Monday, June 11, 2012

The Mom Volatility Index

If you read this blog regularly, you know that recently I was described as volatile by a relative stranger.  

While my husband was not thrilled with the bats--t-crazy-mental-hospital-fugitive tenor of the email, he couldn't disagree with the fact that his wife errs on the mouthy and impulsive side. 

I was a bit indignant about this, until I saw myself storming out of my house to shout at some frat boys, who in uncharacteristically University of Chicago (where fun comes to die) fashion, decided to spew profanities and pelt each other with a bag of Harold's Chicken (and fries), and left the remnants of their shenanigans on the sidewalk in front of my house.

So, okay. I have a temper.  I'll own it.  I am not insane.  I am not dangerous. I will not wind up the bunkmate of Shoot-up Sheila  in Cell Block F.

But if you piss me off, I'm going to say something.  

And I think all parents, especially moms, would agree. We want things right for our families.  And we're TIRED.  What mom can hold it together in the face of bad behavior after a day of not even sitting down to pee, repeatedly asking children to eat/brush their teeth/get dressed/go to bed/leave the park, putting a girlchild's hair in pigtails while running down the hall, and holding down a job?

Not the chicks I run with. And to my friends who are like, "No way! I am ZEN!" cut the crap, okay?

If you're wondering about your coping tactics, or need to have a laugh, take my little quiz, and find your place on the M.V.I., or Mommy Volatility Index!

Your driving most closely resembles ____________ 
a.  Cruella deVil.
b.  Mr. Halsey, a.k.a Mr. Ten&Two, your Driver's Ed instructor in high school.
c.  Mr. Magoo.

When someone sends you a rude email and ends it with case closed, you________
a.  immediately call her up with the intent of giving a certain orifice a second location.
b.  write an angry message in return which you delete, then go exorcise your demons with a yoga/meditation video.
c.  wonder what she meant.  Who said anything about a suitcase?

When a bitchy mompetitor makes a barbed statement about one of your parenting choices, you__________
a.  kick her balykies, before pointing out that her child is on track to be the Son of Sam/the town pump/Forrest Gump.
b.  firmly, yet kindly, remind her that each parent makes the choices that are right for her child and family at the time.
c.  seek out her advice, because after all, she just wants to help and probably knows more than you do.

Your discipline icon is ___________ 
a. Joan Crawford.
b. Supernanny.
c. Dena Lohan.

A boy, whose guardian is nowhere to be found, is mean to your kid at the playground. A witness would likely find you____________________
a. whispering to him that you'll sell him into child slavery so fast his head'll spin if he so much looks at your kid again.
b. mediating a discussion between aggressor and victim. 
c. lying on the ground, with the baby bully holding your diaper bag victoriously in the air and standing on your back.

After poring over kiddie cookbooks for a suitable recipe, then shopping for and preparing the meal, your two year old takes one bite, says, "I no like it," and sends her dish sailing across the table.  You _______
a.  hurl your own dish and glass at the wall, before taking a large swig from your hip flask of Wild Turkey.
b.  take a deep breath and ignore her for several moments.  Then tell her what she did wrong, before giving a time out.
c.  crawl under the table, and begin wailing so loud the neighbors call for a patrol car.  

You visit an establishment and have a less than stellar experience. Back at home you ___________
a. immediately go to Yelp and bang out a review that will sting the great grandchildren of the owner of that place.
b.  call the manager to discuss your concerns.
c.  assume that they wouldn't do this to you if you were richer/didn't have the fashion sense and hygiene of the average thirteenth-century peasant.

You are rushing around the house like a maniac to get the kids ready to leave/eat/go to bed.  You find your husband nonchalantly perusing the Internet.  For the sake of keepin' it real, you __________ 
a. give him a beatdown worthy of a Mel Gibson movie. 
b. calmly issue a request or two to get things back on track.
c. plop down on the floor and massage his feet.  

Mostly As:  Mount Vesuvius  
Damn, lady!  No one knows when you are going to erupt.  Everything, from spilled milk to the slow-as-a-tortoise barista, sets you off.  You is one scary lady.  So scary I've forgotten basic conjugation.  Seriously, you need a yoga class, some valium, an anger management session, or maybe just a hug.  I'd give you one but you might pummel me.

Mostly Bs:  The Age of Reason
Wow!  You make the Dalai Lama look like Larry David.  You are amazingly in control of your emotions, which you acknowledge and then deal with appropriately.  What is your secret, Mama? Write a book and make some cash!

Mostly Cs:   Out to Lunch Without a Sandwich
Bless your little heart, honey!  I'd tell you to go buy some confidence, but you might believe me.  Trust your instincts.  Read a decent book once in a while. Stand up for yourself and don't take s--t.  Just don't become the chick who picked all letter As.  


  1. Wait... I picked mostly A's! Guess I might need a refund on that therapy...Does it make me a better person if I say I WANTED to pick B's? Too funny, K. I hope you're feeling better?

  2. Well I mostly didn't fit in any category - but the boy who is mean to my kid and left alone A would be me. You can mess with me but you can't mess Mama Bears cub. ;-) I was SO close this year. I ask my son what was going on with so&so on the bus and he said, "Don't worry about that mom. He was "expended" from the bus." If you had a category D: Retreats to seclusion with a glass a wine and M&Ms - now that would be me.

    1. I cannot imagine how parents deal with their child being teased. I remember my mother being angrier than I was when I told her about a problem, and it made me not want to tell her things, although now I totally get her rage... Oh, so much easier when you can just discipline another kid at the playground (I have no problem with this when it is done thoughtfully).

  3. You are my hero! I was raised to be a "C" but find I'm on my way to becoming an "A." Recently I was waiting in line at the pharmacy drive-through with my kids, who both had bronchitis, and my car window was busted because a semi had side-swiped us. It had been a rough week. Then a man pulled up beside us, got out of his car, and started smoking. I respect a person's right to smoke, whatever. I tried to bite my tongue. But as I looked around at all the empty parking spots he could have used instead of right next to me, and imagined the nasty fumes coming in my window at my poor sick babies, I went from peeved to furious. Finally I got out of my car and asked him to move. What I said was less "A" and fell somewhere between "B" and "C." He cussed me out, and I got back in my car and cried, but I was glad I did it. I don't want my kids to see me as a pushover. There are times to keep quiet, but there are a lot more times when I should just let the mama bear take over and speak her mind. Maybe someday I will be more like you!

    1. Shellie, you are brave. I am glad that you spoke up for yourself. As a parent of little kids it is so easy to feel like a doormat so much of the time. Know that that man is a miserable pig, and someday will get his comeuppance. And had you been A with such a person, you could have gotten hurt. Sigh.
      That's when I cry and then go watch Gladiator or Braveheart. Can we make a female version?


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