I Just Told My Toddler To Shut Up

Let me start this by saying I’m really sorry.
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<p>That one time one really wants tell their kid to shut up but doesn’t since they are in Gelson’s.</p>

That one time one really wants tell their kid to shut up but doesn’t since they are in Gelson’s.

OK. I officially just told Grace to shut up.

That’s right. While putting Grace to bed, This Old Mom told her 3.11 year old (I just can’t say “35 months old” without feeling like I’m talking about the remaining months balance owed on my Prius) daughter to shut up.

Granted, she’s a talker, when I let her get a word in edgewise, that is.

And let me start this by saying I’m really sorry.


Now, as I type this, I’m super sorry.

But in the moment it felt fucking awesome. It felt so completely wrong but with an electrical power surge of awesome.

Telling your child to shut the french doors feels like the best sex of your life with someone who disgusts you and you wouldn’t be caught dead in public with.

Now, I’m super contrite and writing this from a serious place of shame. Shame mixed with some Bonterra Organic biodynamic red wine that tastes like Grenache but feels like GERD.

Color me clueless for thinking the dark circles under her eyes & her avid interest in watching a handheld movie of someone else playing the Umi Zoomi video game (badly, I might add) on YouTube meant she was ready for bed because I could barely keep my eyes open after a day spent do everything one does to avoid filling out a first EVER mortgage application while simmering in my recently dead mom’s pajamas.

I’m no stranger to change but right now I’m so deep in mom-loss-grief I’ll cut my underpants off before I have to change the sweatpants I currently call home.

Grace was in a great mood too, that’s the crappy part of telling her to shut her piehole. But she wasn’t going to bed and kept popping up with excuse after excuse-

GRACE: I need to pee. I need to poop. I need to itch my ear. My bottle needs to be warmer. Read that story again, but slower and as if you are a scared pony pig.

By this time, her well-honed sleep-avoidance technique had fully morphed into mother-torture because all I wanted to do was what she was refusing to do- SLEEP. The words emerged from my mug, calmly and warmly, like I was Marlo Thomas reading her Free to Be You and Me. I uttered a velvety:

ME: Shut up.

To my child. Right in her sweet open-as-a-lotus-flower face. It was the purest moment of my life which was currently grappling with the wallop of sudden-and-preventable-mom-loss, which suspended my life between complete truth and not giving a shit what that meant for anyone else (which as a profoundly enabling people-pleaser with OCD), was an extremely unusual place to reside.

Grace reacted with an adorable stunned gasp that is copyright-worthy. We both balanced, breathless on the thrilling precipice of wonder: Would my child laugh with me or cry because of me?

When she loudly laughed, it felt like I’d won big on the nickel slots. Then she quickly turned away from me, hugged her pillow and said, “Mom. Saying shut up is not cool.”

Insta-shamed, my face suddenly burrowed itself beside hers. Apologies poured from my heart as fervently as an Irish Our Father after being over-served one too many pints. Then she broke my heart in twain.

Grace: That’s OK.

Either she forgave me or didn’t want to smell my breath anymore. I was equal parts ashamed and fiercely proud of her.

Being good at forgiving will take Grace far in this life.

She’ll get lots of practice forgiving me...

Care to share the worst thing you’ve said or done with your kid? I’d surely love to feel like I’m not the worst mom ever. So, share your shameful parenting moment, if only to feel less like you are the ONLY worst parent out there.... At least until tomorrow, when we all get a whole new day to eff it all up for someone we dearly love, no matter how crazy they drive us.

In an attempt to get dear readers up to speed on how one becomes This Old, this is an earlier post from January 2016. Visit the site, if you dare.