The Tsk-er

I was “tsk-ed” yesterday.

It was barely 9 am in the preschool parking lot but it felt like 8 pm in a house with no wine. I was unloading the kids one after another from the car and my three year-old who has decided that doing anything for attention is the new black, darted away from me.

I yelled.

I usually do the grit-my-teeth “get. back. here.” move so they know I’m serious but he freaked me out just enough for me to yell at him.

And there was the “tsk.” Because of course no mother in the history of unloading 80 children from a car and trying to catch one before he runs through a parking lot has ever yelled before. Certainly not the Tsk’er.

As I write this now I feel completely okay with my moment of losing it and have also forgiven myself for the every other hour since that I have lost my patience but at the time? Not so much.

The Tsk’er made me feel like I needed to bask in the chaos of this under-caffeinated morning and smile as I recited “Shoes or boots, boots or shoes? Put that down. Where’s your sippy cup? Yes you have to wear socks. Who spilled this? No you can’t wear sandals. Shoes or boots, BOOTS or SHOES????”

I let her make me feel like she was better at this whole mom gig than I was and I wish we could just all stop that business of one-upping each other.

Motherhood is hard enough. Can we all just agree that you can make a seven day meal plan and she can talk to her kids in a calm even tone all day long and I can let my kids dig in to a messy craft and not flinch? The entire world of moms needs less hair pulling, more back-patting.

I want to envy your clean van and I want you to not care if half the grocery store rolls out of the back seat of mine.

So here’s the deal, when you start your day, swallow your tsk’s if you’re the type to let them roll. Think past your one minute encounter with someone and give them the benefit of the doubt. Stop my kid before he darts through the parking lot and shoot me the “I’ve had one of those days” look and then we can all hold hands.

Or better yet, you can hold my kid’s hand because I’m out of hands and that little bugger can vault over 10 sippy cups and a baggie of Cheerios as they roll into the parking lot and be half way to Disneyland before I’ve unhooked the next carseat.


My new favorite messy fun thing to do that you must try:

DIY Bath Paint

-Shaving cream (unscented)
-Food coloring

bath paint

Fill small containers with shaving cream and just add a drop or two of food coloring. Stir thoroughly and let the kids go to town painting the tub and themselves. I let them “paint” first and then rinsed off the tub some before filling the tub with bath water so we could wash the rest off. They had a blast and the food coloring didn’t stain anything in my white bathroom. I promise.

bath soap play

Time to pat yourself on the back. Leave something in the comments that you are good at and make sure you tell another commenter or two how great they are. Because we all need to hear it.

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  1. Kelsi says

    I just want to tell you that your attitude is an inspiration. My husband and I have been married for almost 2 years and have recently started trying to get pregnant. I’ve wanted a baby so bad I could all but feel a little one snuggled in my arms:) however, since we are both students we have held off on trying. As a “researcher” looking in, I am inspired and recognize the beauty in the mess that is parenthood and just plain life. Keep it up for all of us who are looking forward to what you already have! I am so ready to start that chapter in my life and learn from women like you.

  2. says

    You bet your sweet tea, Sister. I’m getting ready to start walking up to mom’s in Target who’s kids are trying to exact control by misbehavior. I’m gonna say, “My kids used to do this too…. now, they’re genius, philanthropists. We’re still waiting on the billionaire part.” Or something. Once I get the wording down, I may have cards printed.
    Maggie S. recently posted..Dear Santa, Not that I Need to Tell You Any of This…

  3. says

    Great idea! And as for my pat on the back, you know what? I rocked my daughter’s birthday. It was small, just family, and it wasn’t fancy, but she felt so special and I went to bed that night having that RARE feeling that I had a good Mom day. You, and all of the mamas here, and even me – we rock, and we need to remember that when those nasty old tskers are trying to make us feel like crap.
    hollow tree ventures recently posted..As (Never) Seen On Pinterest

  4. says

    I’m sorry you were tsk-ed so early in the morning. That would tick me off, for sure. Especially if I was under caffeinated. But you know? You are an awesome, wonderful, fun, and beautiful mommy. You don’t need someone who doesn’t know you from Eve to convince you otherwise.

    Also? I’ve missed you incredibly. It’s wonderful to be back and read your words again. XOXO
    Charlotte recently posted..Something I should have done a long time ago

  5. says

    I love you. If that mama really wants her mind blown, she should hang out with me for 15 minutes. Think of how powerful the bonds of mothers could be if we spent more time learning from each other’s differences instead of picking them apart.
    Bethany recently posted..Once Upon A Time…

  6. says

    I’ve heard that oft quoted saying “It takes a village” roll off the same lips which later espoused calling the police on a woman for leaving her sleeping baby in the car while she uses the walk up ATM five feet away.

    And when I respond, “Why call the police? Why not just stand there for a sec and let her know you’ll make sure a random car thief doesn’t wander out of the bushes of the strip mall?” I get, “Because a good mother would take her baby with her.”

    I wish I knew where this world of “good mothers” is, because I’m a self proclaimed “Oh my God someone let me have kids” sort of mother and I’d like to avoid that other place.

    I don’t judge other mothers. Or, at least, I try very hard not to. Great post, lady.

  7. says

    I am laughing so hard at your last paragraph/sentence. They can get out SO fast!

