And it makes me want to SHOUT

Instruction: "Boys, please go downstairs and get your pajamas on."

[from what we can gather]

Son #2 uses a chair to climb on top of the washing machine, reaches up to a shelf located above the washing machine, and obtains a bottle of this:

He then proceeds to begin spraying Son #1 while Son #1 is actually obeying daddy's instructions. Pajamas on, Son #1, not to be outdone, climbs up to obtain a bottle of this:

All manner of furious spraying ensued.

Generously doused: the walls, the boys' dress clothes, the FOUR hampers full of clean laundry that I have spent the better part of two days doing(!), various items around the room, including one another (spraying into each others' mouths, eyes, bellies, hair, and onto Son #1's pajamas).

Enter responsible Daughter #1, sent to find out what was taking the boys so long. The girls (and daddy) were waiting for story time. Daughter #1 takes stock of the situation, runs upstairs to report that the boys are spraying cleaner all over the place.

Enter daddy. And mommy, about one step behind him.

I won't go into the rest of it, except to say that it was not one of my finer parenting moments. I was royally FURIOUS. There may or may not have been some yelling on my part. And some throwing around of some clothes while I tried to determine which of the clean clothes were wet and needed to be rewashed. And later, tears.

On the bright side: Three things:
1. It does smell clean throughout the entire downstairs area.
2. Daddy was home. Had this happened during the day when Mark was working? I very well might have taken the girls and run away from home. And you think I'm joking.
3. More importantly, we have one son with a very repentant heart. [Son #1, for the record.]

Son #2? Not so much.

Maybe when he has spent the next several days doing laundry and doing extra chores around the house in order to purchase a new bottle of this

... then maybe at the very least he'll think twice about this type of activity next time.

Or so we're hoping.

So now, to help me put this frustrating evening into perspective, why don't you share with me some of your childrens' less-than-stellar achievements? Or at least just tell me it's-a-boy-thing and list all the worse-than-this things your boys have done? Please do. It will make me feel so much better.


  1. I have to think on this and get back to you. You son #1 only has said responsible daughter #1 as a partner in crime. He can't get into too much trouble cause she won't let him. Let's hope when son #2 is older son#1 will be mature enough not to do such things seeing as he is 5 years older.

    I do sympathize....the clean laundry being sprayed would have gotten my goat.

  2. Erm...Sudacream all over number 2 son, bathroom, and landing carpet anyone?!

    I so so sympathise...but also can't help smiling!

    Interestingly (?!) in our parenting course we were talking this week about the difference between things done out of childish innocence, childish thoughtlessness, and deliberate naughtiness....frustrating but helpful for me to try to think about before responding to the latest situation and to try to keep me on the path of disciplining gently (Phil 4:5) x

    Oh Stacy, you really have your hands full just now, but you are doing SO GREAT! Your christian parenting continues to inspire and encourage me x love & prayers, Victoria x

  3. We do mud at our house :) Head to toes, in ears--even the mud boots have mud in them. After letting it upset my applecart a few times, I decided I'd just have the washing machine empty and have the boys strip to the undies and send them directly to the shower (one at a time that is). Spraying Shout all over each other and everything else would be something that would put me over the edge.

  4. Well, going back only one day, Peregrine took the scissors to Raphael's hair. Thankfully it wasn't too bad. You are in my prayers, friend!

  5. Oh the stories to tell...about those partners in crime!! At our house that would be son #2 and daughter #1. Let's see....coloring the tile floors in our sun room (just last week) with RED crayon. The tiles, no big deal....comes right off....the grout is another story. Gluing the walls in our school room. Cutting many pages out of several books. Mixing the pieces to the 1500 and 1000 piece puzzles together. Now you know why I dislike puzzles

    But the story that takes the cake is actually from my younger brother and sister. They painted their flip-flops (while wearing them) with oil based paint :) They had lovely dark brown feet.

    And as frustrating as these moments are....this too will pass and a new season will come :)

  6. How about something that may sound simple but it's not really like a toddler who follows you around and undoes everything you just did. Like unfolding the piles of laundry that were neatly folded. Unloading the dishwasher that was about 3/4 full of dirty dishes. Scattering the dirt pile as you reach for the dust pan....oh I could go on for days. Spilled bubbles, walls with marker on them, entire bottles of shampoo dumped out to make bubbles in the tub, kids who think it's fun to make confetti (I very much dislike this one!) get the picture. It's just life with little do we survive? :P


  7. Um....the time my two year old rubbed desitin all over himself and his bedroom carpet....or the time when he ate who knows how much tooth paste out of the bottle and I thought for sure he was going to die of fluoride poisoning...or the time he rubbed alcohol-based hand sanitizer right into his two-month old baby brothers eyes....yeah, it must be a boy thing!!
    I love your blog by the way, I plan on adding myself to your 'followers' list :)

  8. Yep. I knew this would work. I am feeling *much* better about this already! ~smile~

    Yeah. It NEVER would have happened if it had been Ella and Isaac. Or Ella and anyone. (I think girls just have more common sense? At least my girl does. Or maybe it's just because she's older?) And yes, it was the clean laundry that

    Ugh. (About your example!)
    And I do appreciate your point about normal "childish thoughtlessness". We discussed this last night, Mark and I.
    The issues to us were:
    a)the outright disobedience in not obeying daddy, and
    b)the fact that it is "poison" and they know better than to touch it.
    I mean, the other stuff is a big deal to me- but what we *disciplined* for were those two things.

