Apparently, fruit punch makes me violent

Is there anything in the world more irritating than red Crystal Light on your carpet?

The scale was up on Monday. Blame it on our weekend family get together (complete with the best stinking bread pudding you’ve ever tasted IN YOUR LIFE), or my current evening ice cream indulgence, but I’ve settled into a nice three pound raise. By Tuesday, I realized enough was enough and started counting my calories.

This means that for the past three days my lunch has consisted of one green pepper, sliced in quarters and stuffed with tunafish. Do not get me wrong, it’s rather delicious and completely guilt-free (minus the hefty tablespoon of mayo I mix in to make the stuff palpable). But by day three, this kind of treat becomes kind of torturous. Yes, eating thusly equals results, but by noon today my sweet cravings were screaming for Paula Dean.

Enter the Crystal Light.

Crystal Light is the perfect thing for my sweet tooth. Not only does it stain it red, it settles most sugar cravings. My kids think Red Crystal Light is the greatest beverage known to underage drinkers.

I quietly made my selfish self a big 32 ounce jug of the stuff and tried to smuggle it out of the kitchen. They followed me like it was like a beacon of light attracting thirsty lost souls. Rex was the worst. When he wants a drink of something, telling him no is nearly impossible.

So I shared. Soon the tank was down to 16 ounces and had hardly taken a sip for myself.

“Okay guys, you’re done. The rest is Mommy’s.” I settled back on the couch.

“No!!” Rex yells, just as I tip the heavy ruby jug and take a big, sweet swallow–

SMACK! Rex hits the bottom and the lid smashes into my top lip, red juice flying all over my beautiful carpet and couch and (not so beautiful and previously stained) shirt.

It was one of those moments that will haunt me for Mommy-ever. I saw red. Everywhere. My lip was bleeding, my house was ruined (RUINED!), and without even stopping to question myself I reacted.

I popped Rex on the side of the head.

I can’t decide who was more horrified and upset by this move, he or I. It hurt his feelings more than anything, and I felt like the biggest, meanest mommy in the universe. Not only was I stained, I was suddenly tainted. Here he was, just being excited about the taboo fruit punch, and what does Mommy do? She smacks him. In anger.

I feel like I deserve lashes for this one, my conscience is eating away at my brain, all the while wondering if he’ll remember it and someday report me. “I swear officer, it was the blasted red food coloring I was mad about, I just reacted! Haven’t you ever spilled fruit punch on your carpet? There’s a reason it’s called fruit punch, it makes cleaning ladies want to hit something!”

Not that getting reported is my biggest concern (I am publicly declaring this right here and now), but I don’t want him to remember the time when Mommy hauled off and popped him one.

Today, I hate myself.


  1. We all have our moments. Don’t be too hard on yourself. 🙁

  2. Yes, don’t be too hard. I’ve popped all of mine, at least, once. And i totally get it. One of mine drew on our leather in the car a month ago. I could only see spots!!!!
    (My new diet indulgence is the sugar free jello. Very low cal, cold and smooth; since my dining week has been much the same as yours.)

  3. Heck, I’ll pop your kids!

  4. I promise you this: Just feeling like you are the worst mommy ever PROVES you aren’t. The guilt you feel shows you care so much that even the slightest out of control action has you horrified with yourself. The truly bad mommies don’t get guilty for losing their cool and they won’t think twice about popping their kids upside the head. In fact, they do much more heinous and awful things to their kids.

    Every one of us has had one of those moments. Maybe more… and fruit punch on the carpet is a pretty good reason (not excuse) to be seeing red. I do believe I had a similar episode with my oldest daughter, only it was a red marker on my beige suede couch. I remember after I reacted I went and shut myself in my room and cried. You are awesome- and I doubt Rex will ever remember this episode.

  5. Totally been there, as we probably all have in some capacity or not.

  6. So sorry. I’ve been there too. Why do they think smacking the bottom of the cup/jug/ice cream cone is gonna get them some? Arrggh.

    That said… This is a great teaching moment! Rexy gets to hear Mommy admit that even BIG people make mistakes & have to say sorry. (My kids love it when I do this, though it should probably occur more frequently than it does… darn my pride.) Makes them feel better knowing that they’re not the only ones who have to fix what they “break”.

