Home > Monday Minute > Monday Minute: Multitasking (The Orange Rhino Project)

Monday Minute: Multitasking (The Orange Rhino Project)

showerDespite being a professional multitasker (self-proclaimed), I’ve been falling woefully short on my To-Do list lately, as evidenced by the lack of Monday Minutes. It seems as though the more “minutes” I come up with to write about, the less time I have to write them. 

A few weeks ago I found a fabulous website about The Orange Rhino challengeI was inspired by a fellow mommy-blogger who resolved to stop yelling at her four children – reading her story was reading about my own life, and in that moment I decided to take the challenge. I made it through 7 days of not yelling at my kids – it wasn’t easy but it was a good, satisfying week. Of course, I blew it on day 8, then on days 2, 2, 4 and 2 since (what is it with the second day?), not in a monumental way but in a snappy comment after long days and one-too-many spills or accidents.

The reason I’m telling you about Orange Rhino is not because I love public humiliation, but because otherwise you’ll be completely lost in what follows. See, part of the Orange Rhino process is telling people about your mission so that you have support, witnesses and scorekeepers while you struggle – I mean, commit. And some of those people you must tell are your children. So one night I sat down at dinner and told them of my plan, which was basically to keep control when they lost it and to quietly punish them without yelling (and to respect them as human beings, cherish this time in our lives, etc. etc.). I told them they could remind me about not yelling by telling me “Orange Rhino,” and that if I yelled I would lose my gold star at the end of the day. They really took my crusade to heart. In a gleeful, persistent way.

It’s moments like this one that really challenge me. Mark my words, one day I’m going to hit the big time with this Monday Minute. In just a minute, it has laughter, tears, love, angst, fear, stunts, injury and redemption. It’s even got a frightened-woman-in-the-shower scene (cue screechy music here).

Scene: I’m in the shower. Ian is trying to be in the shower. I am singing Old MacDonald in an effort to distract him from shower. James is sitting in the office waiting his turn.

James: Mom?

Me: And on that farm – yes, James – he had a duck, E-I-E-I-O

James: Mom?

Me: With a quack, quack here – what, James?

James: Hey, mom?

Me: James – what?!

James: Orange rhino, mom.

Me: James, I said what like ten times.

Margaret: Three times, mom.

Me: Margaret, what are you doing in here? (Ian starts climbing into shower again)

Margaret: Can I take a shower with you?

Me: It’s already kind of crowded in here. Old MacDonald had a farm…

Margaret: I’ll wait.

Me: James is next.

James: Mom?

Me: Yes, James?

James: Mom, am I next?

Ian (banging on tub, whining): quack quack quack…

Me: What are you doing James? And on that farm he had a duck…

James: Sitting in Dad’s office chair.

Me: Are you spinning?

James: Orange rhino, mom.

Me: I’m not yelling.

Margaret: He’s spinning.

James: Margaret, orange rhino!

Margaret: Orange rhino – you’re yelling too, James!

Me: Margaret, get out of here until I’m done okay, go find your dad.

Margaret: I can’t.

Me: Why?

Margaret: I pooped.

Me: Great, well you’re going to need to sit and wait a minute, okay? (my toothbrush comes flying into the tub) What is that?!

James: Orange rhino, mom!

Me: Why is my toothbrush in the tub? (Ian peeks in, grinning).

Margaret: Are you done?

Me: Almost.

Margaret: Good, because Ian is trying to touch the toilet.

Me: Ian! no touch!

Margaret: Orange –

Me: No, Ian is not allowed to touch the toilet, ever. (blush brush falls into tub next) Ian?!

James: Orange-

Me: James. Enough. Right. Now. I’m. Not. Yelling.

James: You sound grumpy.

Me: You’re right. Ian, come here. (I pull Ian into the shower with me)

Margaret: Can I come in too?

Me: Not if you just pooped.

Margaret: Can you wipe me? Adam is waiting for me in the dark.

Me: Why?

Margaret: We’re playing Mom and baby in the dark night. He’s in your closet.

Me: Margaret!

Margaret: Orange rhino, mom.

Me: Is he locked in there?

Margaret: No, he has a flashlight.

Me: Is the door closed?

Margaret: He’s the mom and I’m the baby.

Me: What?

Margaret: So he’s not afraid of a dark closet.

Adam (enters bathroom with a crash): Owwwww!! (crying)

Me: What happened? (No response) Hey, guys?!

James: Orange rhino, mom!

Me: James, are you spinning in that chair? (Adam peeks into the shower, crying) What happened?

Adam: I hurt my head.

Me: How? Margaret?

Margaret: Not me, he hit his head on the floor.

Me: Did you fall?

Adam: I did a somersault.

Me: On the bathroom floor?

Adam: Orange rhino, mom.

Me: I’m not yelling! Guys, orange rhino is for yelling.

Margaret: No, orange rhino is to help you not yell, mom.

Adam: You lost a star for yelling at Ian, mom.

Me: I didn’t – look, I can raise my voice if someone is doing something dangerous or disgusting. The toilet is no place for a baby.

James: Gross! Blah! (makes retching noise)

Me: No way, James.

James: Orange rhino.

Margaret: No, she said she can yell if you’re being disgusting.

Me: Okay, I’m all done. Everyone out. James, go get ready for your shower.

James: I am ready.

Me: Are you naked?

James: Orange rhino.

Me: What?

Adam: James is spinning again, mom!

Margaret: and making gross noises!

Me: Is he naked?

James: Haaaaaa!

Me: Okay – Everyone! Out! Of! The! Bathroom! (Ian bumps head on tub and starts bawling)

Margaret: I can’t! I still need to be wiped!

Me: James! Clothes off! Adam! Out!

Margaret, Adam, James: Orange rhino! Orange rhino, mom!

Me (muttering quietly to myself): Please, everyone leave me alone.

Margaret: Good job, mom!


If this is my shower, you might not be surprised that my Monday Minutes have been behind lately…

  1. Brandi
    December 4, 2013 at 1:03 pm

    Wow!!!! That’s all I have to say!!! And just last night I was wondering about your Monday Minutes…whooo!

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