Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Twenty Teenagers

Last night I had a very minor freak out in front of the church kids.

It was Wednesday night, which is our night to do activities with the hormonal teenagers. And I could tell that I was ultra-irritable before we even walked into the building because every time I had to move out of my way for a car that was entering the parking lot I could hear screaming inside my head.

That screaming sounded something like "DRIVE YOURSELF OFF OF A CLIFF!!" And then it included strings of morbid death wishes.

I was hungry. That's all. I was just hungry. I don't have a temper problem. Just got really hungry yesterday. And this made me irritable. And it was raining really hard. And it had been a long day at the office. AND I'M ONLY HUMAN GUYS.

Daniel made me snack on something before the activity began and told me he needed me to be on my best behavior. All this because I was responsible and admitted in the car that I was feeling cranky.

On the rare occasion that I feel cranky, I'm pretty good at putting on my happy face. And that's what I planned to do last night. Put on my happy face for two hours while we monitored TWENTY hyper-active kids as they used paint and markers and glue and glitter to make anti-drug posters for a community outreach program sponsored by Palau's Ministry of Health.

At the beginning of the activity we had gathered the kids to welcome them and give some instructions. And as I spoke to them, there was constant chatter and laughing. And guys. I do NOT do well when people are talking over me in a group setting when I'm supposed to have the floor.

What can I say. I like attention.

I paused a couple of times and did that awkward stare at each of the kids who were making any noise until they realized that I was waiting for them and stopped. This is a tactic I have seen 3,000 of my former educators do to me over the course of about two decades, and it often seemed effective.

But it wasn't effective last night because each time I continued my welcome speech, the chatter started again and grew louder. I repeatedly asked them to listen. And I was repeatedly ignored.

And I could feel the rage building up inside of me as I maintained my best calm, yet authoritative voice.

And the chatter grew louder.

And my patience waxed thin.

And the chatter grew louder.

And my anger grew.

And the chatter grew louder.

And . . .

"I NEED EVERYONE TO SHUT THE HELL UP WHILE I'M TALKING OR I'LL NAIL YOUR MOUTHS SHUT WITH A RUSTY NAIL GUN, LOCK YOU IN THIS BUILDING, AND BURN IT TO THE GROUND!!! AND THEN I'LL SLAP YOUR FACES IN THE GROCERY STORE, AND THIS ISN'T THE FIRST TIME I HAVE THREATENED TO DO THIS THIS WEEK AND IF YOU DON'T BELIEVE ME ASK THE ANGRY MOMS ON THE INTERNET!!!!"

Ok. I didn't say any of that. But that's what my brain told my mouth to say. And fortunately my mouth filtered out the unnecessary violence and quieted the yelling to a slight voice raise and I simply said something about needing them to listen and that talking over me was disrespectful and blah blah blah. I'm told that this filtering is a sign of maturity.

This was the first time the kids had ever heard me raise my voice at all, and they immediately shut up when I did. And Daniel whispered something to me about "count to ten Eli. Deep breaths."

Just then one of the smart alecs offered, "Eli? Your face is red. Is that because you feel embarrassed right now?" And I responded, "No honey. If my face is red, it is NOT because I'm embarrassed."

I love these kids. But my oh my. I hope to never have to raise twenty teenagers at once.

~It Just Gets Stranger

35 comments:

  1. I too get cranky when I'm hungry. My hubby figured this out early on when we were dating and he started just pulling into a drive through any time I was mad. Tell Daniel he needs to pack emergency food for you just in case this happens again. And, let's face it, 20 teens is enough to drive any one crazy!

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    1. I can just picture a real argument, not hunger-anger, but a real full blown argument... and he just pulls into McDonald's. That's a hysterical image to me.

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    2. me too!! (although, I'm the same as the previous poster and my hubby might need to start this tactic ;-) )

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    3. Yeah, my mom gets hangry all the time. We carefully monitor her eating schedule.

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  2. Amen to that!!
    Bridg

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  3. Bwahahaha this is hysterical!!

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  4. Just wear this to any future outings: http://www.redbubble.com/people/mandl/works/9768880-im-sorry-for-what-i-said-when-i-was-hungry?p=t-shirt

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  5. So great. Loved the comment about not the first time threatening to slap a kid this week! lol I agreed with your previous statement in the other story about some kids needing spanked by the way.

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  6. I like what you said in your head... I probably would've said close to the same, but had a butt-load more curse words. I'm a sailor at heart. I especially love the S-word and F-word. You can really get your point across with these.