    My friend Amy made a good point along these same lines on the phone today- about being careful not to confuse our children re: God's law versus House rules. They need to know the difference. And obviously we need to be far more concerned about the disobedience to God's laws!

    You're a smart mama to make a plan to handle your muddy children!!

    I take it you have a lot of examples you could offer. :)
    I have always dreaded the scissors fiasco. Thankfully it hasn't happened here... yet.

    Aack! Some day I may look back and laugh about this-- the ridiculous spraying part. Just not yet.

    Yes! Good examples of all the undoings a toddler can do, regularly!

    Oh. Desitin. Ugh. Reminds me of the time I sprayed sunscreen in Ella's hair instead of her detangler. (yipes!) And- OUCH! about the sanitizer in the eyes!

  9. Rachel took a tube of hydrocortizone cream and rubbed it all through her hair and all over her face...she was in her room at the time supposed to be asleep, but snuck out to do this. We had just given her her big girl bed with a BRAND NEW QUILT that is stained from the grease. Nothing we tried would wash this stuff off of her, finally out of desperation I called a hair salon and they told me to use dishsoap and it worked right away! :)
    I just don't get it because she KNOWS better. *sigh*

    Sara English

  10. *Definitely* my boy is the one to do these kinds of things. When he was younger, almost a whole box of Cheerios all over the table and floor (I almost cried but had to laugh and take a picture instead).

    Had to call poison control
    -licked the "empty" printer cartridge (on the spot where the ink comes out)
    -I can't remember I think it was eating some hydrocortisone cream, using it like toothpaste, ugh!

    I would be upset about the laundry too!!! When we moved out of our apartment, the people marveled at how clean the walls were considering we had 2 children. I thought what? of course the walls are clean (we had 2 girls then aged 3 and 1). Now, I *totally* understand what they were saying. The 2nd girl isn't as clean as the 1st and the boy destroys almost everything (it seems). He had a bib that said "100% cute", I would look at him and laugh b/c it was so true and why he's still alive today I think!! :)

    This is just a season. Today's troublemakers will probably be tomorrow's spiritual leaders (they need sermon fodder).

  11. I told son #2 not to play in the mud in the back yard. He came out with a bucket full of mud and when I scolded him he said, " I did not get it out of the back yard, I put dirt in it and peed in it" Enough said.

  12. I don't have those type of stories yet...I have a 14 month little girl so maybe, just maybe...oh who am I kidding, I know it's on it's way!! She did empty two whole boxes of wipes the other day, not messy but a pain to try and put back in the box so they will come out right! Hang in there!

  13. Caleb "drank" my hand sanitizer gel that I no longer carry on my diaper bag. Do you know how much alcohol is in those things? He was fine, thankfully, but I was worried. Poison Control said he'd be OK b/c it wasn't that much that he got ahold of and just to keep an eye on him. Caleb is also the one I found standing on top of my parents' baby grand piano reaching for the chandelier above it, then upon seeing me put his hands in the air and said "Ta-Daaa!!" My fearless risk-taker. I can't think of naughty things the boys have done together yet, but I'm sure that day is coming... Sorry for your horrible incident. Thank God for Ella to guard your sanity a bit! And I am praying for Son #2's heart to soften. :) Love you. Camee

  14. Hmmm, let's see. It's been SO LONG since something like this happened at my house.

    Oh yes.

    About 3 hours ago. I go to tuck my girls in and find the MOST HORRIFIC DISASTROUS HIDEOUS bedroom mess imaginable, including a bathroom sink stopped up and floating with pieces of cardboard, dominoes (!), and Legos.

    They won't be doing anything tomorrow until that's resolved.

    And yelling? Oh yes, the Purveyor of Peace royally lost my ability to exhibit peacefulness.

  15. I too have stories BUT they involve 3 very sweet (and innocent "looking" girls). Girls messes tend to involve markers (we no longer buy anything labeled "permanent" for this reason) and hair cutting. They were banned for all craft supplies, markers, scissors etc for about a week. The ruined laundry part of your story was particularly heartbreaking though.. I would have yelled and cried too!

  16. A whole entire box of fruity pebbles dumped onto my living room rug, couch, babies bassinet, swing, etc... and stomped around in with winter boots

  17. Some highlights:
    Emma (6) - and I agree with mom of 3, hater of cheese......MARKERS are the enemy! When E was like 3 I got her a beautiful new bedspread set for her big girl bed, and in the same week, bought *us* a new bedset as well - first one since marriage many years before. Well, within 6 hours of them BOTH being laid out on the freshly made beds, they were "decorated" with permanent green marker. I am pretty sure my head spun on those ones, and the two comforters went in the trash. Sigh.

