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Crying Over Spilled Milkshakes

July 16, 2013

I was putting on makeup in my bathroom when the screaming began.

Hysterical pleas: “Colin, NO! No! PLEASE! NOOOOOOO!”

My youngest was clearly pleading for his life.

This is not necessarily unusual in a house full of boys, but I thought I should investigate nonetheless. We try to intervene before they draw blood.

I popped my head into the hallway. They were outside my door, both trying to tell me something before the other one had a chance to do so.

It sounded something like this:


Now they’re both crying. Apparently out of sheer terror. This is ominous.

I sent them to their rooms so as to investigate in peace.

Stepping foot in the kitchen, I see this was clearly the scene of the crime. The carnage of their skirmish splashed across windows, dripping down the island into my Dutch Oven and soup tureens, running down the wall, pooling on the table top and the floor.

I was, shall we say, a teensy bit perturbed.

It was one of those situations that is of such magnitude, I wasn’t even sure where to begin. This was bigger than Bounty-the-quicker-picker-upper.

Gabe walked into the kitchen just then. He too was, shall we say, a bit perturbed. His mouth silently opening and closing a few moments.

Meanwhile, the chocolate breakfast milkshake continued to drip.

The miscreants were cowering in their respective rooms. One of them hiding under all of his blankets, sobbing. The other huddled in the corner.

“What happened?” I asked them both.

A jumbled tale of woe emerged: he taunted me, I jerked, he threw, I spilled, his fault, his fault, not my fault, accident.

The typical result of two testosterone-infused little bodies left alone for 20 minutes.

I didn’t yell, I didn’t even raise my voice. I didn’t have to. I think they were both so petrified of the consequences, their own mental anguish was punishment enough. I did use the “don’t argue with me” voice (you know, the one that is scarier when you whisper it, especially when paired with wide eyes and rigid jaw.) They didn’t have to be told twice. They were ready to walk out the door in five minutes flat, and even got in the car without being asked.

Gabe and I cleaned up the mess. We’re still deciding on what the real consequences will be. For now, stewing in their own mental anguish seems to be working rather effectively on behavioral change.

Just another day in the life of a boy-mom.

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