I don’t have any answers.
Usually, when I sit down to write one of these posts it’s because I feel like I have something useful to share, or that I’ve worked through whatever parenting issue I’m addressing and can (at least attempt to) pass along some insight. Whether it be as serious as postpartum depression, or as silly as spending too much money at Starbucks, I generally don’t like to inundate you with my woes about something unless I’m somewhat on the other side of said something, and can maybe help you get there as well.
Not this time though. This time I am smack dab in the middle of it, and because I have spent so much money at Starbucks recently (see above) and can no longer afford my fancy shrink, you people are going on the journey with me. Welcome. Mind if I lie on your couch for a while?
Ok, here goes. The noise in my house is killing me. Not literally, no, but figuratively AF.
Let me back up. When I was about five-years-old, I remember yelling into my dad’s ear about something while we were playing. He, always fancying himself a comedian, then secretly went into our kitchen, pulled out the ketchup and created a stream of bright red “blood” tracing from his ear down his neck. “You made my ears bleed!” He bellowed. I’m sure my fancy shrink would have lots of thoughts about how this impacted my young mind when it comes to men and trust issues, but since he’s not here, we’ll go with what I know. And what I know is (a) that was a shitty thing to do to a small child and (b) I totally get it now. Kids are fucking loud.
I have two sons. One is on the verge of turning three and the other is about to turn seven. To say they are “loud” would be like saying Ernest Hemingway had “a tiny bit of a drinking problem.” The noise that these two humans create from the moment they wake up in the morning until the moment they finally pass out at night is like nothing I’ve ever experienced before, and I lived in NYC for a very long time.
To be clear, I am not just talking about all the yelling they do when they’re fighting with each other. It’s also the shrieking to high heaven like Oprah just gave them a car when they’re excited, and wailing like Brad Pitt when he finds out what’s in the box when they’re sad. They’re loud when they’re bored, and they’re loud when they’re playing. They’re loud when they don’t get what they want, and they’re loud when they do. It’s just constant. The noise is constant. And I am not handling it well. In fact, I am not really handling it at all. I’m just trying to keep my head above water in a sea of piercing sounds.
Now please, fight the urge to tell me that I will miss this one day. That I, huddled in the corner clenching my sons’ stuffed animals after they leave for college, will look back and wish for them to be wrestling naked on my living room floor squealing with delight as they bash each other into every piece of furniture we own because, as my oldest son explains it, “we show our love through fighting each other.” Do not tell me that I will miss this.
In fact, don’t tell me anything at all. The last thing I need is one more person yammering in my ear.
I think what I really need from you right now, what most moms probably need from you right now, is for you to know that there are few things more valuable to us than the sound of silence. Even if it’s just for a moment. Because let’s face it, most of the time a moment is probably all we’re going to get.
A moment to catch our breath.
A moment to think about how to navigate the next challenge, settle the next fight, soothe the next tantrum.
A moment to stare off into space, or look at our phones and silently judge strangers on the internet. Or, I don’t know, maybe even just a moment to pee without the overlords banging on the door the whole damn time.
So like I said, I don’t have any answers on this one, and I’m not necessarily looking for them either. I just needed to tell you that my kids are extremely loud. And I really wish they weren’t.
Thanks for listening. Your couch is really comfy.