Earning her (referee) stripes, and then some

Once in a while I see or hear something that really sticks with me.

Sometimes because it is motivating, sometimes because it is funny, but this week a statement stuck with me because, well, it’s just the blatant, honest truth: “When you have one child, you are a parent. When you have two children, you are a referee.”

Profound. Don’t you agree?

I earned my stripes more than seven years ago when we welcomed my second, highly-competitive-for-attention son into the world.

The nurse handed me my bundle of screaming joy along with a black-and-white-striped shirt and a whistle.

But now I have three children, so I have surpassed the parent phase, nearly mastered the referee phase and wonder, what does that make me now?

Oh, yes: crazy.

In fact, once you reach the crazy parent phase it only gets crazier: nuts, lost it, loco. Just ask my kids … and husband.

Yesterday was a snow day, which meant I would be forced to don my whistle (yell).

Before I even poured that first cup of coffee my children were at each other.

“It’s my turn! Mmmoomm!”

(Screeching whistle) “Foul on the play! Tattling before 7 a.m. 10-chore penalty! First warning.”

This worked for the first few hours. They played games. We made waffles, watched TV and then the pent-up energy of my three darlings could no longer be contained.

“Let’s go build a snowman!” I said forgetting the snow-play prep time for three children is at least a full day.

“Where are my boots? Can we sled? Zip my snowsuit. I have to pee again.”

We spent 90 minutes getting ready to go outside and about nine minutes actually outside.

“It’s cold. My socks are wet. I have to pee. Sissy ate yellow snow!”

Actually, they made it about an hour until someone took a face full of snow and trudged angrily back into the house.

Ironically, I never had to blow the whistle while we were outside.

It turns out, zinging snowballs at my kids was much more effective than a whistle.

So effective that I’m considering putting some snowballs in the freezer for those days when the whistle just isn’t getting the point across. In July.

Just call me Crazy.

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