Anyone remember the movie Groundhog Day? Normally there are distinct things that separate each day from the one before, and now the only way things are different is if I make them different. That, and the weather is different every day, often several times a day because April. It’s a bit maddening.
Above all, I find that by the end of the day I’m just absolutely at capacity for noise. It’s been very windy lately, so even going outside it’s not quiet. We get hammered by westerly winds, so when the forecast says 10-20mph all day (every day last week) it really means 10-20mph in my yard all day. That gets old.
I’m not one to sit in silence, and in fact, I often put music on in the house on weekends when we’re all just doing chores, etc. but it’s the constant noise produced by the kids that gets me. It seems 7 year old boys just need to produce noise with some part of their body approximately 100.00% of their waking hours. A rare exception is the time when they’re watching TV, because there’s no way you could make more noise than the TV plus it holds their attention - but that’s a wash. Otherwise, it’s one of the following:
- 25%: stories about made-up things that are long-winded and complex, requiring frequent acknowledgements from others (okay, me) that they are listening and understand, despite the fact that when I tell a story about how we need to take a shower and get dressed the main points of the story are generally missed and all they hear is the sounds that adults make in Peanuts cartoons
- 15%: sound effects of a toy or imaginary object as it travels around the house
- 5%: ordering younger sister around
- 5%: narrating the actions of various toys at length and with great enthusiasm “IT’S THE WORLD CUP AND THIS IS THE FIIINNAAAAAALLLLLSSS”
- 10%: asking for help with something, which, by the time I actually get there, he’s figured out
- 10%: yelling at younger sister
- 50%: whining - don’t underestimate the capacity for whining, even when he literally has immediate access to all our food and all his toys and very little is being asked of him
- 30%: sound effects for no reason
- 25%: REALLY LOUD SOUND EFFECTS TO ACCOMPANY BODILY MOVEMENTS
- 2%: farting
- 20%: laughing at farts
- 8%: doing something to younger sister that produces no noise in itself, but causes younger sister to scream and/or yell as though she’s being murdered, despite the fact that when she falls off her bike she brushes her legs off, checks for blood, if none, says “no blood!” and keeps riding
- 1000%: more sound effects
- 100%: (as I was writing this, I heard one I almost forgot about!) banging various objects together to produce new, interesting noises, including but not limited to, body parts on walls, furniture; toys on walls, floors, furniture; actual musical instruments; pretend musical instruments; opening and closing doors violently; running up and down stairs in a way that makes more noise that I thought humanly possible; and of course, crying because of bodily injury resulting from one or more of the above
Am I unreasonably picking on the boy? No, he just genuinely makes 80% more noise than his younger sister. Older sibling? Boy? Not sure. But it’s a fact nonetheless.
So I was reminded this morning of this song, because all I really want sometimes is some silence. I went for a bike ride with a friend this weekend and stopped by a pond in the woods, just to listen to the glorious silence, interrupted only by the gentle breeze blowing through the trees. I drank it in like a single malt scotch and it was soul-quenching.
Oh yeah the song:
tl/dr - song’s chorus is “can I please have some silence” which I desperately need right now, stuck at home 7 days a week with two small kids.
And I dare you to check my math. Spend a day in my house, I assure you it’s correct.