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There’s Hope for Me Yet.

September 27, 2010

I knew it was coming.  I knew it was inevitable.  And it happened.  

We’d just come back from a 2 hour jaunt to the park.  I had a migraine and Maya’s constant complaining didn’t help.  It was 4:30 pm and she was starving so we started on dinner immediately – as in do not pass go, do not even remove your sunglasses – just start cooking.  

I let her help me make calzones.  I tried to be patient when she knocked flour all over the floor.  I didn’t say a word when she licked her fingers.  Twice.  We put the calzones in the oven and set the timer for 8 interminable minutes.  

As the timer slowly ticked away she sat down and started tapping her fingers on the counter impatiently.  I miraculously ignored her dramatic, “I’m waiting.”  I ignored more tapping.  I fulfilled her demand for more sparkling water.  

But then the final straw: another episode of finger tapping and the icing on the cake – “I’m still waiting.”  And that’s when I lost it.  That’s when I told my 5-year-old to shut up.  

I lied and told Ali I only said it once but what really happened was I said “Shut up!”  and then a second later, “Why can’t you just shut up?” 

Don't let her angelic smile deceive you - she is as high-maintenance as they come.


I’m not proud of myself but I instantly perked up when I overheard a mother at Target say to her daughter, “If you do that one more time I’m going to beat the S@#$ out of you.” 

There’s hope for me yet.

59 Comments leave one →
  1. September 27, 2010 2:46 am

    It’s all relative. I’m pretty sure my mother has told me and all of my siblings to shut up multiple times throughout our lives. In fact, I’m pretty sure she’s said way worse things over the course of my 23 years…a few key four letter french words come to mind.

    I’m willing to bet Maya will forget it in a few days. Or as soon as you stuff a calzone in her mouth.

  2. September 27, 2010 2:53 am

    I’m just waiting for the day when I do that. Its inevitable that those words will fly out of a mothers mouth at some point 😉

  3. September 27, 2010 3:04 am

    I agree- it’s definitely not a big deal in my opinion. Maya will most likely dismiss it and you can still show her that saying shut up is not appropriate in daily life. No worries!

    And seriously- I’m not a parent, so my views may not be as valid. But I’ve been the witness of much more vulgar scenes than “shut up”.

  4. September 27, 2010 3:17 am

    Meh… you may feel horrible about it, but i’ve heard worse fly out of my dad’s mouth and I turned out just fine! 🙂

    Sometimes, kids just need to SHUT UP! 🙂

  5. September 27, 2010 3:25 am

    That’s why I could never be a parent. I have no patience and I would say things to kids that they should never hear. I think you do more than pretty well. No sweat.

  6. September 27, 2010 3:47 am

    oh ameena! honest to goodness *real* moments in a blog post? LOVE it! everyone’s been there. mama karma says that today will be “shut up” free. and seriously! homemade calzones! with a migraine! and a happy picture! you’re so rockin the mama thing! 🙂

  7. September 27, 2010 3:50 am

    Kids will do that to you. I’ve wanted to say the same plenty of times, but it’s not cool when you’re telling someone else’s kids to shut up. Your own? I think you’re fine. My parents said it to me and I turned out just fine.

  8. highonhealthy permalink
    September 27, 2010 4:18 am

    It’s okay, I think that every mother tells their kids to shut up. I know mine has said it quite a few times. Just wait though, eventually she’ll be saying it right back. 😉

  9. September 27, 2010 4:25 am

    No worries– one time, my dad and I were driving in the car, and I kept changing the radio dial. I touched it for the last time, and he said, “Do it again, and you’re out of this car, you piece of s&*t.” We laugh about it now. 🙂

  10. September 27, 2010 4:41 am

    I know you feel bad about it, but if this is the first time you said it since she’s been able to talk, that’s quite a feat. I don’t know if I could have that kind of patience

  11. Anne @ a daily slice permalink
    September 27, 2010 4:46 am

    Oh my gosh! I can’t believe a mom said that @ Target. I don’t think Shut up is really that bad. Sometimes our tempers get the best of us 😉

  12. September 27, 2010 4:49 am

    ohhhh the “S” word! lol im deeply ashamed for you!!!! LOL JK!