    This reminds me of the post I wrote a few months ago about the young lady in Target who “tsk-ed” me for my loud, excited kid in the toy aisle. Karma, it’s a b!tch, yo! 😉
    Elaine A. recently posted..Like Forest Gump Said…

  8. says

    Jess, can you please ignore people like that? Even if you have to use industrial strength ear plugs? Please do it.

    She’s nobody. You’re the somebody to your kids.


  9. says

    I love this.

    Sigh – I hate the judgment. I know we all sort of do it, but in our heads works better than out loud like that. Meh. Tsking is for bullies!
    Andrea recently posted..Rambling …

  10. says

    I have the whisper, and the glare, and the yell. If something gets to the point where I yell, it means there is eminent danger (one kid hitting another kid, a kid teasing a dog, a kid possibly running into a street, and “daddy might just blow up pretty soon because there’s no wine”). Once, I was tsk’d after yelling in public – I was loading the kids in a parking lot – when I’m outnumbered, I place one kid in the carseat, then the other, then I secure the second before heading back to secure the first. CJ, the first, in this case, got out of his carseat and was climbing out of my truck when I yelled.

    My yell is effective — it typically makes anyone in the vicinity (adult or child) stop what they’re doing. Usually, when I yell, my kids cry, but I’m ok with that, if the option of not yelling means that they’ll enter into something dangerous. The mother tsk’d me for yelling.

    She got the glare.

    I think she might have actually peed her pants.
    John (Daddy Runs a Lot) recently posted..Where I share my holiday play list

  11. Kristin V says

    That lady is a jerk, just because she has it together on the outside doesn’t mean she has it all together behind closed doors! You said we as moms need to stick together, and you are right, so I wanted to make sure you knew about It is a blog, but also has boards for you to get support from other moms and a confessional where you can post your mommy sins annonamously! I think you would like it there :)

  12. says

    Why can’t we all just be supportive of each other? I had a woman tell me I should control my temper when I was trying to buckle my screaming, wiggly two year old into his car seat. Really? The shaving cream looks like a lot of fun.
    Barbara recently posted..Dear Nathan…

    • says

      Isn’t that crazy? I had one glaring at me the whole time I tried to wrangle my kids inside an eye glass store yesterday. If people spent more time helping and less time judging everyone’s life would be easier.

  13. says

    I once had a mom tell me as I was trying to keep my hysterical daughter from leaping out of my arms and into the preschool parking lot that my daughter was crying because she was cold. I’m pretty sure she was crying because people like this mom existed.

    Even if that mom has never yelled, good for her. Who cares? I was told by my pediatrician to stop trying to never let my oldest see me angry because he’d never learn how to cope with anger or how to handle apologies.
    Alex@LateEnough recently posted..Looking For A Friend Named Scott

    • says

      That’s good to hear and something to think about. If we were the picture of patience all the time our kids would never know how to deal with different emotions. I like that.

  14. says

    Yes! Exactly! Absolutely!

    We moms have to support each other! I’ve been t’sked… my kids have been t’sked (which is just another way of t’sking me, really). I try my best to ignore them… mostly it’s people with only one kid, or with a daughter who loves nothing more than to sit down and color nicely. Our families are like different species…. I can’t expect her to understand our life. It’s rare that another mom of more than one rambunctious boy has the nerve to tsk.
    Robin Jingjit recently posted..Healthy snacks

    • says

      Very true, every day at preschool pick up all the boy moms are just shaking our heads at our children as they wrestle and roll on the ground before we even get out the door. It’s so nice to know it’s not just me.

  15. says

    Girl, you are speaking my language. I have so been there and it is absolutely the worst to have a Tsk’er dump their sack of gravel on your already aching back. I have a kid that darts out in the parking lot and hates to hold me hand. If he doesn’t manage to wriggle away and bolt, he pulls the wet noodle act and pulls me down with him. With my rheumatoid arthritis there have been days that I don’t have the strength to hold onto him. It hurts too much. And I’ve had to just ask people to help me, of course I qualify it with “I have RA” and hope they’ll know what that is.

    What’s wonderful is when there IS a kind mom or an older woman who offers her help or distracts the kid with her attention. I am sure they get an extra twinkle in their crown for that. Sure of it.
    hilljean recently posted..HillJean’s Holiday Handbook: Surviving Fashion

  16. says

    Maybe she was tsking at your running child? Probably not, but it would be nice if she were thinking, “Tsk, tsk, that child is giving his mom an awful time this morning.”

    So, anyway, you make bathtub paint that looks like tasty cupcakes. You’re a fantastic mom.

    I had one of those runners, too. My trick was to let the other one out first. The wild one got buckled in first and unbuckled last. It only works until they can get out of the carseat on their own, but we moms take what we can get.
    Ginger Kay recently posted..What colour are your Christmas tree lights?

    • says

      Yeah he can unbuckle himself thus my new problem. My other kids are happy to slowly get out, let me help, etc. Not this one. He unbuckles and is gone.

  17. says

    I like it when people Tsk. It shows me which people to avoid making friends with. A real time saver!
    (Pats you on the back and says “You’re great, Jess!”)

  18. says

    AGREED! I’m one to judge the tsk’er much more harshly than the tsk’d. Anyone who tsk’s was probably a mean girl in high school.