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.