    i have told Peanut to shut up before too- it was when i was at my wits end and she just would not stop fighting and shrieking and hair pulling with her cousin. (you can only imagine Maya x2… yea…!) she cried, but she shut up!
    it comes out of our mouths sometimes, and even though we are supposed to not say those things and instead do things like “Maya please do not tap your fingers on the counter” or “get her coloring books and crayons to distract her” or “read her a book while you are both anxiously awating the calzones..”
    who the hell does that?!?!?!?! LOL

    in all honesty. i have also told peanut that if she didn’t knock it off (whatever she was doing i cant remember) i would smack her upside the head. im going to win the mother of the year award i can tell! our kids are still lucky though.. because when my parents were growing up, and even when i was growing up, there was no warning, no threat, we just got thumped over the head- nevermind if we had a glass of water in our hands, then we had to PICK THAT UP TOO!!!!!

    Ameena, you should check out on Youtube – Russell Peters-
    where he talks about the difference between “ethnic” parenting and “white” parenting.. LOL it is too funny!!!

    OH and one more thing.. I only put sunscreen on Peanut when we go to the beach.. she has never had a sunburn ever. i think her cheeks turned pink once when she was 3.

    i better stop talking now before some of your commenters turn me into DSS. LOL

    • September 28, 2010 9:00 am

      Amy – my parents used to say they’d “slap me upside the head too!” Somehow I’ve managed to keep my hands to myself thus far – quite a miracle. 🙂 Your comment cracked me up! I am off to check out Russell Peters parenting suggestions. I need all the help I can get!

  13. September 27, 2010 5:21 am

    Dear Ameena – Show me a mother on any continent, in any culture, in any era who has NOT said some version of this or worse to their kid!

    It’s all good Darlin’ – the most important thing is that you’r there for her – forever! 🙂


    Devaki @ weavethousandflavors

  14. September 27, 2010 5:27 am

    It’s okay! You are NOT a bad mama! Everyone loses their cool. Just compare this time to the number of times you DON’T lose it on your high-maintenance sweetie. Which is greater? Yeah, that’s what I thought ; )

  15. September 27, 2010 5:30 am

    Maya knows just how to push your buttons, doesn’t she? I don’t have any children, but even from babysitting over the years I know better than to believe those angelic smiles. But then again, I never made calzones for this children either. What a good mom!

  16. September 27, 2010 5:57 am

    Haha, I wish my mother would have said that, she used to call shut-up the “S” word and we got in huge trouble for saying it to each other. She is still such a prude about language.

    Hope your migraine is better today, I have never had one but they sound awful!

  17. September 27, 2010 6:14 am

    don’t feel bad about it at all! sure it might not have been “the best” to say but what i know of you, you are a kind and caring and AMAZING mother.

    i’ve only had one real migraine before (the others i get are just auras) so i sincerely hope you feel 100% better today!

  18. September 27, 2010 6:25 am

    Maybe the norm for parental treatment is higher in LA, but around here screaming obscenities at children is the norm. I’ve seen mothers threaten and discipline their children in public. It’s concerning, but on the other hand, those children were acting out horribly. The parents may be inept, but at least they’re /trying/ to exert some authority. It’s worse when people let their kids run wild because they’re too concerned about how they look to put their foot down (like that woman in CVS, who stood her ground on ‘we’re not buying pizza for dinner’ for a measly 2 minutes before her daughter’s clinging and ear-splitting begging embarrassed her into saying, ‘OK, if you’ll be good and stop crying.’ Way to set a precedent, Mom.)

  19. September 27, 2010 6:42 am

    hehe my mom tells my sister to shut up all the time. It never works…

  20. September 27, 2010 6:54 am

    Welp, the mother at target sure had you beat. oh and her smile totally fools me.

  21. September 27, 2010 6:56 am

    Any mom who’s had to deal with a crying baby or an annoying little mini “our spouse” 😉 I’m sure has uttered those words (or worse). This doesn’t make us horrible moms, just human. There is a reason for Maya’s beautiful angelic smile, and that reason is you, my friend, so smile back proudly :-D. I’m damn proud to call you my friend and I know Maya is more proud to call you Mom! Have a wonderful week, dear.

  22. September 27, 2010 7:20 am

    Wow! Children must be so exhausting, frustrating, and annoying. It’s no wonder! Sometimes you simply can’t take it anymore. I greatly fear that I don’t have the patience for it. I probably would haver said it a long time ago. You got me thinking. I would love to try to make Calzones.

