Monday, April 14, 2008


It is now Day 3 of my week as a single parent and I'm still alive (and so are the kids) so I guess we can call it a success so far. After 48 hours alone with them, I did come to a startling and disturbing conclusion: not only do I now understand the old "children should be seen and not heard" phrase, but I am in complete support of it. Too bad I don't live in the 1800's. Or North Korea.

Because my ears are bleeding, people. Bleeding, I tell you, from ALL THE TALKING. The constant, uninterruptible talking. Not from Liam, of course, since his vocabulary consists of fewer than ten words. It came from Sydney, whose vocabulary seems to have grown exponentially since starting pre-school.

I spent the entire weekend listening to the stream-of-consciousness that flowed non-stop out of her mouth:

"Mommy! Did you know that arachnids have eight legs? Did you know that? And, also, they're called spiders and they eat other bugs so we like them. And did you know that their webs are sticky and that's how they catch the bugs? And there are lots of kinds of bugs and Casey said that one time he ate a bug and it was yucky. You know what else is yucky? Throw up. Like when I stayed at Gram and Granddad's and threw up in my bed, but Gram cleaned it up because she's so nice. Do you remember that, Mommy? Mommy? Do you remember that?" And on and on and on and on......

It was as if William Faulkner's spirit possessed my daughter. And he may have won all kinds of awards for his supposedly fabulous writing, but honestly, it was one of his books that had me running to the campus bookstore at ten o'clock at night in search of the Cliff's Notes because the constant stream of thoughts (with little to no punctuation) DROVE ME CRAZY. And nearly fifteen years later, I still don't like the non-stop thoughts/talking thing.

So I turned into my mother. I asked Sydney to NOT talk for just five minutes. "Just give me five minutes of quiet and I'll be happy to talk to you then," I said. Not once, but several times. Granted, my mother only used that phrase first thing in the morning, but I found that adding it to my arsenal of "mom-isms" solved the problem for at least a little while.

So, three days down, four to go. Thank heavens Sydney's in school 8 hours a day for the next four days. Maybe my ears will have time to heal.

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