Tuesday, September 02, 2008


In Which I Stop Screaming

The Summer of Love is over, and I've gotta be honest with you; I didn't love it.

Not one little bit.

I had been thinking there'd be a little weaving, a lot of dyeing, some spinning, trips to the beach, long lazy mornings drinking too much coffee and so on.

Instead? I ended up spending almost three months with a daughter who refused to go on any and all playdates and who was seldom more than 6" away from me.

I love her more than mice love cheese -- more than I love the "Llama, Llama, Duck" song, even -- but she's ... well, she's a talker. A noisemaker. From the minute her eyes opened to the minute they reluctantly shut again, there was noise coming out of the front of her head. Not just talking; on the few (very few) occasions upon which she ran out of things to say, there were squeaks and honks and burbles. Just a constant stream of noise.

If I went to the bathroom? I'd turn around to close the door and there she'd be, between me and the door. If I answered one of the very few phone calls I could deal with this summer, she immediately started talking, singing, doing charades until I ended the call. Taking a bath? Not likely, unless I wanted someone standing talking beside the tub, stepping into the tub, dropping toys into the tub, trickling water on me, throwing sponges at the wall ...

I am a person who thrives in silence. I need time to compose my thoughts. I need to plan ahead.

Every time I'd start saying something she'd finish the sentence for me. "I think I should ..." "... get some cheese??!!" "Next, I'm going to ..." "... dance the hoochie-koo??!!"

I haven't been able to complete a task, not even make a list of tasks to be done, complete a thought or a sentence since the spring and I've got to tell you it's taken its toll on me. I lost weight (not that it did me any harm), I lost sleep, my house is covered in filth (not joking, it's worse than ever), I had to miss going to Gibson's because I couldn't get any work done, who knows what bills I have and haven't paid, and my business is a mess.

I spent a lot of time either crying or panicking, although not in front of her.

I almost got in the car and just left.

Yes, she wants, needs and deserves my attention, but not all of it and not 24 hours a day. I know I handled this all wrong (please, no advice), however week two into the summer my mind was gone and there was little I could do.

Today -- oh blessed glorious day that is to day -- today, school started again. Only one hour, but it was a taste of things to come.

Tomorrow she starts full days again. Look for improvements both in blogging and in answering of emails (I owe some folks emails from like four months ago -- grovelling will commence shortly).

Next summer? She is either forcibly put in several summer programs (and possibly even goes away to camp) or I commit a crime of some sort so I get locked up.

Either works.

Anyhow, this post is to say ... "O hai! I'm bak."

Tough call. Sending her away costs $$, but committing a crime, well, that's committing a crime. But if you're locked up, someone else is paying your bills. Extra bonus!
Yay! Welcome back! I'm sorry your summer was so rough.
I'm sorry your summer sucked.. but I'm also glad that you aren't dead. No really, I am. You know where to find me when the screaming stops.. should you want to throw back some bleach shooters. I'll even spring for the lemony stuff. ;)
I hear you! The only thing that kept me sane this summer was my job. heh If I didn't work dang near all day for 3 days in a row, I woulda been a basket case for sure. My son is also a talker. I can't count the number of times I just had to tell him to please leave the room for five minutes so I wouldn't start banging my head on a wall. heh
Oh hai. I wondered if this thing was on. Life does continue after children, sorta. Mine is 28, but happily has a place of her own and calls for me - on the phone. Thank God. I'm a lucky woman.
So you'll be joining the other parents dancing in the streets in various levels of dress/undress?
No advice, promise! But can I just say I know exactly what you mean, about all of it?? Today was the first day of school here, too, and a blessed day indeed!

--Elizabeth D
Ahem! No kiddlets here, but I'm sure I would feel exactly the way that you do. Congrats on your "freedom".
You are a brave brave woman and a good good mother. I have been known to resort to the statement "you have run out of noise for the day and now you must be silent" when one of my girls has been in noise mode. Thank goodness for school, is all I can say. Welcome back!
I admire parents more than I can ever say. The time I spend with children in the classroom has been enough to convince me that they are amazing creatures and ones I really like. And that I can best serve them by never having my own.

Welcome back and enjoy the start of school. You've more than earned the break.
Hurrah for school!!! And quiet and solitude!!!! You seem to have handled your chatterbox with more grace than I ever did my twin ones. I remember screaming more than once "Get out, get out your sucking the life out of me!" Surprisingly, at 35 they love me and they seem to have turned out fine.

my next door neighbor just went thru the same thing with her 5 y.o. daughter. you are not alone.

said daughter did go to a six-week, six-hours-a-day summer camp and loved it.

good to see you back, rabbitch; you have been missed!
O hai, I mist u
I feel your pain. My oldest is a constant wall of sound, and it has not stopped yet, although she's nearly 40. She says she's encouraging her son to "have his own voice", God help her.
I'm so very glad you're back!!

