There's Brangelina. There's Tomkat. I even heard Zanessa the other day (Zac Efron and Vanessa Hudgens of High School Musical fame - but I had to look it up to know!). And way before these there was Bennifer - Ben Affleck and Jennifer Lopez.
It occurred to me a while back, that if Gary and I were a celebrity couple, we'd be "Angry." Angie + Gary. Hmmm... what could that mean? I know one thing it means, and that is that you won't ever find us on the cover of any entertainment tabloid with that moniker!
(Oh, and for Word Nerds like me, I learned that there's an actual phrase used for combining names. It's a Portmanteau word: Formed by merging the sounds and meanings of two different words. And it's been around forever. Who knew?! And I always thought I was being so clever when I thought of "Krolson" in high school. But that's another story...)
But lately, I think I've been hit with the realization that sometimes I really am just that: angry.
I know I'm not the only mom in the world who has days when her kids just IRRITATE her. I can't be. If they're not bickering with each other, they're making a mess or getting into something when they know better. After following them around the house, cleaning up mess after mess, just to turn around and find they've made another, sometimes I feel like a ticking bomb (ticking mom?) who's about to blow.
And sometimes I do.
I'll find myself gritting my teeth, literally feeling hot with anger, and sometimes this hideous roar comes from me. I always feel ashamed and ugly later. Seconds later. Years ago at a MOPS convention in Nashville, my friend Kerry was accidentally signed up for a seminar on anger called, "She's Gonna Blow!" We laughed, after all, our babies weren't even one yet, what possible need would there be for this?! (Incidentally, it's based on a book by Julie Barnhill that I'm putting on my Christmas list...)
What triggers it?
Do you know HOW MANY results come up when you Google, "How to get Vaseline out my kid's hair?" It could've been worse - check this out. Thankfully, we didn't have to go to those measures (can you even imagine?!). Instead, here's what worked (for all you moms who are reading this as a result of a Google search!): We saturated her hair with Baby Oil (I know it sounds weird), then washed it 3 times (lather, rinse, lather, rinse, lather, rinse) with Dawn dish soap. Then we shampooed and conditioned because the Dawn can be drying. It was nearly perfect. By the next bath it was fine. But sooo not fun. It was all over our comforter too. Grrr.
She said she wanted to look "pretty" before bed. Not only was she in trouble for getting out of bed, but for dipping into mommy's make up drawer. But I was secretly impressed by how well she actually got the mascara on. Oh, and she "did her hair" with greasy Eucerin lotion. Only the best for my daughter.
Or when my girls repeatedly fill up cups of water from the dispenser on the fridge. No big deal, except they use the play cups that have holes on the bottom, and I end up mopping up the lake in my kitchen. Take away the cups, you say? But they go with a play set. The anal part of me just can't do it. (I know, you don't feel sorry for me now.)
Or when they goof around at the table.
Or when Emma wakes Addie from her nap 2 hours too early.
Or when Emma experimented with, shall we say, fingerpainting?
Granted, this one was two years ago, but it still feels fresh. I mean, it still seems recent.
Or when they spill Goldfish crackers all over the floor and decide to have a dance party on top of them because it sounds like they're tap dancing.
Or when Addie takes to my Pottery Barn glider cushion with a Sharpie. I googled nothing successful for this gem.
I've just been trying to remind myself to take a deep breath, suck it up, and clean up the mess and discipline as necessary. I've got to control myself. I would never want to hurt them - and I haven't - but I have to admit that I can totally see how it happens. Sometimes I feel so furious inside that I'm afraid of myself and pray QUICKLY for some self control. Thankfully, God's answered that prayer every time.
The summer before my senior year in college, I lived with a wonderful family in British Columbia doing some short-term mission work. I met a wonderful man while we were there named Earl Johnson. He was older, maybe 70 or more, and was so wise and really loved Jesus. I remember driving down the road one day with he and a friend, and my friend shared how sometimes other drivers make him SO MAD. Earl gently corrected him and said, "No Andrew, you ALLOW yourself to get mad. You choose how you want to respond, and you choose anger. YOU make yourself mad." It really stuck with me. I think about it a lot, and especially now that I'm a mom.
Being angry isn't a sin, I think it's just how we handle it and what the result could be is what can make it so bad. Afterall, didn't Jesus get angry?
I figure if I can pause to take a picture of it, it can't be that bad. Often stopping to take that picture is what helps me calm down. I guess I've just discovered my own brand of anger management. And you know what? The more pictures I take and the more stories there are, just means more to scrapbook about. Or blog about. Now that's not so bad!