Parenting

Overdramatic Family

marykatherine

You know all the Saturday Night Live families?  There’s “Sarcastic Clapping Family of Southampton,” “Dysfunctional Family Dinner” with Sarah Michelle Geller, the family who hires Matt Foley for some motivational speaking, and “Kissing Family”:

Wow, your parents are really–

Affectionate, yeah, I know.

If we were an SNL family, we’d definitely be “Overdramatic Family.”  We are big and loud and display All the Emotions and nothing is ever, ever subtle.  Can you relate?  If you’re like this, you’ve tried to react to information in a nonchalant way.  It’s impossible, and when you attempt it, you feel like you’ve used a tube of Preparation H for Chapstick and everyone wonders if that life-size cockroach from Men in Black is wearing you as a skin suit.

Edgar-human_SS_01

You are totally normal and relaxed.  

You will not freak out on anyone.  Everything is fine.

Skin suit.

If my kids do something awesome, I clap and woot and break out the jazz hands, and if they do something not awesome, I’m explaining why it’s not awesome in the most animated way possible.  And we are constantly freaking out on each other.  Constantly.  All over each other.  We’re like a bag of cats.

I read parenting blog posts about things like “37 Things You Should Never Say to Your Daughter or You’ll Destroy Her Future” and “How to Never Ever Ever Yell Again” and “Why Yelling Is Like Swallowing Your Child’s Soul.”  These things may work great for many, many people, normal people, but I usually think “I’ve already said 36 of those things before breakfast,” and “Yelling is the only way to get my kids’ attention,” and “I don’t know how to whisper.”  Solidarity, loud moms.

We are overdramatic around here.  We have several different types of yells, most of which aren’t because we’re losing our crap on each other.

There’s the Too Lazy to Walk Upstairs Yell:

Me: Go tell your brother it’s time for dinner.

Ana: ELLIOTT IT’S TIME FOR DINNER!!!

Me: WALK UPSTAIRS AND TELL HIM.  I COULD’VE DONE THAT!

There’s the Needing to Be Heard Above the Dull Roar:

Elliott: And then on Minecraft Minecrafty Minecraft stuff about Minecraft–

Evie: Elliott Elliott Ana Ana Ana Ana pay attention to me hey guys hey guys guys guys WAHHHHH Ana Ana Ana Hey Hey Hey Elliott Hey–

Ana: “Your biscuits just got BURRRRNNNED.”  BAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAAAAAAAA–

Me: PLEASE HANG YOUR BACKPACKS AND COATS UP ON THE HOOKS BEFORE I TRIP ON THEM AND BREAK BOTH ARMS AND CAN’T COOK DINNER FOR YOU OR HUG YOU EVER AGAIN!!!!

And there’s the I’m Losing My Crap on You:

Me: SERIOUSLY WITH SPILLING LEMONADE ALL OVER THE KITCHEN FLOOR AND NOT CLEANING IT UP OR ASKING FOR HELP?!?!?

Ana: Not me.

Evie: Not me.

Elliott: Not me.

Me: ONE OF YOU IS LYING AND I DON’T EVEN CARE WHO THERE WILL BE NO MORE LEMONADE UNTIL YOU LEARN PERSONAL RESPONSIBILITY NOW GO OUTSIDE.  OUTSIDE I SAY.  I SAY GOODBYE.

My best one is probably I’m Losing My Crap on You but Catch Myself Mid-Way and Apologize:

Me: What do you mean you lost all your pants?  Where could you have possibly taken them off?!?  Are you stripping around the neighborhood?  Stop blinking at me and go find them.

Child: Wherrrrre?!?  I don’t know wherrrrre to loooook!!!

Me: AGGGHHH!!  LOOK IN YOUR CLOSET, LOOK IN THE BATHROOM, LOOK IN YOUR LAUNDRY BIN, UNDER THE BED AND I REALIZE I’M YELLING AND I’M SORRY AND I’M GONNA STOP NOW AND I LOVE YOU A LOT.  Pants.  Now.

Alex’s go-to parenting technique is hyperbole.  Like so:

Alex: IF YOU DON’T BRING YOUR BIKES IN AND PUT THEM IN THE GARAGE I WILL TAKE THEM AWAY AND YOU’LL NEVER RIDE A BIKE AGAIN FOR THE REST OF YOUR LIFE!!!

See how awesome we are?  Don’t worry, world, I’ll never write a parenting book.

mattfoley 2

You put your whole self in.  You put your whole self out.  

You put your whole self in.  And you shake it all about.

I would need an entire personality transplant to become like the parents in the blog posts I read.  Whether I’m freaking out on my kids or gushing over their accomplishments, it’s all BIG.  And then I read posts like “If You Encourage Your Kids Too Much They’ll Have a Warped View of Themselves and Never Be Able to Integrate Into the World.”  But, but, all kids should have a mom who breaks out her Superstar Mary Katherine Gallagher routine when they pass a social studies quiz.

It’s not just Alex and me.  Overdramatic parents make overdramatic kids.

Ana: I CAN’T FOLD LAUNDRY.  I CAN’T I CAN’T I CAN’T.  IT’S TOO HARD.  IT’S KILLING ME.

Elliott: WHERE’S MY PENCIL?!??  IT WAS RIGHT HERE AND IT’S GONE AND SOMEONE STOLE IT!!!  WHO TOOK IT?  ANA YOU TOOK MY PENCIL oh here it is under my paper.

Evie: NOBODY IS LISTENING TO ME HEY GUYS HEY HEY I NEED TO TELL YOU SOMETHING WHY DOES NO ONE EVER LISTEN TO ME WAAAAHHHHHH?!?

