When I was a new mommy and fretting to my mother-in-law about being overwhelmed, and broke, she relayed a memory of her young child days when she would hire a babysitter-with all the money she had-for just an hour so she could go sit in the library. Not read. Just sit.
I did not totally get that idea at the time. I understood about the hour to yourself, but I remember thinking, why wouldn’t you go do something-like grocery shop or run errands.
Then, I had two boys.
Now, I dream about the library and the glorious silence that fills it.
You would think I’d be over it after four years, but every day I am newly amazed at the amount and duration of noise that fills my house. As I post this, the two boys are chasing each other in circles and “singing” the Spider Man song at the top of their lungs. I’m not kidding. They routinely have screaming competitions, usually at the breakfast table. Yes, breakfast-that is how we start our day. The boys scream and Faith and I try not to weep. I think I might need to start her on coffee.
Both of my boys have two speeds-crazy and asleep and the little one isn’t asleep very often so his noise appears to last almost 24 hours a day.
I fought the noise at first. I have friends who have very sweet and docile little boys. I thought I could train mine into that with repeated lessons on “how to behave” and admonitions about inside voices. I was wrong. I have very well behaved kids, but they are loud.
I still find myself saying, in public, “hey, you’re screaming” when they are talking to someone. But overall, I am slowly embracing the noise. I seek out friends with similar boys so we can relax together as the chaos swirls around us. I turn the radio louder. I speak in my classroom voice. I dance to the drumbeats that come from kitchen chairs, plates and glasses. I still dream of silence, but for now, I love the boy-music that fills my life-even if the volume goes to 11.
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