Thursday, November 12, 2009


I made hot cocoa for snack today.  I served it to Sylvie first, and she complained that it was hot.  I do serve hot things to my children, and I have since they were about 18 months to 2 years old.  They blow, they sip, they wait.

When she burned her tongue, I asked if she would like a little cream to cool down the cocoa, and Ezra went to get it.  Then, I turned to serve another cup of cocoa.

And suddenly, Sylvie was screaming bloody murder.  I turned and she was covered in hot cocoa.

I yanked her up and ripped off her shirt then her pants then her undershirt.  And she screamed and screamed.  I threw her in the tub and poured really cold water over her tummy and thighs.  She screamed and screamed.

Somewhere in there, Phaedra began screaming; I asked if she was burned.  No, she wasn't, but she had cocoa on her favorite tshirt, and she proceeded to wail.  I used a phrase I have used exactly one other time in 9.5 years; I told her to shut up.  I continued to lathe Sylvie with cold water, and Phaedra kept wailing behind me.  At that point, I did something I don't think I've done in all my parenting life; I said, "G** da*****, Phaedra, shut up!"  And Sylvie was still screaming.

I yanked Sylvie out of the tub and tried to asses her injury.  It looked faintly pink, and I was confused.  I said, "Sylvie, are you hurt?"


"Sylvie!  Listen to Mama!  Are you hurt?"


That's the point at which I slapped her.  It was a cold blooded decision, because I had to know what was going on.  Miraculously, she stopped screaming.  I asked again, "Sylvie, are you hurt?"

"No, Mama, but I spilled cocoa on my new pants."

The next few minutes were not my finest, but we made it through.  I reminded them of the boy who cried wolf.  I talked about helping the injured before we worry about clothes.  I talked about how if I think they are injured, I WILL act, and I will get a big boost from my body to do whatever I have to do to help them.  And, that this extra energy can make Mama especially crabby if it was actually unneeded.

Then, we all had cocoa.

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