Category Archives: Disciplining Kids

Oh NO…NO….You Didn’t….

Here’s the thing about disciplining kids, especially as they get a little older. I find that they rarely do just one outrageous thing that lands them in the dog house. Instead they chip, chip, chip away. Slowly but surely you realize that you’ve been repeating yourself like a broken record for half the day.

“Don’t leave your shoes right there.”
“Why are your shoes still in the same spot.”

“Show me that you are a responsible kid, let’s put your shoes where they belong.”

“Did I REALLY just trip over these same shoes?”



It’s a slow build. It’s a silent way of being disobedient and disrespectful and if you’re busy and moving through the day, you can forget that repetition is just as obnoxious and rude as overt disobedience.

Last night, I snapped.

It had been one of those days where the girls would play and then chaos would erupt, then we’d settle back down to peace and chaos would quickly erupt again, the tears, the drama, the fighting. These are things that can break your soul on a tired day, right?

By dinner time, I’d had enough. One grabbed herself a popsicle from the freezer, the other deliberately butt-bumped the younger one on the way to refill something by the sink and suddenly there were about half a dozen popsicles from the freezer on the floor.

Me: Pick up the popsicles and put them in the freezer

Child 1: I didn’t do it, she did it.

Child 2: Ignoring it all completely.

Me: Turning away and saying something to their dad because I naively assume one of them will pick up the popsicles they love so much. Surely they wouldn’t want them to melt. Note: popsicles fall out of the freezer pretty  much daily and I am regularly asking them to pick them up and put them away. You see where we are headed.

Let’s just put the above scenario on repeat multiple times over the next few minutes. The children alternating pointing blame at who is responsible for the popsicles on the floor yet neither one of them PICKING THEM UP.

My annoyance rising.

Mr. WM’s annoyance rising.

Then I bark at them to pick them up if anyone actually wants a popsicle and they ignore me.

What happens next, friends? Quite possibly sheer genius. See, in parenting, genius often happens in a flash. You can’t plan for these things, you can’t possibly know how you will react in the moment.

I said “If you don’t pick those popsicle’s up right now, I will take all the popsicle from the floor and the freezer and put them in the trash.”

They both stood there and just stared at me.

And suddenly, I thought, “Holy shit, that is brilliant. OBVIOUSLY I am going to do that” because I am THAT MAD. Frankly, I wondered, why hadn’t this occurred to me sooner??

Sure enough, I stood up, tossed all the ones from the floor in the trash, dramatically opened the freezer, grabbed another handful of popsicles, theatrically tossed those and then for my final act….my final stroke of strong-point-making-without-yelling, I grabbed the popsicle from the table that my 4-year-old had just removed the wrapper from, and tossed that one in the trash.

Our children do this to us

Our children do this to us

I was like the Grinch stealing the last crumb from Cindy Lou Hoo. My heart might have been two sizes too small last night but let me tell you, it was so empowering. It was cathartic, really. And it was my children who shrank my heart slowly but surely throughout the day.


Then I sent them to their rooms.

They were stunned silent.

Another remarkable feat achieved by moi that I never thought possible…SILENCE.

Sure, the tears erupted eventually once they realized it wasn’t a joke and I meant it.

Here’s the deep question. Whenever I choose to purchase some new popsicles, which might take me a bit, depends on my mood, we know the first time they drop them on the floor, they will pick them back up. But how many times after that before they repeat the cycle and ignore me?

Hit “Like” on the Wired Momma FB page if your heart is also 2 sizes too small.





Tune in to Crank Time

“M-o-m-m-e-e-e-e-e-, I want it!” shouts one daughter

“No, I want that!” exclaims the other one.

“No, it’s M-I-N-E” asserts the older one again, louder, yanking even harder.

They shout and pull. They fight and argue. I ignore it. I project myself onto a white sand beach where small children are banned and husbands are only allowed if the wife so wills them there.  If I avert my eyes and say nothing, perhaps they’ll forget I’m here to negotiate yet another peace treaty, I think desperately.

