The Sound of Silence

Ask me what I want for my birthday. Yes, I know my birthday is eight months away, but my kids do this all the time. Ask me.

A Red Ryder BB gun.

Okay no, I don’t. But with Ralphie’s intensity in your head, here’s my answer: noise cancellation earphones. Why? Because silence is an endangered species in my ‘hood and a sensory deprivation chamber is too hard to clean.

Can you hear me now, MOM!!!!

Is that weird? Then you must not have kids. At any given point in the day the decibel level in my house ranges from flock-of-killer-seagulls-attacking-a-hot-dog-cart all the way up to nuclear-weapon-testing or square-dancing-festival. My home sweet home is loud.

The air (and my ears) is constantly ringing with the chatter/banter/bickering of four kids and whatever little friends were attracted to the noise (what repels adults almost certainly intrigues kids). “Mom, he’s copying me!” “Mom, Zaida’s diaper fell off and she went on the floor!” “Mom! Tayler is bleeding.” “Mom, Damon put his head in the toilet!” This constant assault always starts with a loud piercing “MOM!” and ends…well it doesn’t.

Shea works in the mining industry around heavy equipment all day. He wears hearing protection and has annual hearing exams. He comes home from a long day at work smelling like something called Molybdenum (say it, it’s hard) and throws aside his hard hat. But the little green earplugs stay in. That is how loud my house is.

It’s not always bad noise, just noise. The fad now is a barrage of knock knock jokes that don’t make sense, but if you don’t answer with “who’s there?” they just keep repeating. Or they just have to find out if “The Song that Doesn’t End” actually has an ending. Or they are trying to throw their echoes off the walls in the garage. Some of the noise is my favorite part of mommy-hood. I love the sounds of kids doubled over with giggles. I love our spontaneous dance parties when Michael Franti’s “Say Hey (I Love You)” comes on the radio. I love our off-tune singalongs in the car. I love the enthusiastic buzz when Daddy comes home.

I don’t want to get rid of all the noise. I would just adore the option to turn it off once in awhile. To be alone with just my mind. I am not even after enlightenment or ascension, just 30 seconds of quiet. QUIET.

echoes in the wells of silence…HEAVEN

Before I had kids, I used to seek out parties and concerts and crowds and, well, noise. Not anymore. I have had my fill. There is just no reprieve from the pandemonium. In the bathroom, they are knocking on the door. Damon (6) knows how to pick the lock. I wish my ears had a reset button; even in my sleep they are straining to hear the noise of a kid throwing up or a toddler who peed the bed.

Noise cancellation headphones. One day I will have a pair. Probably about the time my kids start moving away. But can you imagine?

Knock Knock
Who’s there?
Silence Who?


8 comments on “The Sound of Silence

  1. That Catherine Girl on said:

    Tabi and I discussed it and we are planning to donate our pennies to the buy Kristin noise cancellation headphones for her sanity fund. May it give you the hope of future quiet and prolong the lives of your children for a few more knock knock jokes.

  2. Love this post! I want some headphones too, we need a deal. Gotta love the kids, not necessarlity the noise that comes from them though.

  3. whereverthere on said:

    Kristin, I know this is weird. But I’m kind of jealous. I’ve been home alone all day, trying to work, but then the hum of the refrigerator and the sound of my own breathing were, like, deafening. So I finally turned on Il Trovatore. That’s a Verdi opera. It’s the one with the Anvil Chorus in it. And I turned it on LOUD.

    • whereverthere on said:

      hmmm…how do we arrange a life swap? Even a day? Then your silence will be sweeter and my noise…will probably seem even louder. Your life of a writer sounds absolutely delicious to me!

  4. freebird103 on said:

    Here’s a cute, not knock knock joke, to tell your kids.

    What did the Zero say to the Eight??? (wait for it, wait for it……) Nice belt.

    That is all. Much love,

  5. That would be so wonderful. I could have used a pair of those this morning when the whining would not stop.

  6. I think we must live in the same house. Do your kids kick repeatedly at the door when you don’t respond the way they think you should? Try enjoying a nice soothing shower then. Knock knock jokes aren’t the bane in my life, it’s “why did the chicken cross the road,” and I keep wondering, at what point will they grasp the concept of a joke? I’ll make you a deal, I won’t teach your kids chicken jokes, if you don’t teach my kids about the song that doesn’t end.

  7. Pingback: Milk, Muck, and Ruckus | whereverthere

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