Dobsons 411

Hanging on for the ultimate ride--God's great adventure.
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Location: Oregon

The author of fourteen contemporary and historical novels, Melanie Dobson lives with her family in the beautiful Pacific Northwest. Her latest novels are Shadows of Ladenbrooke Manor and Chateau of Secrets. More info at

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Mommy Rage

"Before I got married I had six theories about bringing up children; now I have six children and no theories."—John Wilmot

I was at Target today trying to buy a vegetable steamer when Karly knocked a blender lid off the shelf. Thankfully, there was no shattering of glass so I told her to pick it up which (shocker) she did without complaint.

As all parents know, shopping with two busy preschoolers is no small feat. My nerves were fried before I walked in the door, and the knock-the-merchandise off the shelf didn’t help. But my blood pressure hit the ceiling when an older man walked by and in a sing-songy, sarcastic voice zapped me with: “Mommy, watch your children.”

My back arched. The claws popped out.

“Excuse me?” I yelled, pushing the cart (and Kiki) to the end of the aisle.

But he was long gone. He blasted me with his insult and took off down another aisle before I could respond. A hit and run.

My pulse racing, I wanted to chase him down and ask him a few things like:
  • Who gave you permission to criticize me?
  • How dare you imply that I’m neglecting my kids?
  • And, most important, why don’t you stop and help an obviously frayed mom who could use an extra hand?
At that moment, I figured it wouldn’t be good for me or my girls to chase an unkind man through the store and zap him back. And it certainly wouldn’t be modeling the Christ-like behavior that I want to demonstrate to my kids.

So I took a deep breath and prayed for peace as I bought my steamer, coaxed the girls toward and into the car, and watched the man get into his car and drive away.

My heart started to calm, and I began to wonder where my anger bubbled up from. Insecurity? You bet. Guilt? Definitely. Wounded pride. Absolutely! Some days I feel like almost anyone else except me would do a better job parenting my kids and having an insult flung at me on a bad day can make me want to sit down and sob.

As I drove away from the store, I realized that it didn’t matter what that man or anyone else thought as long as I was doing my best to care for my children (which sometimes means shopping for little things like clothes, band-aids, food, and even a steamer).

And I decided one other thing—the next time a grouchy man decides to insult me and my parenting skills, I’ll just sic Karly on him. She’ll either hug him or hit him, but either way, I bet he won’t say another word.

Friday, September 07, 2007

End of Summer Pix

As our first summer in Oregon fades into fall, here are a few last pictures of the Dobson family enjoying a wonderful week with Mimi & Papa Dobson at the beach and hiking up Lookout Mountain over Labor Day.

Kiki started her first day of preschool on Wednesday, and she loves her teachers and all the fun crafts & activities. The girls have class at the same time, and after their first day, they both ran out of their separate doors and gave each other a giant hug. Moments like that make Mommy (that would be me) smile!