No children or husbands in sight...

Meanwhile, back in reality, the young humans are still sparring over some useless fifty cent compass they picked out at the dentist’s office, despite being in a room overflowing with engaging, colorful and age-appropriate toys. Dare I wonder why they must fight over something that they don’t even know how to use, let alone what North, South, East or West even means?

 “Let’s start a show and call it Crank Time,” suggests my good friend on the phone one day, as we blurted out the latest top ten list of egregious kid behaviors executed by our own offspring. We immediately conclude this is a brilliant idea. What better venue could there be for us?  First – we are awesome. Second, we are clearly telegenic, witty and never short on words. With Crank Time, we can stylishly discuss our complaint du jour and invite guests to debate. The truth is, beyond children, anything is fair game: nanny, husband, boss, latest absurd celebrity baby name, the opportunities endless.  Once we’ve exhaled our frustrations, we can move on.  We conclude our show’s mission is cathartic moments for busy moms, a hybrid of commentary and debate.  

“What I really want is a kid-taser,” unabashedly announces this same friend. Topic one for Crank Time, I suggest, because frankly, in some moments, I could go for a Kid Taser. Couldn’t you? Imagine it, kid acting like a maniac, kid spiraling out of control, quick use of the kid-tase and bam, problem temporarily solved. Who has time to read the parenting books anyway, especially when we have a swift and easy-to-use technique on hand.

I think I hear the screeching wheels of child protective services pulling out front of Crank Time’s studios right now. Little do they know I am affiliated with more shadowy figures who suggest other offensive escape route plans for bad kid behavior.

“How about a chloroform wipe, I could really go for one of those on a very rare occasion with my 3-year-old, to just knock her out for a few seconds. The problem is, some jerk out there will abuse it and ruin it for the rest of us,” confessed another friend.

Topic 2 for Crank Time, I suspect, as I’m wrestling with a raging lunatic of a two-year-old who is fighting the injustice of being strapped into the stroller so we can actually make the quarter mile walk home in under 3 hours.  Where can I get one of those, I ask him desperately. I’ll pay anything.  Sometimes the sweet innocence of discovering every mentionable and unmentionable object and thing on a walk is more tedious than sweet, I’m not afraid to admit.

The live debate on Crank Time over the use of Kid-Taser and Chloroform wipes is bound to be a ratings success during sweeps month, I reason, as I wonder if I should really find these two suggestions as amusing and appealing as I do.

Don’t we all have these moments? I know, I know, it’s so shocking to think when you have a sweet 5 month old whose only job is to sit there and giggle when you sneeze and flap their arms and eat whatever you offer them without a fight. I used to lovingly gaze at my baby and remember thinking I couldn’t possibly imagine ever getting angry with her. What in the world could she do that would ever upset me?  My naiveté was almost endearing, right?

The truth is, in those moments of raw-nerve exhaustion when I just don’t think I can take it one second longer, when I actually do wish I had a Kid Taser, my mother’s needlepoint haunts me:

Is it mocking you too?

Cleaning and cobwebs can wait til tomorrow . . .

For babies grow up we’ve learned to our sorrow . . .

So quiet down cobwebs, dust go to sleep . . .

I’m rocking my baby and babies don’t keep

That simple poem she stitched, even through raising four kids, readily mocks my self-imposed ban on mommy guilt.

Some day, I will miss these moments, I tell myself through gritted teeth, as the words to that needlepoint crowd my brain and confuse my emotions. They might be fighting and Machiavellian maniacs unleashing their cruel reign of terror onto me but they are home, and they want to be home, and they love me so much. How could something so small and cute be so awful? How could I love them so much and yet want to taser them?

Isn’t that daily cycle of contradicting emotions in parenthood?

Join us on Crank Time. It’ll make you feel better.