For most of the weekend it was very quiet around here. I did the kind of things I might do if I didn't have children - I grocery shopped and didn't have to stop any fights or remind anyone a thousand times a thousand times a thousand times that I was not buying them a toy. I went to church and didn't have to go running to the back even once because I heard screaming. I had dinner with my parents and was able to hold an entire conversation with my parents without interruption. I watched a movie and drank a glass of wine with my swollen ankle up on a pillow. I made breakfast for one.
It was so peaceful, and yet...
I picked them up from their dad and they weren't here thirty seconds when I breathed a sigh of relief. The missing piece. NOISE.
Photo credit: Michael Barnes 2011
Their lack of ability to modulate is both maddening and delightful. Whatever they are feeling, they feel it at full throttle. Sometimes its hard to distinguish playing from oh-dear-god-someone's-bleeding-to-death-in-there. When they're happy, they scream. When they're angry, they scream. Sometimes my son will spontaneously start screeching at the top of his lungs while he plays with his cars - and its a toss up whether he's suddenly decided his jeans are going sideways oh mah gah sensory issues! or he's pretending the steam engine is blowing its whistle at the station.
Photo credit: Michael Barnes, 2011
I worry sometimes that I've become a little too accustomed to the melodrama playing out around me. I don't routinely get up to check and see if someone's accidentally sliced a hand off anymore. I don't automatically stop them from swinging at each other. I don't assume the worst when I hear them scream. I just think to myself, "Dang, that's loud." And I go about my business until or unless it becomes apparent that the noise stems from something requiring intervention.
Right now they are throwing paper airplanes in the air and then throwing themselves onto the couch with a loud "heeeeeeyaaaaah!" followed by the loud thump of a small body on brown leather. I just shake my head and smile.
Solitary dinner and a quiet glass of wine is nice, sure, but this? This is living.