My kids had the day off from school today and spent the day at home with their dad. At around 10:00 AM, my youngest called me to ask for permission for something quite trivial. I asked her why she was calling me. Her response?

Well, you always yell at me when I don’t ask.”

I was hurt.

“I don’t yell,” I insisted, in a higher octave. And fortunately, the child knew better than to argue, but having thought about it for about eight hours now, I realize, yeah, I probably do. I think about my mami and there are few memories I have of her that she wasn’t yelling. My husband tells tales of how his parents yelled and disciplined him – often (though my mother-in-law will deny it).

It seems that’s all we do as parents. But if the kids actually listened, we wouldn’t have to. I’ve had my youngest tested for hearing problems since she was four. Turns out she’s just got selective hearing. For seven years. And it seems to be getting worse. And the other two are full-blown teenagers – so… yeah. I have to yell.

Don’t get me wrong – I don’t want to yell, but that’s the phase we’re at. They don’t respond unless you’re red in the face and foaming at the mouth. I hate that this is how they will remember me years from now, but I am consoled by the fact that one day they will be the ones yelling at their kids.

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