Can a Mom Survive Bottled Up Energy and Giggles at Dinner Time?
By Kelli Martinelli on September 22, 2014
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Do you ever just FLIP OUT on your kids for no reason other than they're being TOO happy?! Cause I have. Yep.
I'm not proud of it. I just simply don't understand it. They will be absolutely content with each other at the dinner table, cracking each other up, not hitting or not not-hitting-but-kinda-hitting, not tattling, not asking me for anything, just genuinely enjoying each other's company while I quietly eat my own slice of Papa Murphy's Take 'n Bake white pizza.
And then it's like they violently jerk off the cap to a severely shaken-up carbonated beverage of elementary school giggles, and it gets louder and louder and then I shout, "STAWWWWWWWWP!" and they totally don't stop. Well, they do. But I know it won't be contained for long. They'll burst out again with fart jokes and juice through their noses, and I know that nothing I say will let the gas out slowly and avoid the inevitable toppled chair or accidental gut punch from a fit of unbridled maniacal childish laughter.
Of course I suppose that nothing might come of this mealtime fun time at all. It's quite possible that nothing requiring a first aid kit or a time out would happen if I could just ride out this manic burst of sibling energy. If I could just enjoy the joy they've suddenly unleashed within a very small space, at a particularly high volume, and at a specifically mealtime-ish time. But I try again. And again.
"Seriously. Calm down."
"Okay, stop now. Eat your dinner."
"Guys?! Calllllm down," I say out loud to them/myself.
And they do for a second. A split second. But their eyes focus on each other's and no one blinks and their cheeks get pinker, and then the boy ejects another enormous belly laugh, spraying the table in pizza and fruit salad. And I stand up LIKE A MOM and shout again "STAWWWWWWWWPPPPPP!!!!" It must've been that extra "PPPPP" I added for emphasis, cause it worked. And then the proverbial bottle broke and the boy started crying, "I just can't stop though!" And he cries a sincere tear and somehow, simultaneously manages to restrain an uncontrolled smile that was visibly trying to break free, to spur another raucous bout. He was hung up between high strung happy and first day of fourth grade exhausted. And I was too.
I relented. And they did too, a little. And it was all just so strange that I would've let this benign rowdiness bother me so much in the first place.
But you know what? I remember my parents did this too! My big sister and I would be sharing a moment at the dinner table. A loud moment. A moment where we couldn't chew our food for all the laughs that filled our mouths. And I'd watch as Dad's teeth clenched around his fork, and Mom's hair welcomed another strand of gray.
Is there a name for this? What do I call this dash of logic-defying-parental angst I seem to have bubbling beneath the surface of every jovial pizza dinner? I'd like to be able to put a stawwwwwpper in my own frustration and see where the chaos takes us. Because I bet where it takes us is far more fun than putting on the brakes, and likely covered in carbonated sweetness.
Back to school bottled up energy spews forth at dinnertime.
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