NOTE: This post is best read in a British accent. {In your head, especially if you're in public, don't be awkward.} I just ...

Slow to Anger Mom

Monday, March 04, 2019 , , , ,

NOTE: This post is best read in a British accent. {In your head, especially if you're in public, don't be awkward.}

I just wanted to share a parenting moment from today. It turned out to be a good reminder of why it is wise to be--as the Bible says--slow to anger.

We've lived in this house for five years and a few days now. Hard to believe! We've only recently completed replacing the last of the appliances too. When we moved in all the appliances were either original or vintage. It's been nice to be able to gradually update each appliance, one-by-one, and two of those have been our washer and dryer of course. A few years ago we purchased a pair of LG laundering machines from Best Buy and we've enjoyed them ever since. Even if the washer drum is so large and deep that I have to use my kids' robot arm grabbers to get the socks out of the bottom. #trexproblems

I was not paid to say I love Persil. We used to be Tide loyalists, but then this 100-year-old brand from England appeared on our grocer's shelves and we love it even more now. But I digress. Always with the digressing. {Are we sure we want the blogging back?}

Today I headed down to our basement with a load of dirties to throw in for a wash and tumble when I spotted something odd. As I approached the machines--and can we go back to England for a second? When I visited there as a teen and stayed with host families, I was surprised to see how they all had their washing and drying machines in the kitchens. Which is weird to Americans. We have newer homes and thus the space for "get a room" when it comes to our laundry business. And I'm not sorry that I don't throw my knickers to be washed in the same space that I make my toast. Just saying.

I digress. 

Still digressing, can I just say that space is a commodity in jolly old England the way it will never be here. {I mean, have you even been to Idaho? Eastern Colorado? South Dakota? Heck, North Dakota??? America has room. Our roads know how to manspread, y'all.} So over there they wash and dry in the same machine. Yep. They've invented that. It actually exists. Of course, you can only have one load going at a time, so there's that. But sometimes I hear people say, "I wish my washing machine could also dry!" Because who hasn't forgotten to dry a load only to find it a couple days later smelling a little corpse-flower-on-bloom-day? Well, the machines exist! England has them. Here in America, however, they are more concerned about getting paid for you purchasing TWO machines than they are saving you space. #conspiracytheoristhere

--as I was saying, the odd thing that I spotted today was a new color on my washing machine, and dryer. Bright pink?! What??? What's this?!? I got closer and inspected...

Someone had used a PINK ballpoint pen and scribbled all over a few select buttons...on BOTH machines!

This is the kind of surprise that can make a stay-at-home mama's blood boil in an instant. We spent good money on our TWO wash drying machines!! How dare someone mar them with pink scribbles?!

Here is what I knew...

The oldest child did not do this.
The pink pen was Violet's.
The boy probably was responsible for this.

What I didn't know...


So I called my suspects into the laundry room and did what any FBI agent would know to do: psychological warfare. I didn't ask, "Who did this?" That's something a rookie parent of an only child might Those lucky punks only ever have one suspect. That's something a less-experienced parent might ask.

I am not an inexperienced parent. So I know while the weapon was likely Violet's, the culprit was likely Paxton.

Like a game of Clue, I was certain  my answer was this:

In the laundry room. 
With the pink pen. 

So I pointed at the pink and eyed him first and asked, "Why did you do this?" I felt awfully proud of myself for knowing not to ask which one of them did it, because they always blame the others, kids do. Also, acting like I already knew who did it was more likely to get an early and easy confession.

To my surprise, before Paxton could tell me why, Violet said, "It's just tape."

Huh? I turned and inspected closer. It was true. She had taped on the scribbles, not scribbled on the buttons directly.

I started picking at a piece to remove it immediately. So she hadn't marred my machines, I wouldn't need rubbing alcohol after all.

"But...why would you do that???" I was now thoroughly confused.

"So I know which buttons to push."

I stopped picking off the tape.

It was unsightly, it wasn't pretty. But it was what she needed to remember which buttons to push on the machines to run them. Suddenly it made sense, and I wasn't angry at all. {And to be fair, the girl has a point. There are far too many buttons on ALL appliances these days. Back in my day there were two buttons: ON and OFF. There was no button for when you want your BRIGHT WHITES pre-washed with afternoon tea and a touch on honey. Or something like that.}

This touched me. While I had been on the verge of anger over yet another, "THIS IS WHY WE CAN'T HAVE NICE THINGS!!!" rant, she had reminded me why it is so good to be slow to anger. Which today I was, thank God. I'm not always.

Without going into detail--because my kids deserve some privacy and I'm of the generation that is pioneering raising kids with social media and blogs and oversharing--Violet creates excess laundry for us pretty much daily. And we know she isn't proud of that.

So here she was trying to help by learning to do it herself. 

So I learned--as I pieced the story together--she had asked her daddy to show her how to run the machines, and then when we weren't looking she "highlighted" the buttons he showed her to use so that she could do it independently.


I mean, and the whole tape use thing was stinking smart, making her marks non-permanent. So, well done of you, Violet! She has always been my smarty.

And shoot, but lately I've been trying to make a point to teach my kids "adulting" things like how to cook eggs, what types of cleaning supplies to use and when, and how to do their taxes. Well, we'll get to the taxes. But here my kid was taking it upon herself to adult her own laundry. And I'm really glad that I didn't immediately respond in anger before I knew the whole truth and made the fool out of myself.

Which I have done before.

When Sander got home from work I told him this story not unlike how I'm telling you now. You know what is funny? He patiently listened to me as if it was all new to him and then said, "I had the exact same experience last night when I saw the pink pen marks."

Turned out, no discipline needed. No need to go restock my rubbing alcohol for removing pen ink.

The scribbles stay.


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  1. That's actually brilliant. Maybe one day she'll patent a color coded universal control panel so word labels won't be necessary, like for use where English isn't always the main language. Or for use by teenagers that can't take a second to read instructions.


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