So, every year as a cheerleader I won the award for loudest voice. I swear those football players could hear me shouting through the megaphone as they lined up on the goal line on 4th down. I've always been proud of my loud voice. Until lately. My children have inherited many of my wonderful talents and abilities, and of course some not so wonderful. But it seems they have all inherited my loudness. And oh, how it has come back to haunt me. And hurt me. And my ears.
The thing about loudness is that no matter how hard you try to respond in a quiet calm and kind sounding voice, so as to be a good example to your child, it will not work on a three year old who is shouting or singing (or both) at the top of his lungs. He just cannot hear you unless you yell louder than him. You can try and wait him out, he has to take a breath at some point, right? But if you wait him out, by then you just can't think straight anymore and you're afraid for your own sanity. Like, seriously, if the noise level does not drop and drop soon, you just might go into your bedroom and not come out until everyone has run around and yelled long enough that they pass out. Who cares if they're pounding on your door or playing in their poop, I've just had enough of the noise.
I have to admit I've never used the "let's use our inside voices" cue. If I thought it would work I would. But that would mean absolutely nothing to our kids. Our volume is: Inside voice-- loud. Outside voice-- a little louder. Jimmy tries to carry on conversations with me while in the bathroom with the door closed, me at the sink, water running, trying to get someone a drink ("Mom, I'm thirsty I want..." "How do you ask" "May I have a drink" "Yes" "What Jimmy?" "I can't hear you" "Yes, I'm getting the drink" you get the picture) I mean, I don't know at what point I lost control of the volume knob but it has definitely taken over and lately we've soared to levels I didn't know existed. Like, higher than eleven. I literally have to clap my hands and say "Excuse me boys and girls" just so we can say a prayer before we eat.
It's pretty overwhelming. But, full of life. And whenever Jimmy or I commiserate about how we can't go out whenever we want, can't have a conversation between the hours of 7 and 7 without being interrupted, how we feel we are just guests at the Holiday Kid, I remind him. Remind him how badly we wanted kids and how miserable we would be right now if we were unable to conceive and have kids of our own. It's true. And I'm so thankful. But all the thankfulness in the world will not turn them down, although sometimes I wish it would. But most times I'm glad I have a noisy life. It makes the quiet times much more wonderful. So pump it up, kids. But if I go crazy, refer to paragraph two and don't say I didn't warn you.