Saturday, February 09, 2008

the kid whisperer

We haven't left the house much this week because I've been sick. In fact, today was the first time I stepped foot outside since Monday - and even then - we only went to the end of the driveway. But this morning while we were still in the house - I didn't think that we'd ever get out.

Charlie took care of getting the kids dressed before he left for work. But immediately after breakfast, they were stripped down to their socks. By their own accord, of course.

They wanted to wear their bathing suits.


They wanted to wear their princess dresses.


They wanted to wear shorts. With tights.


They wanted to wear turtle underwear and a butterfly shirt.


They wanted to wear their bathing suits.

Now that the kids are talking more, it seems that almost all of their communication is either by whining or screaming. So, this morning, what I heard sounded something like this:

"Mommeeee. I waannnnttt to wear my baaatttthhhiiiiinnnggg suuuuuiiiittt. Mommeeee. Heeellllllppp Meeee!!!!!" And then they'd lie on the floor and be completely boneless and whining, "Waaaahhhhhhh."

This symphony was coming at me from three different directions.

All at once.

Now. Typically. I'm moving so fast in the morning to get out of the house, that the kids barely have time to blink and we're out the door on our way somewhere. They certainly don't have time to contemplate how they are going to try on every item of clothing in their entire wardrobe and then nag me incessantly to help them accomplish this magnificent task.

But this morning I was moving slow and it was futile to protest their overwhelming demands because by 9 AM, my voice was completely gone.

I called Charlie at work and in a panicked whisper asked "How am I supposed to function if I can't yell and get their attention?!"

Hanging up the phone, I was certain that today was going to be the most difficult day of my life and I should immediately start an IV of tequila and sudafed pumping continuously in to my blood stream.

I absolutely could not talk and when I did talk, the amount of energy it took to produce audible sounds was so great, I would be physically exhausted. Never have I remembered having laryngitis this bad.

At one point, I lost my cool - I don't even remember what happened - but I opened my mouth to shout and nothing came out. I felt about as pathetic as one of those dogs that has been debarked.

But by the end of the day, I was amazed at just how awesome the kids were.

Sure, there was whining and crying and fighting a-plenty. But when I whispered to them that my voice was broken, something magical happened. They started intently listening to me. I would be in the kitchen and whisper their names and they would stop what they were doing and run to my side. And best yet, those very same kids that have no sense of control on the volume of their three-year-old voices, started whispering, too.

I have really appreciated our kids today. It's been a long time since I've been able to say that and really mean it because truth be told, they drive me bat sh*t crazy most of the time. I'm not absolutely certain that we're turning a corner, but I do think that this whole whispering thing is really a great concept.

I have discovered that I've got a whole lot more patience when I don't have a voice. More than that, when I'm not talking - I'm really listening to them.

Boy are they sweet. And funny.

Tonight as I was tucking Elizabeth in and we were whispering our evening prayers, she was quick to add my mother to her prayer list because of her bad knee. And she also added Uncle Bill, because he's sick. What's so nice about this is that she doesn't have a memory of meeting my Uncle Bill - who is currently fighting cancer - but when she didn't hear me mention his name which I almost always do, she remembered.

After dinner, William was running around and very quietly stopped and asked "Mom, Dad. Did you hear that sound?" When we both shook our heads no, he replied "Those are instruments in my tummy and they are making beautiful music come out my bum!" Where does this kid get it? He's only three-years-old and I swear, he has had me in stitches almost all day.

The best though, came from Carolyn.

Currently, William our proverbial talker, is really hung up on how we purchase things at the store. He'll constantly be asking "This milk. Did this come from the store? What about this table? This chair? This plate? This cup? This orange?" So tonight we were serving the kids a small bowl of ice cream for dessert and William asks "Mommy, did this ice cream come from the store?" and before I could answer Carolyn chimes in "No Whim, ice cweam comes fwom GOD." And then with her little finger pointing in to her chest adds, "Like me."

Ah, my sweet child. I couldn't agree more.


  1. oh that is adorable. Yes my dear sweet Carolyn - you were certainly the bestest thing God could ever produce - all four of you are precious and totally amazing.

    I am so glad these classic moments are being recorded - what a gift for all the children later in life. Beautiful.

  2. your kids are wonderful :)

  3. Out of the mouth of babes!

  4. Too cute! Im sorry your voice is broken!

    I came from a family of screamers. Dad screamed at mom, they both screamed at us kids, us kids screamed at each other, and then we we all turned 13, somehow we all started screaming back at the folks. So sometimes, as my very quiet reserved husband points out, my voice is raised and I don't even know it. Once, in one of our worst fights ever, he even said, "Stop screaming!", when I really only had a raised voice. I remember saying, "This isn't want screaming...I'll give you screaming!" Of course, coming from his quiet as a mouse upbringing, he doesn't understand that my family yelled just to be wasn't really screaming, as in fighting.

  5. When I lose my voice, I use clapping to attract attention. The kids are pretty good about listening, but it can still be hard to get them to notice me if I can't say, "Hey, guys." So I go clap-clap.

  6. I'm sick, too, and it is so not fair that you just made me laugh hard enough to bring tears. I don't mind the laughing, but then the coughing started, and then the peeing my pants ensued.
    I can't wait till my little one starts making comments like your children. How adorable.

  7. Your kids are sweet! When I taught, the volume of my kids also came down when I whispered.

  8. I love your honesty bat sh*t crazy - describes it exactly with multiples - even though I have only two.

    I love your humour - you have me giggling and your kids say the sweetest things. Yes, from God !

    Thank you for making my day.

  9. Love it!

    You now need to search for the book "How God Gave us Ice Cream". I believe it is a Happy Day book (Little Golden Book's stepchild) and is soooooooo from the 70's. Someone gave it to my 2 year old for Christmas and it rocks!

  10. Cute stuff! I have been out of the loop a while and thought I "could" catch up...your moving to fast for me babe!!

    Fun to look at the pictures though and after reading this blog - I'm sorry to hear that your sick. Hope you get well soon!

    Tell Elizabeth thanks for the prayer for Uncle Bill - God's definately listening to her sweet voice! (He's still here!)

    Went to Boston this past week and your blog was the "fun" talk of the family. (Still in love w/that city!);-) Love ya. Marg