Tuesday, June 23, 2009


There is a part in the movie 'Finding Nemo' when Nemo is so mad at his dad, he says, "I hate you." Every time I have heard it, I shudder. I am not naive enough to think my kids will never say that. Whether we have been watching NEMO, or heard it somewhere else, I have always commented on how that is not a nice thing to say to ANYONE, and we should never say it. Trying to delay the inevitable, I suppose. But all the while hoping that I will never hear it.

I truly don't think there is a harsher statement that can be said.

Imagine the fury that bellowed up inside me tonight when I heard Lexi say, "You shouldn't say that" in her sad little voice. I was washing dishes at the time and immediately stopped. I went and asked Lexi what Haley said to her. And she said, "I hate you."
I called Haley's name and there was no response. Lexi told me she was hiding in the bathroom, and sure enough she was. I shut the doors and the windows (since surely my neighbors are one step away from calling Child Protective Services on me.)

I asked her if she said that, but I could see that she did by the way she was holding her mouth and looking at me. The only thing I could think to do was grab the soap. Liquid Hand Soap. And I put a squirt in her mouth. (Now, if you are thinking of calling CPS, I kindly ask you not to unless you have walked one day in my discipline mom mode shoes with Haley...because it is no small task.) I did not yell. I just calmly told her that I was washing those words out of her mouth. I can assure you, she will think twice before ever murmuring them again.

It was simply awful. I sat with her for quite a while, trying to explain the way those words make someone feel. And how harmful they are to her sister. I think she understands. She apologized to her and told her that she does in fact love her. I know that she does too.

It has been an unbelieavbly tough week for Haley. I will attribute a lot of that to change. A new home. A new roomate (Lexi). A new schedule (no preschool). It's gotta be hard. But I still expect the girls to be kind to each other. The line was definitely crossed today.

....But here is the good news. As we were going to bed, and saying our prayers, Haley volunteered. And her prayer was this:

Dear God.
Thank you for my family.
I love my mom. My dad. My sister.
Even when I make bad choices I still love them.
And I am sorry.
I love my Grandma and Papa Don.
I love my Grandma and Granddad.
And for all they do for me.
Thank you.
In Jesus name,

Oh parenting is so hard, isn't it? But all of today's struggles seemed to melt away with that simple prayer.


VikingMom said...

Kudos to you for doing one of the hardest things to do as a mom: disciplining your child...with love. Her prayer at the end told you all that you needed to know--that you did the right thing and she understands.

(Please note this is being said by a kid who once had Softsoap on her tongue once too. That stuff is killer to get off and is obviously very effective!)

Kristen said...

Would you stop makin me cry every time I read your blog?? Wahhhh!!!!!

Connie said...

... we just had the "wash your mouth out with soap" conversation with the girls last week!!! Bruce was telling them how his Mom made him wash his mouth out with soap when he said mean or bad words ...and then we told them how their Daddy once had his mouth washed out with soap!!!! Grandad was so upset with what their Daddy said that he even made him bite off a chunk of soap!!!! That was the last time he said bad words at home... bad words = bad tastes... lessons learned....

Anonymous said...

We had almost the same scenario play out once. "I hate you" was said. The mouth got washed out with soap and it was never ever said again - to this day.

Heidi said...

Disciplining with love, as Laurel said.... is so hard - and so critical.

You did it. You were successful. You will continue to do it. You will continue to be successful. You love your kids. Your kids love you. Your kids love each other.

You're doing an amazing job.