    I just bought non-color-wonder markers for my kids for the first time since that incident last week and I am STILL not sure if I should have.

    Timmy - little destroyer! He has a HUGE bill of things he has broken that are just not cheap. Like when he was like 15 months old, he threw his sippy cup across the room in jest, I am sure, and it smashed into our laptop and cracked the screen....for any of you mac users, perhaps you know what I am talking about when the "crack" is actually behind the actual screen, and it gets these weird black pixelly marks. Yeah, ours looked like someone threw a bottle of black nail polish on the screen. Can you say destroyed?

    E&T together: scissors, glue, playroom, silence, 8 inches of hair...... NEED I SAY MORE?!?!?!? Yeah, we are still growing her hair out from that one - and that was exactly a year ago.

    Love ya! You will survive.

  18. I really DO feel horrible for you even though I can't stop laughing right now. I just love the way you tell stories!! Daughter number 2 is too young to get into such mischief yet, but Lena did get into some nonsense about a month ago.

    During quiet reading time, which is an hour alone in her (hopefully) childproofed room, she dismantled part of her toddler bad. Don't ask me HOW she did this. She unscrewed her bed rail and then proeeded to "paint" the walls. Painting consisted of scratching the walls with the screws she got from her bed. Yeah. Mommy wasn't so happy to discover all the chicken scratches on the wall. I'm glad I heard the scratching noises over the monitor, or it could have been much worse!!

  19. Stacy, thank you so much for that extra comment..your point about looking to find the root issue in the "naughtiness". Not sure how well we have been doing that. Certainly not very intentionally I don't think. Something really good to think on, and try to be more deliberate about. And how much more helpful to our children too, thank you :-)
    Blessings x Victoria

  20. Child number one is my greatest 18 months, he "painted" his butter yellow room and a pair of my white silk pants with a tube of MAGENTA lipstick. At age 10, he used a box cutter on the bedroom carpet, playing tic-tac-toe. At age 8, he carved "STOP" into the BACK of the bathroom door so that no one would come in while HE was in the bathroom, at age 7, he spray painted his name all over the back fence so people would know it was his fence.
    Daughter #1 used a tube of lipstick and colored the WHITE carpet and various pieces of furniture in the LIVING ROOM of brother-in-laws home.
    Son #2 emptied a bottle of salad oil into the dog kennel when I was expecting 18 people for dinner.
    So far, son #3 hasn't done anything too disastrous, but that is ONLY because he has so many people looking out for him!!! :)

  21. Oh man, I would have been mad if anybody messed with my clean laundry too. It does make one wonder what they were thinking. ;)

    I can't think of any of our less-than-stellar boy moments off the top of my head, but earlier today I DID put my hand wrist-deep into a toilet bowl full of poop to rescue a dropped toy. that an over-share? :)

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  23. I won't even tell you what my boys have done because they're older than yours and it would only horrify you. I will say that boys are doers. They have to try things. It's like there is a checklist somewhere of things they have to do. Ruining folded laundry is on that list. Moms have to make their counter checklists. Putting laundry away as soon as it's folded is somewhere on mine. Stay strong. We will survive, hopefully with our sanity in tact!


  24. And here I thought you mamas might be shy about sharing your woes. :)

    Oh I am sorry about the brand-new quilt. I would have cried.

    Yikes! The poison control stuff would frighten me to no end. I've not yet had to call.


    Oh yeah-- getting those wipes back in so that they come out right is no small feat!

    Because, what? Hand sanitizer TASTES good or something? Ick!!!
    And yikes! You have to keep your eyes on that boy!!
    Thanks for your prayers, Cam...

    Ha! You had me there for about one millisecond.

    mom of 3, hater of cheese and birds-
    We don't do permanent markers, either. In fact, we don't do markers period until I'm quite sure they can be responsible with them.

    And I dread any and all upcoming hair cutting incidents. (Thankfully, none yet.)

    Aah! The mess factor is what does us in, huh? More work!

    I'm cringing about the bedspread/bed set. AND the laptop. Oh my.

    I know I too will find humor in it some day...

    And that's pretty amazing that Lena was able to dismantle her bed! Watch out for that girl!

    It is hard to do- only discipline for the root issue. I find myself reacting and disciplining all the time for annoyances.

    OH MY. The box cutter? And the fence? You win the prize.

    I've done that before. Only once or twice when it was an absolutenecessity. Ew. (And no, that is not an overshare.)

    I want to HIDE the checklist!!!


  25. Stacy this story made my mouth drop and laugh and sympathize, but I can't think of something Veronica has done that even matches this, but here is a link to my friend's blog and I'm sure it would bring a smile.



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