Life is full of noise. Well, our life anyway. We live in a mostly suburban area, where cars cruise through the neighborhood at all hours of the night and kids playing in street during the day. There is a train track directly behind our neighborhood and planes that fly overhead at all hours. When we first moved here, we thought it would surely become bothersome, but we’ve learned to tune it out. It’s become our white noise. To fill in the pockets of false silence, we turn on the tv or listen to music. It stimulates our minds. These are the noises we can turn on and off when ever we choose. For the most part, no matter where we go, we encounter noise. I’ve learned to deal.
And then I had children.
When we had our first son, it wasn’t a big deal. There was the occasional crying that developed into squeals, giggles, and babbles, and of course, the barrage of electronic baby toys. For the most part, until recently, Deven was a quiet little lad with more interest in sitting back and observing those around him. It wasn’t until he suddenly had to compete for attention that things changed. Now that he has an adorable baby brother, he has to make himself known by making as much obnoxious noise as much he can.
I don’t even mean talking. Yes, he talks A LOT, and I try my best to listen to him because he can be quite funny. Most of what comes out of this kid’s mouth is meaningless noise.
At least 20 times a day, from when he gets home to school until he goes to bed, I find myself threatening, and when that doesn’t work, begging him shut up. All I got in return is, “No! I gotta go ‘DAT DAT DAT DAT!’ Can I go ‘DAT DAT DAT DAT?’” I don’t understand why he has to ask me if its okay after I have repeatedly told him to stop.
It’s a battle, and doesn’t even end here at home. Since the beginning of the school year his teachers have been working with him on his tendency to imitate every inappropriate sound he hears (to the delight of his classmates) and, perhaps more frustrating than anything else, getting him to respond appropriately to “stop” and “be quiet.” Not even his teachers, who are better equipped at handling kids than I will ever be, can get this kid to just quit it.
They’re much nicer than I am with their requests. Yes, I have lost it and asked him to Shut The Fuck Up once or twice. I am not proud, not in the least bit.
So what do I do? What is there to do? He is too smart for the Quiet Game. Seriously, we’ve tried to turn shutting up into a game, and he’s just all, “yeah, right mom. I know what you’re getting at, and it’s not happening. dadada DA DA! da DA DA! DA DA!” And it goes on and on and on. He sits in time out and keeps. going. He sometimes has to sit there for 20 or 30 minutes because he just won’t stop. He is so stubborn.
And then there is his brother. Archer has two volumes: adorable and HOLY CRAP I’M SCREAMING TO GET YOUR ATTENTION. Remember when I said that Deven likes to imitate noises? Guess which noise is his absolute favorite to imitate? Yeah. I know this isn’t going to get any easier.It isn’t going to always be just cute babbling and occasional screaming from Archer. Pretty soon it will be screaming contests and whining and “MOOMMAY!” from the both of them, and there will be no where to run.
I need to start saving for a better set of headphones.