MissMannered: A Simple, Illustrated Guide to Asking

So much is said about maternal instincts – that mother-lizard-brain that gives us the strength to lift cars off of our children and go whole hours of the day without drinking directly from the box of wine.

But that lizard-brain has a dark side. As soon as I became a mom, my tolerance for whining dropped to zero. Less than zero. The merest whiff of a whine lights a fire behind my eyes that needs to be stamped out yesterday. The fact that kids still whine at all – and ALL of them do – makes me question evolution. How on earth did this species survive when tone of voice can make a mother turn against her own offspring?

These days, the Madness has learned the unsubtle art of manipulation that is a sweet-voiced please and thank you. I hate to equate manners to manipulation, but she’s just SO damn sweet about it, in such an against-her-basic-nature kind of way, that I can’t help but feel played when she bats her eyelashes and smiles up a “please may I, mommy?”

It’s so f’ing cute, though, that I’ll pretty much agree to anything.

manners1

This is my Brain on Politesse

But then there are those times where she’s tired and cranky, which almost always means that I’M tired and cranky. That’s when whiny, demanding voice squeaks out and lizard-mommy-brain shuts down EVERYTHING that was ever rational thought. I don’t even care WHAT she’s asking for. The answer is a resounding “go to your ROOM!”

manners2

This is my Brain on Whining

My mom used to say that having children taught her patience. That always sounded so reasonable and zen, despite the fact that I lived in the same house as the woman and should have seen right through that BS. What I now know she meant was; having children teaches you just how far into crazy-town you can be pushed without ACTUALLY killing someone.

And when it comes to pushing me over the edge of reason, whiny voice is a f’ing cattle prod. It makes my eyes twitch. It makes me want to tear out my own hair and stuff it in my ears.

This can’t be normal. I want an MRI of my brain while my kid whines about something. It could be hard to get a clear picture when I’m bashing my own head against the machine, though.

Of course, that IS an awful lot of radiation, and I already feel like a monster.

*sigh* Time to let the kid out of timeout, I guess.

5 thoughts on “MissMannered: A Simple, Illustrated Guide to Asking

  1. You mean I’m not the only one who has thoughts of death and destruction when kids whine?!? Yay, I’m not alone anymore! Awesome post!

  2. “Having children teaches you just how far into crazy-town you can be pushed without ACTUALLY killing someone.”

    I agree wholeheartedly! Some days their little grizzly voices seem funny and adorable and you have to try not to laugh where they can see you. Other days upset whiny voice is like a tuning fork set to “shatter nerves” and you have to try not to drive into oncoming traffic.

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