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The Mom Meltdown I Had Sooner Than Expected

Erin Zammett Ruddy

We were leaving my parents pool the other night, which was like pulling teeth, as it always is. “Wasn’t that awesome?” I asked. Alex responded: “Not really because we had to leave before the Gonzos and now they’re having more fun than us.” He was pouting, Nora was pouting, everyone was whining. “This is the worst night ever,” Alex mumbled under his breath. And then they got in the car and started a knock-down, drag-out fight over a drum set toy that was given to Alex for his second birthday and has suddenly made its way into heavy rotation. Then it happened. I had the you-ungrateful-kids rant. It went something like this:

“Are you serious?! Are you kidding me?! You just got to swim in a pool on one of the hottest days of the year. It’s a beautiful pool. With a diving board. And you had it to yourselves. Do you know how lucky you are? Do you know how many kids wish they were in a pool right now? And now you’re fighting over this stupid toy?! Do you know there are kids who don’t even have toys? Are you serious? Are you kidding me?! You need to appreciate the amazing life you two have. Look at me in the eyes. Both of you. I am going to drive home now and I don’t want to hear a peep out of either of you do you understand? Not a word. No complaining, no whining, no screaming and no fighting over this $!&@ toy. Got it?!”

Then I cranked up the radio to make a point but it was unfortunately tuned to “I wanna go” that Britney Spears jam. I actually loved that song for a hot second last summer (don’t judge) but it didn’t quite punctuate my diatribe in the way I’d hoped. But in order to show that I wasn’t wavering in any way, I didn't go flipping for something more dark and dramatic. And the kids kept quiet, which is so rare, especially in the car. I felt proud of myself as I looked in the rearview mirror and saw their somber faces. But I was also shocked about what had just come out of my mouth. I definitely didn’t think I’d be having the you-better-be-grateful talk when my kids were only 4 and 2. I'm sure their little brains aren't even capable of being grateful yet. But I suppose you’re never too young to start appreciating what you have, right? Or at least to be told you better $%#@! appreciate it!

Have you had this talk/rant yet? How’d it go? (Also, there were no serious $&$#! words used in this rant, I swear.)