    Actually, the best curse word is chicken-s***. It has a certain ring to it. Maybe we could change it to Queen of Colors-s*** for you?

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  7. I teach middle school. Welcome to my world. Thank goodness for brain/mouth filters.

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    1. amen, anonymous. i teach third grade, and by this time of year my brain/mouth filters are already on summer vacation. oops.

      "...and if you don't believe me, ask the angry moms on the internet." so funny.

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  8. It's good practice for when you get back to America and the adults are acting like those teenagers and you really want to let loose. My filtering should have earned me the Nobel Peace prize this last month (filtering that often occurred under intense hunger). Alas, I have no world famous blog to share my triumphs with the world and sit alone in bed, currently hungry again.

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  9. In my family we call it psychoglycemia. It is a term that seems to fit hunger rage perfectly.

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    1. I'm going to borrow that. That's awesome.

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    2. Me too! ( that totally sounds like a real thing!)

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    3. I've heard of "hangry" before, but "psycholglycemia" is a better fit. I'm a monster when I'm really hungry and somehow I'm prevented from eating.

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    4. Girl, that is twice-up-the-barrel-awesome. Sums it up perfectly!!

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  10. I'm in charge of the personal progress at young women's and lets just say last night there was very little progress, I didn't get angry or anything but my husband got to hear how stressed I really was as soon as he walked in the door after a long day of work and school, I know awesone right? I think its important to teach respect and set boundaries so good job on that and not yelling what would have felt much better to yell! you did great, now go eat some choolate, it always helps me feel better!

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  11. I'm pretty sure you are buster bluth

    http://www.buzzfeed.com/fivezaj/37-ways-you-could-be-buster-bluth-a8zp

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  12. I too am a angry person when I am hungry. My family says I am like that snickers commercial. I will either be angry or complain at the drop of a hat when I need sustenance.
    But in general people should not talk when someone has the floor, I am a teacher and I no longer do the stare down. I call kids out by name. I don't play around. I am nicer if they are young and haven't learned by from 10 up. Don't talk when someone is talking geesh. Best one is when I do it if I am teaching Relief Society in my YSA ward. I did warn them in advance. So I will either call them out or ask them a question to shame them i guess. It sure is fun.

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  13. So what you're saying is you get HANGRY?? It's a real word. Just don't bother looking it up.

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  14. Hanger is a very common problem. On a 3 week trip to Europe with some friends, our self-appointed leader soon learned that when we were all fighting and wanting to push members of our group rather violently off of trains, that we were really just tired & hungry and started carrying bread & Nutella in his backpack for hangry snacks.

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  15. Joking about slapping our children? Not funny. I feel sometimes you use stranger to be passive aggressive. My respect for you just went down a notch.

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    1. English lesson for the day: Hyperbole noun Rhetoric .
      1.
      obvious and intentional exaggeration.
      2.
      an extravagant statement or figure of speech not intended to be taken literally, as “to wait an eternity.”

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    2. ....wasn't this exact same comment on the Singles letter to Married People?

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    3. That's what I was thinking, but I'm too lazy to go look...

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    4. Maybe a troll?
      I have 3 kids and I thought it was funny then, and it's funnier now.

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  16. Hanger hurts all... That's why others should be responsible for your hanger rations. Unless they wanna get hurt...or maybe lose a pinky or whatever looks most delicious at the time...

    I often tell my nephews they'll receive a knuckle sandwich if they don't quiet down. That usually get's their attention although they're toddlers...so... they listen better than teens.

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  17. I'm a speech therapist, and I love working with kids. I even love working with adolescents. But it has to be said: teenagers en masse are the absolute worst. Youths...they are loud and obnoxious and disrespectful when they get together! They have a hard time shutting up! They have a hard time listening to, or even grasping the concept of, authority. UGH! I'm slightly terrified to "grow up" and go to a family ward, because there are lots of youth in the church, and I'm bound to be called to work with them in some way.

    When I get flustered (or pissed off or stressed), my neck gets all blotchy, and it's a dead give away that something's awry. Not that I'm annoyed if people figure out something's not right...I just hate that I look blotchy. Blotchy looks good on NO ONE.

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  18. I love that you are so completely ridiculous. :) Bless Daniel.

    I am definitely sympathetic, though. Carry snacks! In the words of Doctor Banner, "You won't like me when I'm hungry!" HULK SMASH.

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  19. I really appreciate that your brain to finger filter doesn't filter out all the things that your brain to mouth filter filters out. This blog would be a lot less amusing, and a lot less poignant.

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