Experiencing the Mother Grizzly Syndrome

I knew it was there. The Mother Grizzly.

In my family, on my father’s side, when the women experience the Sarah Palin famed “Mother Grizzly” syndrome, in which normally calm mommy is forced into a situation where -unbeknownst to herself- she bears her teeth and bellows, roars and shakes her wild hair at anyone who hurts her child, we call it the “woosh-hog” ingrained into our genetics through a native American bloodline.

My father’s family is from an extremely rural part of the “hollers” of Kentucky.  Like, no paved roads or indoor plumbing in many parts.  Every time I visit, I meet a cousin I never knew I had.  My great great great (?) granny was American Indian and, so I am told, was not to be trifled with. For she kept a machete or a hatchet of some sort in her little tin roof house and came out a’swinging if her temper was ignited. …or so my cousins and I have been told.

I guess the title “woosh-hog” was some sort of nickname founded from this grandmother.  Whatever its origins, it stems from a folklore of family grizzly mothers and their tempers when provoked.

And today the woosh-hog in me came out. Don’t get too excited, though; it’s really more comical, not so much woosh-hog-y.

I have been struggling with getting my oldest boy to go #2 on purpose on the potty.  About 2ish months ago, we tried potty training and #1 was a success but #2 was not.  He’ll do number 1 all day. And he knows how, where and even when he should do #2. We read potty books, watch Elmo’s Potty Time, I’ve got the dang Elmo App where Elmo will “call” your phone and my son can fake FaceTime with Elmo about going potty. Yet, actually doing #2 has been met with absolute refusal, fits and crying.  So I have backed off of the constant nagging him or getting frustrated with his failed #2’s over the course of these last few months.

Elmo’s joyful enthusiasm about the potty irks me to my core.

I’m feeling increasingly stressed about it because baby boy número 3 is fast approaching his birthday …in 3 months.  I was hoping that by my oldest boy’s 3rd birthday, he could be out of diapers and my life would be smooth sailing.  So here we are, beginning of June, and his 3rd birthday is the 12th!  Last week, I figured I’d start back up with heightened encouragement and ask him to sit there a little longer.

I get easily worked up about these things and then I realize: I will STILL have to help my newly potty trained boy to wipe and clean up accidents, so I don’t know why I’m actually thinking that it’ll be all done and he’ll be a professional pooper and wiper in a snap.   

After a desperate day of forcing my oldest to sit on the toilet for the entire duration of Monsters Inc, I felt miserable and totally disgusted with myself for putting him through that. I could see the stress on his little face and I knew he wasn’t ready.

I’ve always sworn to myself not to associate the potty with frustration or anxiety: but THERE I WAS: sitting in the doorway of the bathroom pleading with my son to sit and try… To read some more books… To sing a song.. To try some more… To just sit there and be quiet. And he looked at me with a crease of anxiety in his tiny forehead continually asking to get down. Never again will I do that to him or myself, said I.

This was only last week. I was given some much appreciated words of encouragement from family and friends.  I read around the blogosphere and saw that many moms have the same trouble with some of their kids and that no matter how many tricks or treats they used, the real stubborn ones finally decided to go when they were good and ready on their own accord.

So I let it drop and just grit my teeth through the gross clean-ups since then. The older they get, the bigger the mess …duh.

Today however, my wild child pooped on the toilet all by himself, without me pushing or forcing. I teared up and danced and gave high-fives and sent pictures to grandmas and aunts. We didn’t flush so he could show Dad his triumph when he came home from work.

We decided to celebrate by going out for ice cream and playground time after dinner. And here is where the grizzly bear enters the story:

‘Twas a lovely, cool evening at the newly built playground/ball park. My oldest proudly bouncing and climbing and sliding on the jungle gym. My husband manned his safety while I followed our nearly 1 and a half year old, toddling around its perimeter.

Enter 10 year old hooligans playing “throw-the-ball-at-each-other tag” while raucously running and rampaging the entire area.

There were other toddlers playing as well as ours and I kept watching as many times, a clumsy-limbed 10 year old lumbered through and nearly trampled a few of the smaller children -and a few times even me, the large, pregnant woman in a black maxi dress -hard to miss, right?

I’m sure they were good kids, to be honest. Just your typical, active youngster, unaware of his surroundings and only concerned with having fun. I didn’t mind their playing amongst everyone, only I was aware that if a ball was misfired, someone would be hurt.

But I joyfully waddled on, giggling at my boys and their delight of the unplanned playground time.


I heard a scuffle and looked up to see a small child on the ground, underneath one of the hooligans. I did a double take and realized it was MY SMALL CHILD.



…or something to that effect is what came out of my mouth, while I flailed my prego arms and puffed out my prego belly.

In thirty seconds we had the playground to ourselves.

And five minutes later I realized I actually yelled at someone else’s kids. Eeek. Oops.

And it wasn’t until we got home that my husband told me he didn’t realize it was me  doing the yelling because I sounded like some southern hillbilly with such a twang that it couldn’t have possibly been his wife.

Woosh-hog, I presume? Ah yes, quite.

Ah that’s embarrassing, but it’s done and passed now. I have learned over many loud-mouthed blunderings of my own youthful doing, to shut it, lest I appear the fool that I really am and remove all doubt of my observers. It’s helped me to gain wisdom and learn much from a tempered reaction.

Yet today, my little honey was trampled and I’ll be the most obnoxious fool in the world if it’ll keep him safe from hooligans. He was fine, by the way. Up and playing in a minute.

When we came home, he asked me, “a boy hurt me… Where did those big boys go?”

A mother grizzly roared at them, with a southern twang, and they went “wee wee wee” all the way home.


Pull My Finger…

I wouldn’t have believed it possible, but I witnessed it.

As I was changing Lexington’s diaper, Emmett crawled over and grabbed Lexington’s hand.

How sweet, thinks I…

I sat there, closing-up Lexington’s clean diaper, and my eye notices Emmett grab ahold of Lexington’s index finger and yank.

Instant flatulence.

Thanks again, Lexington.

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Two stories can be told by this photo. Story One: Not 15 minutes after photographing this sparse montage of Lexington’s brooms, it got pooped on. I’m not joking! Lexington has been slowly and gently potty-training. I’m not a pusher and … Continue reading