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Noises off — WAY off, please

Submitted by on Saturday, 20 December 2008 No Comment

I don’t know if it’s my advancing age or a latent mental defect soon to emerge.

Whatever the reason, I spent three hours yesterday in dead silence, and I couldn’t have been happier.

No TV. No phone. No stereo. Not even computer messages beeping in.

Oh, the bliss!

Oh, the belly laughs from pre-Mommy me. And from most people who know me and would agree that “lloud” is an understatement. The former co-worker who used to remind me to “use my indoor voice” is rolling on the floor about now.

And the problem with a loud mom is she tends to produce loud offspring. It’s a nature versus nurture question, but this much is clear: the base volume is higher with each successive child.

Big Guy started off at ear-splitting levels, no doubt because that’s what he was used to from me and because our house really amplifies noise. Especially in my bedroom. And the bathroom. And the living room. Oh, heck, everywhere.

Then Boots came along, and he not only had to keep up with me but also had to out shout his brother.

I can’t hide in the bathrooms — all the locks are broken. Even if the garage weren’t uninsulated and freezing right now, that lock’s on the inside of the house. That would put me at the guys’ mercy when it came to getting back in.

The result:

“Stop it right now!” Big Guy shouts.

“You not my boss!” Boots escalates.

“WILL YOU BOTH JUST HUSH FOR FIVE SECONDS!” I respond. Nice move! Yell to get them to be quiet. That’ll teach them.

Add that to the TV noise in the living room and Dad playing heavy metal on YouTube and trying to replicate the original concert volume. It leaves me wondering if it’s possible to buy ear plugs in fashionable colors. I’d google and check except Dad won’t turn down that racket on the computer.

It’s been particularly maddening in the past month that Big Guy’s been off school. The weather’s also taken a turn toward foggy, cold and rainy, so the guys have been imprisoned indoors 90 percent more than usual.

“I can’t wait until you go back on track,” I thought as I glowered at Big Guy to tone it down yesterday. I’m kind of proud of the guys and me on that count. I was in at least third grade before my mom was wishing me back to school.

Luckily, so far when I snap it’s been into an almost zen-like state.

“You. All of you. Out. Go to your grandparents. I need to wrap presents,” I ordered yesterday afternoon.

I knew that tack would block any argument from Big Guy and Boots. If there’s something in it for them, they’ll happily scamper out the door.The look in my eyes must have been deranged enough that Dad didn’t balk either.

Ten minutes later, they were gone and I had the house to myself. I momentarily considering playing Christmas music as I wrapped but quickly rejected the idea.

I’d rather have my own kind of silent night.

Copyright 2008 Debra Legg. All rights reserved.

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