  23. Leah @ Why Deprive? permalink
    September 27, 2010 8:00 am

    I love how honest you are! If it helps, I’ve heard neighbor girl swear at her kid MANY times. I hear a lot of “F*** SKYLAR!!”
    Shut up is NOTHING! 🙂

  24. September 27, 2010 8:05 am

    I don’t say i will not do that. However mother at Target is too much. Some time killing smile will let you forgo what mischievous they doing.

  25. September 27, 2010 8:12 am

    LOL, you are a great mom daaaaahling, you’re only problem is that you are human. you make a much better mom than i would make, thats for sure (i’m more of the target style mom… if i was one).
    *kisses* HH

    • September 27, 2010 7:13 pm

      I highly doubt that HH! Seeing as you made applesauce from scratch in your last post. How can I compete with that?

  26. September 27, 2010 9:20 am

    tough love! shut up is an ok word.

  27. Janelle permalink
    September 27, 2010 9:48 am

    Hey – you were making her a homemade calzone – not throwing pizza rolls in the oven – so I’m sure the use of the “other” s-word is balanced by homemade nutrition.

    er something like that. We all get there!

  28. September 27, 2010 10:01 am

    I am sure it’s happened to many mothers – you can’t immunize against saying such things. Myself included. We just have more words in our word bank. Recently, my daughter had learned a few other “banned” words from her friends and told me her friends were saying those and she was the smart-xxx to correct them. But when she is in a bad mood she uses these words from her arsenal of bad words although she knows not to use them. Ahhhhh………

  29. September 27, 2010 11:20 am

    Don’t worry. I’ve seen worse. Even mothers have their moments.

  30. September 27, 2010 12:22 pm

    We all lose it once in awhile. We just have to keep moving on. 🙂

  31. September 27, 2010 12:46 pm

    Lol. I’ve seen MUCH worse. 🙂

  32. traynharder23 permalink
    September 27, 2010 1:08 pm

    reason # 120395871039581723 why i will never be a good mom. or a mom ever. =/ my mom slapped me to shut up. lol. so don’t feel bad. well…sort of.

    dude! tofu is giving my stomach HELL even the day afterward.

    awww no movie??? well, i don’t think you’d want to watch the scariest movie DEVIL! OH MAN I HAD NIGHTMARES!!!!

  33. Anjum permalink
    September 27, 2010 1:20 pm

    It happens. Blame it on the migrane.

  34. September 27, 2010 1:21 pm

    I’m impressed that this was the first time! I know that you feel bad, but at least this isn’t something that she’s grown up hearing day after day…not to mention some of the ugly stuff that wouldn’t be fit to mention on your blog! My parents have told me to shut up a few times during my child and adulthood…and while jarring, I still love them to death.

  35. September 27, 2010 1:30 pm

    I suppose we were in the same Target, because I heard that as well….

    I laughed.
    I hope karma is not a b!*@#!

  36. September 27, 2010 1:52 pm

    hahaha, too funny. I wonder what that kid in Target did to warrant such a scolding??

  37. September 27, 2010 2:32 pm

    I’m pretty certain my mother told me to shut up a few times growing up and I turned out just fine. And we’re closer than ever and talk everyday. No worries Ameena!! 🙂

  38. September 27, 2010 2:37 pm

    Ten minutes in a Southern Walmart and you would never again think twice of telling Maya to shut up…I’ve got a pretty ripe mouth on me, but I’ve heard things there directed at children that even I wouldn’t utter. She’ll survive, and you’ll probably say it again at some point in time…she’ll survive then, too 🙂
    As always, I appreciate your honesty. Even the most zen mom slips sometimes, but most won’t admit it (except in a tiny voice in the deepest, darkest corner of the house. To their cat.)
    And kudos for not commenting when the finger lickage happened!

  39. September 27, 2010 4:46 pm

    Honestly, if that’s the worst that happened and you were exhausted + sporting a migraine, you’re doing fine. She’ll forget about it in a couple of days, and life will go on. Chances are the calzone-making business is already occupying more of her thoughts.

  40. September 27, 2010 4:54 pm

    haha… my nephew has an angelic smile as well and knows exactly how to use it. (i reckon they’re born with the gift of manipulation.) i’m with everyone else: my parents told me to zip-it a MILLION times and i turned out just fine. ain’t no thang.:p

  41. eatmovewrite permalink
    September 27, 2010 6:29 pm

    Lol. Awww. Well… I think it probably happens to the best of us. I’m fairly certain my mom told me to shut up a few times in my life and I managed to grown up relatively undamaged. Can we say that for the child of the lady in Target? eh. Dunno.