Ana: THERE’S SOMETHING IN THE WOODS WITH RED EYES STARING AT US WE HAVE TO CLOSE ALL THE CURTAINS AND I’M GOING TO NEED TO SLEEP ON TOP OF YOU UNTIL I’M EIGHTEEN.

Elliott: I LOST MY MINECRAFT GAME.  I FORGOT TO SAVE IT AND IT’S GONE IT’S GONE IT’S GONE FOREVER I AM UNDONE EVERYTHING IS BAD.

Evie: I. DON’T. WANT. TO. HAVE. A. QUIET. TIME.  NOOOOOOO!!!

Yes.  We should keep calm like all the memes tell us to.  We so should try that.

keepcalm-gest

You know the only time I don’t overreact?  When something is actually really serious.  If something life-threatening or super-important occurs, I turn into Wash from Firefly when he’s flying.  “I’m a leaf on the wind.”  If I’m calm, you know something big is going down.  But otherwise, expect So Many Words and Talking With Our Hands.

Give it up for overdramatic families.  Where there are big reactions, there is big love, or at least that’s what we’ll tell ourselves.

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  • OffTheCuffCooking

    Hilarious!! I’m not sure what kind of family we’ll be yet. Time will tell! I do know that when we’re at my parents’ house, it’s “Everyone sits around the dinner table for an hour after the food is done, and we talk and interrupt each other, and tell funny stories and anyone who is not from our family who happens to be there won’t get a words in edgewise, but it’s still a good and loud time” kind of a family. :)

    • OffTheCuffCooking

      Ps: “Ana: “Your biscuits just got BURRRRNNNED.” BAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAAAAAAAA–” Are these actual biscuits, or a euphemism for “you just got in trouble of some sort?” :)

      • Melanie Dale

        She heard the line on the Disney Channel. She’s never been the same.

  • http://www.dominicandkristin.blogspot.com Kristin Smith

    Almost spit out my lunch laughing so much through this. Thank you..needed this today!

    • Melanie Dale

      You’re so welcome. I could watch the Chris Farley gif all afternoon!

  • Elisa Forshey

    THANK YOU! Thankyouthankyouthankyou. I feel validated now. :). I grew up in one of those households too, and I think I turned out OK, so it must not ruin kids too badly… Or so I hope.

    • Melanie Dale

      Excellent. Fist bump, Elisa. Big love, big volume. ;)

  • Sara T

    The worst is when we “try” to talk and not yell and we get sort of a scary mommy whisper type thing going on. Think: we’re in church and #2 is freaking out because #3 touched her. “Knock it off or you will be grounded for a month and if you (point at #2) don’t stop being so sensitive… ” You know how it goes. I don’t know, it’s it better to just yell? :-) OK not in church.

    • Melanie Dale

      Oooh, I totally forgot this one. Yessss. The Mommy Hiss. Very important skill set.

  • Kathryn A. Helmers

    Dialogue lines are priceless. My neighbor Pete speaks Elliott’s language, now I see what it is because “minecraft” shows up in most of his sentences (yes, he is a nerdy 7-year-old who speaks in whole sentences). But what does it mean when these peoples say “I’m losing my crap on you?” Does this mean such as, “you are making me upset”? Or “I am losing my patience and it is going to hit the fan all over you” or some others of this ilk?

    • Melanie Dale

      It’s Melanie-speak for “I’m losing my patience.” It’s my version of “losing your sh*t,” which urban dictionary defines as “the state of being pushed over the edge of sanity and having a complete and utter freak out or mental/emotional breakdown.” Yep. That pretty much sums me up.

  • Kathryn A. Helmers

    P.S. And so we see why capitals v. lower case characters were invented.

    • Melanie Dale

      Yep. I’m pretty sure it was for internet screaming.

  • Lisa N

    I love this. When we only had our first kid, we were still a relatively quiet house. Then we had two more kids in a short period of time. Our house is loud and very lively. My husband and I became louder parents. We looked at each other one day as everyone was yelling to be heard over top of each other and said, “We are THAT family now.. the loud family!” Yep, our neighbors all know when we are home, undoubtedly.

    • Melanie Dale

      Yes! I really feel for our neighbors. They must hear everything!

  • sundog

    I could only wish our craziness was as tame. So glad to know we are not alone. Sometimes I wonder if something is wrong with us… but we have so much fun that I can’t imagine it any other way. Thanks so much for the post!

    • Melanie Dale

      “We have so much fun that I can’t imagine it any other way.” Amen, sundog. Amen. :)

  • Cheri

    With our family, it wasn’t Minecraft for the oldest, it was the original Mario Brothers; our youngest loved to stick his plastic screwdriver up our cat’s butt and I was labeled as the emotional roller coaster queen by my husband. That was then and this is now 30 years later, new husband who loves my funny ways and things I say, those boys did grow up and not end up in jail – they are adults with great families and jobs. It’s funny how they react when THEIR kids act weird like losing their clothes… and the cat… he loved my son despite having to walk funny….

    • Melanie Dale

      I am GUFFAWING over here, Cheri. The screwdriver…I’m just…oh my goodness.

  • Tara

    I don’t know where you have been all my life, but I found you through Annie V.’s blog (<—that's what all the cool people call her). Now I am stalking you. And I am falling for you fast and hard. Dramatic mommas unite!

    • Melanie Dale

      Oh. My gosh. Annie V. You call her Annie V. I am overdramatically waving my hands in front of my face right now. Fist bump, Tara. Drama is the best. :)

 

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