I am not a yell-er. I have many other faults as a mother and a human being, but I don't yell at my kids. Or, I should say, I don't raise the decibel level of my voice when I'm upset with them. I actually tend to get quieter and more deliberate the angrier I am. I can be snippy and sarcastic (which might actually be worse than yelling), and as I've confessed before, I whine at them, but I really don't yell.
I have this Voice I use occasionally. My Vader Mommy Voice.
I've been on the stage since the age of four and I'm a trained vocalist. I know how to... err... project. Matter of fact, whatever else you may say about my voice, no one who's ever heard me sing would deny that I can be loud. Really loud. When I want to. And because of the stage training, I can be loud without yelling. So my Vader Mommy Voice is this deep, loud, earth-shattering, ear-drum rattling, disobedient-bottom-tingling trumpet burst of sound. It's a very controlled, calm voice and I am not expressing outrage or anger-- just getting the point across. Loudly.
I deliberately reserve it for moments when, 1) I need to get the immediate attention of a child who is straying into danger,
"JOODAAH ELIOT FOOOORSHEEEY, GET BACK ONTHESIDEWALKNOW,"
or, 2) I want to put the fear of God into a disobedient child who's crossed a line from which there is no return, such as punching a sister or waking a sleeping baby,
"JOODAH ELIOT FOOOOORSHEEEEEY, GO TO YOUR ROOM RIGHT NOW AND WHEN I'M DONE (insert whatever disaster I'm coping with at the moment) I AM GOING TO COME AND SPANK YOUR BOTTOM."
I'm kind of giving away that there's one member of the family more prone to invoking the Vadar Mommy Voice than the others....
Today Judah and Sofi were bickering while I was nursing James and putting him to bed. The bickering turned to fighting and the fighting to tears, yells, hollering and screams of outrage. I covered one of Jamie's ears with my free hand,
"GO TO YOUR BEDS"
( I can't send them to their rooms to separate them, they share a room, so they have to actually get into their beds.)
*feet scrambling into beds*
And then I looked down at James, his face a mask of awe and fear, milk dripping from his trembling bottom lip. He turned his head away and would nurse no more.
I'm sorry, honey. That's Mommy's Vader Voice. I hope I never need to use it on you.
I wouldn't lay any money on that, though.