Yell At Us

Rear-view mirror showing cars parked behind th...

Oldest, 9.  Youngest two, 6. 

When you are a kid, getting yelled at by your parents is just part of waking up.

It was the start of third grade and kindergarten at our house – a very exciting time.   Our elementary school was having an open house so that families could stop by and visit the classrooms; three kids, three rooms, three teachers. It was a rainy, cold night and we had a lot to accomplish in a very short time.  Despite what could have happened, however, this night was one of those times when our kids made me proud with how well-behaved and polite they were.  It was almost as if they had been paying attention somewhere along the way. 

People at the open house even commented to us.  “Boy, you have great kids.  They’re so well-behaved.”

We smiled, thanked them, and tried to think of a way to spend the rest of our lives outside the house, because they certainly didn’t act like that at HOME!

At home, my wife and I roam the house like referees. 

Knock it off.  Stop it.  That’s enough. Didn’t I just say that’s enough?  Nope, can’t do that in the house.  Stop it.  She was sitting there first.  No kicking.  You already had a two brownies. Don’t kick.  Put it back.  Put it back.  Put-it-back.  I thought I said knock it off.  Watch the lamp!  All right, everybody outside. 

What we need is a whistle.

The open house ended.  We left the school and headed for the parking lot.  After we loaded everyone into the mini-van, I noticed something very odd.  The well-behaved children I was standing next to in the school were gone.   Now, my rearview mirror revealed brothers and sisters doing what brothers and sister do, bugging each other.

I was driving and they were in the very back seat, poking and making faces and shouting and squashing each other as we went around corners.  Finally, I glared into the rearview mirror.   

“It is too dark and too slippery on this road for me to be yelling in to the back seat!” 

“Well, can’t mom yell at us?” one of them said.

Technically, they had a point: there were two of us in the car.   I yielded to the head referee. 


“Hey, dad?”

Sorry – got to go.  More later.


About murphyjoel

Husband, father, writer, over-sized kid. View all posts by murphyjoel

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