This is what it is like trying to carry an actual conversation with an adult human being in my house right now:
MOMMA: We should do something this weekend.
ME: Oh yeah?
MOMMA: Yeah! The weather’s supp—
AUDREY: Momma! Shhh!
MOMMA: That’s not very nice, Audrey.
ME: Daddy and Momma are just trying to have a con—
ZACHARY: GLARK! WAAAAAAAAAA!!!!
ME: … What were you trying to say again?
AUDREY: Daddy! You shush now!
MOMMA: The weather. They say—
ZACHARY: WOOOOCK! PA-WEEEEEE!!!
ME: What was that?
AUDREY: DADDY! SHHH!
MOMMA: I said—
ZACHARY: WICKY-WICKY-WICKY POO-TWAAAAAAHHHH!!!
Sigh. Meanwhile, this is simultaneously transpiring within my brain:
Wife speak. Weekend. Go place. Weather. Audrey. LOUD. Must ignore. Back to wife. Weekend weather. The boy now. LOUDER. Focus. Wife speak words. Audrey again. Getting angry. Next the boy. Anger rising. Anger make brain work bad now. Wife? Still speaking. No hearing ears. Audrey LOUD. Boy LOUDER. LOUD. LOUDER. LOUD. LOUDER. LOUDER LOUDER LOUDER. HATE HATE HATE. Must stop ears! Must stop ears! Must stopppppppkhal sjdhfa;sk;dhfakhs0110100100101111000010001001001001001001001010101000 10010101010101010011101010111010100010101100010101000101010100100101101
XXXXXXXXXXXXX SYSTEM FAILURE XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX
XXXXXXXXX SYSTEM FAILURE XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX
Yep. Complete mental overload. Add some music or the TV into the mix and the process is accelerated. Which is probably why I’ve started adopting some habits I used to snicker at my parents for:
- Reading in silence
- Watching TV with the sound turned down or muted
- Staring off into space, imagining myself in another time and place, adorned with the finest garments and armor, armed with the most fear-inspiring of weaponry, and accompanied by a bevy of hot, sexy ladies to feed and bathe me during my many exciting adventures
You know. The usual stuff.
Seriously though, silence is just not easy to come by these days, even without kids. There are just too many hoozywhatzits with their beepity-boopities around to find any measure of peace. But that sort of thing never bothered me until the kids arrived. Now the screeching brays of my two wild wildebeests drown out everything around me. They’re like a walking black hole, sucking in peace and mental wellbeing and spitting out ear-splitting BLACK NOISE like a fireman’s hose does water.
It’s just too much for my brain to take.
Ironically, my wife and I rarely speak when the kids are asleep anymore. We don’t talk about our days. We don’t plan ahead. We don’t say a word. We’re just too exhausted by that point. So we wrap ourselves in a big, fluffy blanket of silence and enjoy it.
Like old people do.