    Hang in there!

  7. Oh yeah, & I H.A.T.E. red food coloring. Get the Crystal Light clear.

  8. I’m with Pam, Annie. Just feeling like that proves that you’re not a bad mommy. No one ever tells you how hard it is to be a mom, how wearing and grueling and exhausting it can get. No one tells you that you begin to feel worn thin and the slightest thing can send you past your goals. You ARE a great mommy, Annie. How do I know? Because you CONSTANTLY revel in the good things, the good moments (and even the not-so-good ones) and your love shines through them. Those are the things other mommies DO talk about because those are the things that make being a mommy worth it all.
    Forgive you and call a carpet cleaner. It will all look better tomorrow. *Hugs*

  9. annie valentine says:

    I have such good mommy friends in the virtual universe, thank you so much. I actually called my sister before posting this to see if we thought anyone would report me for it. Thanks for all the understanding.

  10. I agree with all the other posters. Good heavens girl, give yourself a break! It’s YOUR house, you deserve your sweet treat after all you give, and little boys need to respect mommy’s space. If they go ahead and grab what isn’t theirs, they could hurt someone – which he did – he needs a huge reminder that it’s not okay, and you’re only human! I probably would have bitten him 🙂

  11. I agree with the fellow commenters, We have all had our moments. Parenting is such a struggle sometimes. We have been dicing up strawberrys and putting them in crystal lights lemonade. It is soo good (after a couple of hours of letting the strawberrys soak) raspberrys to. I was going to try some blueberry lemonade tomorrow.

  12. Oh, and don’t forget that you are HOT! And there are always mothers worse than you. Remember the crack-hoe-s. That’s what I always remind myself about. Those girls I went to high school with.

  13. Kim Haynes says:

    Lipstick all the way up a carpet stairs is bad also. Summer’s old bo in Highschool wrote on her bedroom window with lipstick and left the lipstick on the ground for it to be tracked into the house and all the way up the stairs. It did leave a lipstick mark shaped like a heart. I guess that was kind of funny, later,much later. Hairspray took it out. My dad says things like that happen so we can laugh about it later, much later sometimes.

  14. Oh, I know your pain. My husband still laughingly tells the story of how I locked my daughter in the bathroom because I just couldn’t take the tantrum any more. And I shrink as he tells it and try to avoid the eyes of the people he’s telling it to.

    we all have those days. At least the good moments out number the bad.

    I think I’m going to go make some Crystal light. . .

  15. Alright, Annie. I’ve read this blog post 3x so far… when are you going to post something new?? (I’m addicted, seriously.) xoxo

  16. I just wanted to share a fun red Gatorade moment from our household: One day my boys played a game where one of them poured it into the carpet and the other sucked it out of the carpet. I did not hit my children (only because I was in shock), but I would not regret it if I had. They DID however have a time-out that lasted for about two hours as they had to sit on chairs and watch me use a hand Bissell carpet cleaner until the whole carpet was clean. A fun time was had by all.

  17. So I’m NOT suppose to pop my kids when they spill fruit punch?

    Crap… I’ll work on it!

    We’ve all been there… and if people say they haven’t, the lie.

  18. It took this tragedy for you to learn what everyone has to learn at some stage in their lives.


    You are a survivor.

    Spread the word…

  19. I have to read you every day. It makes me feel better about myself and my kids. I need to know I’m not the only one.

  20. I loved, loved, LOVED… your explanation of why fruit punch is called fruit PUNCH. SO TRUE!

  21. i’m so glad you did this post! my house looks the same way! i give up. At first glance, our home looks nice and orderly. That is why I prefer to visit people standing at the front door, while they stand in the blistering heat, so they can just say “what a nice home you have” yeah, don’t look any closer.

  22. i just realized i was leaving comments on the wrong posts! sowwy!

    don’t worry, well maybe worry. WE have all done that at one time or another.
    It was a combo of him not listening and then the huge stained mess.

    resolve for rex to listen better and you to keep drinks in the kitchen. LOL or not drink from the jug.

    here is your lashing with a wet noodle!