Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Do You Hear What I Hear?

Cael talks a lot.  A lot, a lot, a lot.  Seriously, the kid talks all the time.

Oh, were you expecting more?  I was busy enjoying a brief moment of silence.  They are so rare in my life that when one comes around I have to savor it.  Considering how expressive my sons are, I am amazed that they feel it is necessary to be speaking nonstop.  But before I continue, I feel that I must clarify-- what they say cannot always be classified as speech.  Let's break it down, shall we?

Using a very scientific system, I have divided the noises I hear daily into six categories:

Speaking/Yelling - 45%
Laughing - 35%
Crying - 20%
Singing - 15%
Nonsense/Gibberish - 5%
Imitating Bodily Functions - 5%

Speaking/Yelling - Each day I hear about 10 bazillion words (I told you this was a scientific study) and some days that number creeps closer to 11 or 12.  Most fly at me from two or three mouths all at the same time, and it is my job (in addition to cooking, cleaning and wiping faces/noses/hands/rear ends) to decipher what's being said. 

"Hey, he took my toy!"

"Can I have a drink?"

"Mommy, if you don't have nuts, how do you pee?"

Most of these words are propelled through the air with such enthusiasm and volume that my eardrums (and my brain) are forced to shut down occasionally to conserve energy.  Think of it as a "rolling blackout" of the mind.  I'd be lying if I said I was able to maintain 100% sanity when a handful of voices are demanding my attention at the same time.  I find myself answering questions like those above with responses like, "Just follow directions!" or the ever popular, "Because I said so!" They don't always pertain to or even answer the question, but they do seem to get my point across.

Laughing & Crying - We laugh a LOT.  You can't have a "Cael" in your midst without a good belly laugh every now and then.  We also cry a LOT.  I've put these two in the same category because I've discovered that the two are inexorably linked.  Anytime one boy finds something amusing, the other is under foot, trying to steal either the toy or the spotlight so they can get a good laugh too.  But by taking that toy, one or both of them is now upset.  I guess my parents were right.  "It's all fun and games until someone gets their feelings hurt."  Or until someone takes a knee to the face.

Oddly enough, it works in reverse, too.  Nothing turns around a real conniption fit of tears like someone tripping,

Singing - "Take me out to the ballgame, take me out to the crowd..."  Need I say more?

Nonsense/Gibberish - Communicating with my sons is like a glorified game of "Telephone".  Remember the playground game where one person whispers a phrase to a friend who passes it on to another?  The secret message makes its way around a circle and back to the first person who can discover how badly the original message has been mangled.

"Cael, what do you want for supper?"

"What do I wuffer supter?"

"What would you like for dinner?"

"What woodjulite for dinder?"

"You're having a hot dog."

Cael, being exceptional as he is, doesn't always require other people to warp a phrase over time.  His favorite movie is "The Polar Express" and he is reciting lines from it relentlessly.  They evolve slowly and bond together with other phrases he knows, and soon enough he's changed, "Attention!  Are there any Polar Express passengers in need of refreshments?" ...to... "Attention!  Are there any Po rats?  Ra-rats!  We get a "ha ha", we get a- we get a "ha ha!"

I promise I didn't drink when I was pregnant with him.

Imitating Bodily Functions -  This category needs no real explanation other than to say that every time my son fakes a fart, a little piece of my soul dies.  I am no more comfortable in a house full of gassy boys than I would be at a Star Trek convention.  Perhaps the only thing worse would be a Star Trek convention filled with gassy boys, but I'll save that for a later post titled, "Things I Hope My Son Never Becomes".  No offense, Trekkies.  Just don't be smelly and you're okay in my book.

Now you may notice that, although my process is clearly scientific, my math is a bit suspect.  Not so.  I am, in fact, subject to a whirlwind of noises 125% of my day.  Even my dreams are not safe from a barrage of language--some of which sounds more like German than English, which is bursting forth from my subconscious.  Can't a momma get some peace and quiet?



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