The Orange Rhino Rolodex

45 days down, 320 to go!

Dear Day 45,
You kind of sucked. Big time. But you know that already, you were right there beside me watching (laughing?) as the kids took turns kicking my a*s and I fought back tears of frustration. Oh I hope the next few days are better or at least that they give me new ideas on how to handle tough, crappy days.

Off to recharge,
The Orange Rhino


Today sucked. Really sucked. I haven’t had a day like today in oh say 45 days. The hits just kept on coming and my anger, then hostility, and frustration just kept on growing. I think my kids actually woke up and said, hmmm, let’s test mommy today. She is almost at 50 days, let’s knock her back to 0 for sh*ts and giggles. Well they did a darn good job trying. Because let me tell you…oh did I want to SCREAM today.

It all started at 7:00 am. #2 took all the pillows in the family room and created a blockade so that I couldn’t sit down and feed the screaming baby suffering from a 103 fever.  I know, sounds innocent, right? They are just pillows. Well to me, it was a personal attack. I have told him time and time again NOT to do that because it makes it hard for me to walk safely around the coffee table without tripping and yada yada yada. In otherwords, it’s a darn inconvenience to me and I don’t want to deal with it at 7:00 in the morning. Can we say, mama was CRANKY?!


Five minutes after I finished feeding #4 and the boys TV show ended the mischief began. The dumping of all toy containers. The throwing blocks across the room. The running around the house naked and screaming. Did I mention the baby was still crying because he refused his bottle and he was still starving?  Did I mention that nothing and I mean NOTHING I said, did, tried, stopped the behavior? Did I mention that I was so frustrated tears were starting to fall down my cheeks? Yup they were. I just didn’t know what to do with myself. I was so overwhelmed and frustrated that I couldn’t get a hold on the situation. Disciplining just wasn’t working this morning and I wanted to SCREAM, not yell, but SCREAM!

So I stood still in the middle of the kitchen, tears falling, baby screaming in my arms and the three older boys running around me, naked.

The Orange Rhino Rolodex. Well not exactly, but maybe I do need one?!

And I started mentally flipping through my Orange Rhino Rolodex for tips on how to keep from yelling. Breathe. Walk away. Whisper. Get a camera. Join them. I tried everything (but get naked, scary sight!) and didn’t yell but discovered I was quickly running out of tactics. Sigh. It was only 8:00 and I was tapped out for the day.


Saved by the toaster oven! The waffles I *cooked* are ready and the smell of syrup rallies the troops, albeit still naked, to the table. At this point, I don’t care. I just want 5 minutes of quiet and quasi good behavior.

Clearly too much to ask.

The plates – WITH SYRUP DRIPPING ON THEM – start flying across the kitchen table. Are you kidding me??? I picked up the plates and cleared the table. Breakfast was over. The response I got?

“Mommy, we were just being like the three naughty monkeys on TV. We were having fun too. You see, the monkeys threw their breakfast (banana peels) so that is what we were doing.”

Well sh*t. They were right. They were acting out the TV show. Ugh.  Should they know better? Probably. But points for creative play.

Just then, they are saved by the phone. My hubby innocently asks how the morning was going. My response?

“It ain’t going, it’s EXPLODING. This morning has been awful. I am at a loss. I don’t know what to do.” Tears start flowing FAST.

My husband so lovingly tells me one of my new insights:

“Sweetheart, you just have to go 32 more minutes and you’ll make it through the day. You just have to get them buckled into their carseats (where they can’t hit, punch, bite each other) and off to school.”

“Right. I got it. I can do this.”

I can’t remember exactly what happened in those next 30 minutes. I blocked it out because it was beyond infuriating. I am pretty sure it had to do with lots of not listening and not getting ready for school. I had completely lost control of the situation. Anytime I spoke my voice seemed to vanish into the air. Poof!  My boys were in charge. I was just along for the ride. And boy was it a bumpy, crappy ride that made me sick to my stomach with frustration. I just wanted to SCREAM at them and scare them into listening. Obviously that wasn’t an option.

So I focused on keeping it together for just 30 minutes. The time flew when I finally let go and stopped pushing them to cooperate, when I realized that it was OKAY that we were going to be late to school. No big deal. No point yelling. I chilled out and in turn, so did they. Of course, I felt like I failed as a parent, that I gave in to their bad behavior.

But as I write this, I think, maybe I didn’t fail. I might not have gotten their behavior under wraps but at least I kept mine in check by not yelling. So I guess I need to add “chill out” to my Orange Rhino Rolodex of tips on how not to yell.

What’s in your Orange Rhino Rolodex?

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2 thoughts on “The Orange Rhino Rolodex

  1. Pingback: Pay it Forward | The Orange Rhino Challenge

  2. i like the part about being late to school and how it is ok.
    so true.  i stress out about being late to school REGULARLY (read:  every day)
    and we have YET to be late……….but i do that too:  realize it is OK to be late, and then i can relax.
    keep it up–on all ends.

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