  42. actorsdiet permalink
    September 27, 2010 10:49 pm

    don’t worry ameena. my mom said/did really horrible things to me (far far worse) and i still turned out fine! i think.

  43. September 28, 2010 2:53 am

    Any mother who says that they haven’t done that is lying, lying, lying. The saying shut up part, not the lady at Target part that is.

  44. September 28, 2010 6:46 am

    It’s in me and I pray I’m strong enough to never let it out. I try to keep to the polite “can we have some quiet time?”

    Not as fulfilling when you’re frustrated and angry though. Sometimes you just say what you mean and put a quarter in the therapy fund.

    • September 28, 2010 1:12 pm

      Maya’s therapy fund is well funded…thanks to me having the tendency to swear like a sailor!

  45. September 28, 2010 7:29 am

    I swear I’m going to be a Mom just like you. A REAL MOM who gets angry and frustrated 😉

    Maya still does look angelic though!

  46. September 28, 2010 9:01 am

    I’m not a mum, but if I’ll ever be one I’m sure I will tell my kid(s) to shut up too 😀

    Maya is such a cute girl!

  47. September 28, 2010 10:33 am

    I said “shut up” once, too, and immediately thought, Aaah! Now he’s going to tell ME to do it! Luckily, so far, he hasn’t. It makes us feel great when we don’t feel like the lowest of the low, huh? Today I saw a kid in the front seat of a car with a pacifier and not strapped into a carseat. Yeah. So “shut up” is nothing.

    Great to find your blog, by the way!

  48. September 28, 2010 11:33 am

    Awww! As horrible as you may have felt after this is still a cute story in it’s own way. You seem like a very good Mother! 🙂

  49. ayesha permalink
    September 28, 2010 12:55 pm

    Ameena! spent my afternoon reading thru your recent blogs after ages and loved them. This one struck a chord because I have soooo lost my cool and said ‘shut up!’ and ofcourse all of the boys stop in silence and say ‘mama you used a bad word!!’ there is more than hope for you— you rock and set the standard so high– i mean making calzones after the park– i wouldve just made peanut butter sandwiches or something completely uncreative!!! Great seeing you on Sat xxxx

  50. September 28, 2010 1:35 pm

    I have two words for you: pizza pops!
    No, I have more words: don’t beat yourself up. If I thought about it really hard, I could easily one up you in the “things I said to my kids” department. Don’t be too hard on yourself. Kids don’t hold a grudge. And they can be bought 🙂

  51. September 28, 2010 6:01 pm

    HHAHAHA i felt the anger build up as the post continued!! I work in WACO TEXAS…I see sh*t that’s so messed up that I want to call the cps!! “shut the f*ck up” followed by a slap in the face are REGULAR occurrences!

  52. September 28, 2010 6:25 pm

    I think the fact that you accept it as something you probably shouldn’t do means there’s hope!

    We all get frustrated and snap when we’re having ‘those days’ , and all you did was utter a few less-than-polite words. No swearing. No insulting, and no hitting. It could have been worse!

  53. September 28, 2010 8:23 pm

    Oh dear….., nothing worse than that feeling once the cats got out of the bag huh 🙂 I’m not sure I could have got past the finger drumming for the 2nd time…,so to me…., your a saint ……& I’m also not a mother.., maybe you get an extra dose of patience when your a mother 🙂

  54. Bonnie permalink
    September 29, 2010 2:23 pm

    I’m not a mom, but I’ve taught and tutored kids from K-6. I’ve definitely said and thought things I’m not proud of but I’ve come to learn that we’re all human and we make mistakes! Besides, Maya knows that you love her.:)

    • October 1, 2010 12:52 pm

      Kudos to you Bonnie because I could never, ever be a teacher or a tutor! That takes about a ton of patience and I have closer to zero. 🙂

  55. October 3, 2010 12:52 pm

    Just because your are honest about the day to day as a Mother…Does not mean that you are not a great Mother…and no hope needed.
    This reminds me of a time I pretty much lost control…My youngest paging me 911 because the cat threw up on the bed.
    Granted it was his bed, but oh man did I give the 411 on 911 🙂

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