOAP SUDS EVERYWHERE! My oldest two, who were supposed to be brushing their teeth, were actually cleaning the sink and counter with hand soap which we all know, gets nice and sudsy and goes everywhere when you use the whole gosh darn bottle. Lovely. Just lovely.  Before I knew it, I had snapped. Rather loudly. “What the heck happened? Who made this mess? Who’s going to clean it up?” And then came the Roar. “Get in here NOW!!!!!” This was definitely a Level 5 Snap per the Challenge Details turned Level 6 Yell. #1’s hysterical response amid tears:

“But mommy, we were just doing our morning chores.”

He was right. I’ve taught them to wipe down the counter after brushing their teeth and that is exactly what they were doing. Wiping down the counter. Helping ME. How did I show my appreciation? My excitement for them taking initiative? I snapped at them. As #3 would say, “not nice!” As I would say, not cool and totally unnecessary.

ORANGE RHINO REVELATION: I snapped at them for so called “bad behavior” before even stopping to realize that they were JUST TRYING TO BE GOOD, trying to surprise me by pleasing me.

It seems I have a nasty little habit of seeing something the kids are doing that is good in nature but an inconvenience to me and yelling at them for it. This morning it was the soap suds.  At dinner it was #2 taking out the milk carton to help and me yelling  because I was afraid he’d spill it. He of course said “but mommy, I am just trying to help you.” Sigh. At bedtime, it was #3 taking off the baby’s diaper and me snapping because I was certain my baby would feel the fresh air and pee everywhere – which of course is precisely what he did.

Forget my “stay-cool” button, where is my STOP button? The one that helps me stop, survey the scene, and then talk not yell? Can I get one at Staples?

This should read "Emergency. STOP. Think before you Yell. Chances are, it's unnecessary." Where can I get one? Can I hardwire it to my brain??!

No seriously though, if I had just stopped for a mere second in these situations and realized the goodness that was going on, instead of charging, it could have been an awesome moment.

So now I am back to 0. AGAIN. How is it that I went 8 straight days and now I can’t go 36 hours? And let me tell you, those 8 days. They were fantastic. I felt invigorated. I felt empowered. I felt proud. I felt gosh darn good. I need to get back on track ASAP.

Enter my imaginary Orange Rhino friends. Where art thou? I need you! This blog is my place to record my success and struggles and hopefully find the support to change this habit for life. So please non-existent Orange Rhino friends, find me and help me keep my stay-cool button functioning!


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