The goal is to be heard. We’re all striving for it, humanity. But especially 4 and 5 year olds. Here’s the way it works. Everything goes along fine, you know, with the cute little faces and the kangaroo hopping and the bringing us plastic chicken, whatever. Moderate volume, relatively civil behavior with each other, just fairly peaceful. Until I need it to be quiet.
I don’t advertise. I sneak away to put the baby to sleep, or call a doctor or the IRS or whatever, and everything changes. Everyone needs immediate attention, immediately.
Let’s say, for example, that I am attempting to discuss something with my mom. I don’t know, groceries or a united front on the Toby/sass battle. Or I answer the phone, or God forbid, take a shower. This is a cue to small people to come from everywhere, and fall down 4 times on the way. Also, they are hungry and somebody hit them or called them a lizard when they are clearly an alligator. They find me, like bloodhounds. They bang on the door and make bleeding sounds until I drop everything and hang up on neurologists and run. “Hey, mommy!” they say cheerfully. “I saw a BUG!”
I hug them tenderly, thinking of how fleeting time is, and how sweet are their childish questions. Just kidding. I gripe for a while and then lock myself in a room and call the water company back, getting in the back of a 45 minute queue.
No problem, they think. I just need to TALK LOUDER. “I SAID I NEED A DIFFERENT SNACK BECAUSE I AM A CARNIVORE AND ALSO I HIT THE BACK OF MY FOOT OVER HERE AND I NEED A KISS NO NOT THERE, THIS SPOT RIGHT HERE NOT MY HEEL THIS HERE I NEED A KISS” “BRYNN SAYED MEAN TO ME AND I DROPPED A BUCKET ON HER HEAD ON ACCIDENT IT WAS AN ACCIDENT! IMSORRYIMSORRYIMSORRYIMSORRY!” Tristan wakes up and decides that a 24 minute hiatus from eating is long enough, thank you, and he is mad as heck and not going to take it anymore. R2 squeaks, increasingly frustrated.
And it builds. “I’M SORRY!” I yell to the President. “I’MMA HAVE TO CALL YOU BACK!” I give up. Their volume, the sheer power of their volume wins. I devote my full attention to these, the children I prayed for.
And they get bored and go play quietly in the sunroom while Tristan spontaneously naps because that whole hungry thing? A fakeout.
What a funny, noisy, tumultuous and chaotic joy my life is. I honestly wouldn’t trade it for anything.