Testing, Testing, 1,2,3.

Tori has a look. A defiant sideways glance that says, without words, “Look, mom, I’m about to do something just to piss you off.” A look that then changes into a stare/glare that says, “See? I’m totally misbehaving. What are you going to do about it, b***h?”

That leaves me with only three options. I can:

a) Gently but firmly say, “no, Tori, we don’t do that because…”

b) Throw the offender into time out.

c) Forget everything the parenting books ever taught me and yell my fool head off.

Sometimes the offense is relatively minor, and I can easily solve the issue with option a. For instance, when she peels off her diaper and runs through the house naked, there’s no real reason to get upset. In fact, the only reason admonishment is necessary is that I really don’t want her going commando in the middle of the mall.

More often than not, though, more discipline is necessary.

Today alone, we had nine time outs. Nine. Twice because she hit me, three times because she pinched me, once because she decided to throw her toys at the wall—hard—and…well, that’s enough. You get the picture.

That little girl of mine is testing me. Frequently and obnoxiously. Even so, most of the time I can remain calm. It’s natural, I know. She has to test her limits. Find out just how firm the rules we’ve put in place for her really are.


Sometimes she does outrageous things. Things like get up off the potty, trot out into the hallway and—slowly and deliberately—pee on the floor.

Is she still testing me? Sure. Do I remain calm, cool and collected? After 12 hours of similar tests, no. That’s when option c is the only choice my brain can embrace.

Don’t get me wrong. I don’t scream at her. But neither am I rational. Or quiet.

So, sure, I yell. As did my mother, and my mother’s mother, and her mother before that. Can someone please tell me why, exactly, that’s so incredibly damaging?

Or better yet, introduce me to a mom who’s gotten through every one of her child’s 18 years without raising her voice? Because I don’t believe that person really exists.

Suck it, Dr. Spock. I’m going to do this parenting thing my own way.



8 Comments on Testing, Testing, 1,2,3.

  1. BalancingMama (Julie)
    October 23, 2011 at 10:07 pm (4 years ago)

    I love you. This is why.

    I yell more often than I would like, but this mom thing is so exasperating!!! I do agree with “the books” that kiddo responds better when I stay calm, but sometimes? That is simply not possible.

    Sorry you’re in that awful phase. I promise it will pass.

    • Amber
      October 24, 2011 at 8:41 am (4 years ago)

      But you know, when she’s not being a brat, she’s sweeter than sugar. Multiple personalities. That has to be the answer.

  2. andi
    October 24, 2011 at 12:12 am (4 years ago)

    Oh, girl, we had one of those days today, too. Misery does love company and that’s why I loved this post!

    I pride myself on being the patient one in our family. That is, until I’ve been with my kids nonstop for two weeks with.no.freakin.break. Not so patient then. Not so patient.

    • Amber
      October 24, 2011 at 8:40 am (4 years ago)

      I think I’d be hitting the wine by noon in that instance. I hope you get a break soon!

  3. A Mother's Thoughts
    October 24, 2011 at 6:59 am (4 years ago)

    Glad to see that your slump didn’t last too long. :) I agree any mom thqt says that she has never yelled at her kids are lying. We aren’t made of patience, so that’s why we loosw it. Good luck with the disiplining. It’s hard word.

    • Amber
      October 24, 2011 at 8:40 am (4 years ago)

      Well, my husband told me to stop wallowing. So I did. Discipline is proceeding nicely, but dang that little girl knows how to hit my buttons!

  4. Kelly
    October 24, 2011 at 12:59 pm (4 years ago)

    Ahhh yes, nothing like yelling to make you feel bad. I hate that, but sometimes it is much better than, say, wanting to smack them. When that crosses my mind, I just leave the room. My son is rounding into 4 and I can say he is finally getting a little, and I mean little, better about the testing, but it is nice to see progress!

    • Amber
      October 26, 2011 at 1:43 pm (4 years ago)

      So only 1.5 years to go? I guess that’s not so bad…


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