April 22, 2011

I AM A LIAR: a tale of the time my kid called me out in public

Along with the little man that I'd like to climb into my phone and answer all my emails and sort neatly into folders, I also would like:

An app for the word that is on the tip of my tongue, and that train of thought I just lost. Oh, it just makes my stomach ache! And these eight open browser windows are NO HELP as to what I was going to do next. Whatever it was, was awesome. Now we may never know. Or I will think of it in the shower tomorrow.

I AM A LIAR: a tale of the time my kid called me out in public

It was all over toilet paper.

Busy grocery afternoon and I had put Gray in charge of the toilet paper. Don't let mommy forget! He was on it.

But we passed a display as soon as we entered the store and Ivy points "TOILET PAPER!" And I said, oh thank you, Ivy!

And Gray was pissed PO'ed.

Right there right next to an older lady sizing up a Top Round Roast he loudly growls "YOU LIED. YOU ARE A LIAR. You said I was in charge of reminding you and you let Ivy remind you instead. YOU LIED"


Gray might be small but he sure can pack a punch. Everyone was at attention. Honestly, I was disarmed and speechless, I actually searched that lady's eyes for mercy and she threw me a life raft, Oh, I remember she said with her brow and a whisper.

I don't think I said thank you and I wish I had. It was one of those moments where the room started spinning and I closed my eyes. Soft answer turns away wrath was all that rang in my head as I gently wheeled my cart to the side and leaned into Gray firmly.

Quiet down, you are still in charge of the toilet paper Ivy is only two she just wanted to help and also that wasn't even toilet paper it was paper towels, so see? You still get to remind me about the toilet paper. Pee Ess don't even think about asking me to go to the park now.

We shop in eerie silence.

In the car we are almost home and he shouts TOILET PAPER! Did you forget it mommy? And I said, no, it's in the back. I remembered just fine. Thank you.

Every day I think it's getting better! And it also isn't. Every one of my kids is going to do something like this and each time it still hurts like the first.


  1. uh oh. this is going to happen to me too, isn't it? is it too late to back out of this deal?

  2. Ugh! I know the feeling of being hurt as if for the first time. It stings and usually makes me angry but I don't know what to do with my hurt and anger, especially in public. It's tough. God uses our spouse and our children for our good. I just have to keep believing that!

  3. I am going to tattoo "Soft answer turns away wrath" on the inside of my eyelids. We all need to remember this so, so, so often.

    I love your posts about motherhood. About you being a real person who has kids. I hope you know what I mean. :)

  4. Cade is two.
    And when his feelings are hurt (usually when he's getting in trouble), he loudly proclaims, "You. Hurt. Me." while pointing his finger at the villian.
    a soft answer.....

    "Yes, my dear. Yes, I hurt you. And I'm sorry. But next time, I hope you remember the rules...."

  5. This made me cry. I'll have to come back and leave a real comment later. Rough and beautiful days here, too.

  6. OH, friend. Ouch. We all get it, like that Mom-whose-been-there in the grocery store. Last Sunday I had to haul the kids out of church -- out of the sanctuary! -- and then out of the general area and brought then home only 30 minutes into the service. I was horrified and as I tried to get them in coats and out the door, another mother got up from wherever she had been, tracked me down and as I was walking out the door said, "Just so you know, every one of us mothers has been there. And all we are thinking is that we have been there, too. Just know that, OK? We understand."

  7. Oh man. You handled that very well. Not sure how I would react to that...except for wanting to crawl inside myself and die a little.

    So nice to also hear the other woman's response. Too often, eyerolls and judgement come out of others who really should know when grace and encouragement are needed instead.

  8. You handled it brilliantly!!
    Of course, I would have forgotten the toilet paper and only remembered when it was mentioned in the car on the way home.

  9. Oh just wait until they are teenagers then absolutely everything YOU do will embarrass them. They will walk ahead of you or behind you but not with you (providing they have condescended to even enter the building with you). Don't you remember your teenage years?

  10. Yes, the hurt from having teenagers is different. But I've oft been told if they don't "hate" you occasionally, or have a dramatic meltdown because you stood your ground on an issue, then your probably not parenting them as well as you could be :) (I think that goes for parenting ALL kids)
    This week (along with the flu) I'm pretty sure I'm suffering from PDSD- Post DRAMATIC Stress Disorder.

  11. Sometimes, I want to go to Target alone, and help moms struggling with their kids. Or, just give them the smile, the 'we've all been there' nod.

  12. secretly, or not so secretly, every mom likes to hear stories like this. because, we need the daily reminder that every.child.does.this. and to be reminded to show mercy to others. i also think you handled the situation like a pro, because you are one. :)

  13. Every time one of our boys does a thing like this, Shane says, remember what Steph said that one time? Their emotions are bigger than their bodies.

  14. Way to go, Mama! Those are tough times, and usually they occur when you're already at the end of your rope. I had a man stare at me...full on stare at me for 3 minutes...as I loaded my kids in the car. I think I said, "Get in your seat," at least 50 times. Finally, I turned to the man and asked him if I could help him with something. It wasn't until then that he walked away. At least it gave me more patience for my children, because I was fuming at the man. Haha!

  15. I need to remember the "gentle answer" bit because I have been so growly lately! Ugh! I wish this was easier sometimes.

  16. It's so hard to pull out the gentle answer sometimes. SO. HARD.

    But it sounds like you handled it beautifully. Really.

  17. I loved how you handled this. I need to write down the gentle answer sentence somewhere for a few years from now. I'm already terrified of the idea of taking a kid out shopping anywhere.

  18. It's amazing how they learn to wound and how soft we are on the bottom. I still think about something our social worker said to us. In fact, I think about it almost every day: we show our worst behavior to the ones we trust to love us anyway. xo.

  19. I HATE it when my amazing mom badge is yet again ripped off my chest.
    And why is it ALWAYS in front of other people???

  20. oh boy.

    yes we've all been there and it hurts. breaks my heart every time.

    i love that that lady said that to elizabeth. we need that.

    i try so hard to gently get tantruming kiddos' attention. usually in the target check out line. i smile and make silly faces at them. usually the moms don't seem to notice and i wonder if they are mad at me? i don't think i do it better than them...i just know that a fresh face & taking your mind off something works. and i pray that someone will do it for MY kid the next time is happens to me.

    you're made up of good mom, steph.

  21. It does hurt. I need to be reminded of that because sometimes, I think I've heard it all, felt it all. I remember the shock of the first, "I hate you!" I knew the child didn't really hate me. But wow.

    Notice I said "first"

    And yes. Overnight, your kids stop embarrassing you but you embarrass them by simply breathing or yelling goodbye out the van window during school drop-off.

  22. I want an app for my missing trains of thought too! I hate it when I lose some genius idea...but sometimes they just float away before I can grab on to the string.

    Your story made me laugh. Especially the Pee Ess.



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