My kids (almost) always behave in public, but act out at home…Ahhhh!

I’m convinced my sons are hell-bent on making me think I am losing my mind. You see, they have apparently made some sort of pact that says something along the lines of this:

“We, as brothers, vow to show the outside world that we are sweet, loving, boys who listen to our mother and are polite, however, we vow to act like maniacs at home, for the sole purpose of making our poor, dear mother insane. This we do solemnly swear.” 

In public, my sons are (generally) well-behaved. Sure, they have their moments from time to time, but as a whole, they are pretty good. My older son always offers to carry things for me in the store; my younger son enthusiastically giggles at cashiers and sweetly says “Heeeh-woooah!” as he waves to elderly people who stop to say “hi” in the pharmacy. In fact, just recently I had to take both boys with me to my doctor for a sore throat due to major springtime allergies. They sat like angels in the exam room chairs. My younger son, almost 2, actually pointed to his throat and said “Mama hurts!” while making a sad face. My older son said, in earshot of the doctor of course, “It’s ok; I’ll make you some tea later, Mommy.” The doctor said “Ohhh what nice, calm boys!” I swear they glared at me and did a quiet evil laugh together (well, maybe not, but you get the idea).

At home? AHHHHHHH!

I spend a lot of time shouting “What was that noise?!?” to the usual response of giggles followed by “Noooothiiiing!” in a sing-song voice. They wrestle. They make messes. They don’t clean up the messes. They cling to my legs as I try to cook and clean. They bicker, and I didn’t know not-quite-2-year-olds could even do this…but they somehow do. They whine that they want a popsicle. They whine that “My popsicle is melting and you need to fix it nooooow!” They chase the cat. In short, they bottle up their “bad behavior” and save it for the sole purpose of driving me, and only me, crazy.

What gives?! Has anyone else experienced this? My only possible ways to explain this is either A) They like to see me squirm, or B) They have to let off steam sometimes, and they know home is a safe place to do so. I guess I’ll just be thankful that for the most part, they’re good in public, and brace myself for the mayhem that ensues under our own roof…

20 thoughts on “My kids (almost) always behave in public, but act out at home…Ahhhh!

  1. Ha Ha! The answer is “B” most definitely! It got to the point where if my oldest misbehaved and acted out at home I could be rest assured he had a good day at school! “What a sweet, considerate, calm little boy you have” they would say, “You’re so lucky he has such a mellow disposition”. Um, yeah right come to my house after school and meet my actual son! By the time my daughter came around I was used to the arrangement: the general public thinks they’re sweet and cute, I think they are the devil’s spawn. 😉 Eventually they started sharing that sweet disposition with me at home too. Be patient, it’s only crazy for the first 12 years! ;-D


    1. Only 12 years? AHH! hahahahaha. Yes- if he’s REALLY good at school or my mom’s house or a family trip…we pay…big time!! Hahahaha…ugggggh…


  2. Oh man, this is so true. My boys are the same way! I always say that I’d rather they be this way than the opposite, though. Love those pics! And even when he’s crying, your little one is always adorable.


    1. Cute is just a survival mechanism, or so says my husband hahahhaa. 😉 thanks! It does make for rough 4-7pm stretches every afternoon though!


      1. YES! Of course, hahahaha. I have a friend who says she misses her kids when they’re in bed. Oops. I LOVE my boys to pieces, but I definitely am ready for some alone time by 8pm.


  3. My boys are exactly the same! Thank goodness I am not alone! I am grateful that they are good in public and easy going but just one afternoon when we get home from work, school, daycare couldn’t they please be like that!!!! I have begun to refer to them as havoc (the 1 1/2 yr old) and chaos (the 5 year old). Did I mention that they LOVE each other and I love them but somedays!! Enough with all the havoc and chaos!


    1. Yes! I’m also glad it’s at home for the most part, but it makes me look crazy when I complain about how nuts they are. People look at me and say “Really? Noooo…” HAAA!!!


  4. My boys are the same way Sarah. I can’t decide if it’s a blessing or not that I don’t get calls from school every day about bad behavior, but at home, it seems like every hour is a struggle. I read in Happiest Baby on the Block when Max was younger that there is a certain temperament that’s just that. They hold it together all day for teachers etc. but feel so loved and comfortable at home that they can let go and decompress. As a working mother, I find this hard because it’s like I always get the worst of them.


    1. Yes- I agree, it has to be part temperament. I’ve also definitely seen that if they’ve been away and holding it together they’re soooo much crazier at home. It’s like they have to have the balance of good and evil, hahahahaha


  5. Same here! When I talk to the teachers and hear all the praise about what angels I have, and how much they wish they could clone them, I think they are mistaking me for someone else’s mother! I think you are right, they have to let it out somewhere, may as well be home!


    1. Yes! Nate’s teacher always says that he is a good listener, follows directions, etc…and I always think “Are you sure you know which one he is??” hahahahahaha


  6. Oh I am right with you. At school/daycare Maggie almost weekly gets little prizes for helping clean up the toys (most times before the teacher even asked) at home it a different storie. She will eat almost anything at school/daycare, at home that’s a whole different storie. And it’s the same at stores most times, helping me pick out what we need, holding my coupons, etc. I always say to myself, At least I know you know how to behave I public, I can deal with the little things at home.


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