As I sat enjoying a cup of tea one morning before work, my children brought a catalogue to show me what they had found. They pointed to a picture of a tee shirt with vertical stripes. They said it reminded them of me.
Pleased that they were thinking of me, I looked at the picture. Then I frowned. On the front of the shirt, in large bold print, were the words “I Yell Because I Care”.
“But I don’t yell at you,” I said softly. This brought laughter and rolling eyes from children.
“Oh yeah, Mom, you sure do!” said my oldest teenager. Number Two added, “All the time!” The youngest put his hands over his ears in pretended fright and spun around in a circle until he collapsed on the floor, giggling.
“No, no,” I protested quietly. How could they possibly think I yelled at them? I was a good mother. I listened and helped when I could. I was always there for them, lending support and love. But a mom that yelled?
“We can prove it,” said the oldest. “Every time you raise your voice, Bo Peep goes nuts.”
I eyed my little blue and white parrot with suspicions. She sat calmly on her perch, watching us. She was waiting for someone to notice her, and perhaps come over for a talk and little playtime. She thrived on the attention that four children could give.
“Okay, I’ll prove it,” I challenged them. “Let me think of something to say loudly, and then we’ll see.”
I’d like to say that it took me some time to come up with an appropriate phrase to “yell”, but in all honesty, it just sprang to my mind. I cleared my throat gracefully, then sang out, “YOU KIDS HURRY UP OR YOU’LL BE LATE FOR SCHOOL!”
Before I finished speaking, Bo Peep was flapping around inside her cage, hopping from perch to perch, screaming, “TSK… TSK… TSK…” She certainly gave us her two cents’ worth. We all received a thorough scolding out from the most minute member of our household.
It was a very humble mother who apologized then. The kids were right, I was wrong. I now realized the truth. I was a mom who yelled, after all.
A few minutes later, the children were still laughing as they made their way out the door and on to school. I took another sip of hot tea, then turned and shook a finger at my feathered friend.
“Miss Peep…,” I began, only to be interrupted. Bo Peep puffed out her cheek feathers and said earnestly, “You are sooooo pretty, pretty, pretty!”
Well, I could hardly argue with such an honest friend, could I? It had to be true.
After all, a little bird told me so.