And sorry the summer was so rough on you. I'm glad things seem like they will be getting better.

Welcome back. No advice. I feel for you. That's all.
Sympathy? How about some sympathy? My SIL describes my niece as "never having had a thought that she didn't want to tell you". Sound familiar?

Your whole situation sounds _so_ familiar to me! I know, even as one sees the situation, one _knows_ what one should do...one even knows a list of several choices, all of which are good choices, with varying likihoods of success....but one chooses the pessimal solution, while screaming inside one's head that it's wrong! At least I've been _there_! If that is where you were...I'm sorry! I hope school helps...and I hope that your salesmanship for next summer's programs is EXCELLENT. Good salesmanship is really a prereq for good parenting! (I hope this is taken as funny, not as advice. I don't think you need advice, either...I have lots, but you don't sound like you need that. You need QUIET! Oops...maybe I shouldn't have shouted that....)
are you me?


school starts tomorrow here as well!!

The other day someone told me it was ok, that there was a light at the end of the tunnel. All I could think of was that if it turned out to be a train that would be ok as well.
Glad you're back. Insanity becomes you. The only thing worse than kids who talk too much is kids who sit in their rooms playing video games all summer refusing to talk to you
I truly truly sympathize. My 8yo son is the same. He has ADHD and anxiety disorder9all from me). He cannot be alone at all. He can't sleep by himself even. Last night he had his first full blown anxiety attack and we were up till 11:00 on a school night. Fortunately we had a lovely low cost day camp availabe, for which my husband wisely signed him up. We call Dad the damper rod because his preesence is all that keeps the explosions in check. the weeks he is home alone with me are generally pretty bad because I'm a peace and quite loner. Have you tried finding an activity that bores or repulses her that can drive her off. I read lots of knitting blogs which irritates him because he can't play on the computer so he eventually goes away. Housework works well also, especially when I put him to work putting everything away. After about 5 trips up the stairs he's ready to quit. I actually save his favorite tv shows so he can watch them in the basement so I can think. We also send him out to run around the apartment 5 times before he can come back in. Of cousre, he's also off the charts gifted and has the reasoning ability of a 30yo according to tests so it's a battle of wills around here. I'll tell ou what, next summer send your girl down here for a few weeks, it'll be nice to have a girl around and I'll keep her busy showing her St. Louis. The Zoo, the Science Center, the Botanical Gardens, the Magic House, Children's Museum, the City Museum, the Arch, Grant's Farm , Purina Farms, Six Flags and Raging Rivers and then I could bring them all back and run around exploring Canada. I'm serious, keeping Alex occupied is my full time job as a SAHM.
It's so nice to have your particular brand of sunshine back. Regular posts are probably too much to hope for until you are once again goddess of all you survey, but the occasional peeks into your world are worth waiting for. Be well, crafty-momma. C
Welcome Back! Missed you!
o hai -- good 2 c u.

it gets better. they get older. then they get older than that and sometimes it gets worse. just ask sara palin!

and at least now the kidlet will have new things to talk about.

ellen in indy
O hai! Ceiling cat sez,"it getz beetr. Ur else I'll scratch u"

Or something.
This sounds like my 4-year-old granddaughter. I don't know how DD stands it. (No DH to filter the sounds....) Don't know any solution, just letting you know there is another out there. My sympathy to you. (The comment about noises when there are no words REALLY struck home!)

Beverly in California
Thank god! I missed you! And you don't have to grovel with me - well, maybe just a little bit. ;)
good. we've missed you.
Welcome back!

I have no advice. And no crotchfruit. For a reason, and the talking is about #857 on the list.

I do hope it gets better for you. Soon.
That would absolutely finish me off. I have never met anyone who needs their silence and solitude more than me. How you endured an entire summer of talkitive togetherness is beyond me. I would have been institutionalized for sure.
Welcome back! I, too, have a chatty daughter whom I adore to pieces. Sometimes I think my ears are bleeding...
Hurray for the start of school!
Next year she'll be older and, who knows, maybe less clingy. Summer programs can work wonders Just tell her they're extended school and she has to go.
We could do a swap: your little talker could hang out with my equally talkative mum, and I could sit (very quietly) at your house and knit. Everyone would win!
You poor baby. Seriously. I would be homicidal too. I get like this when visiting the grandkids. I love 'em to pieces, but the noise oi!!!! I do not understand the attraction of the noisy at all. I like the sound of my own breathing. No advice to offer since I've never figured out a good solution either other than to move halfway around the world. And guess what? It's noisy here too.
Well, you know, camp is pretty predetermined. With a jail sentence, it is a tougher call, you might get stuck on home detention or something. Not meaning to be advice, just pointing out things to consider when making decisions about next summer.

Mine are 16, 13 and 11. I ruptured my achilles tendon at the beginning of summer (not recommended) and my kids have had to learn to be far more independent. They all went through 'klingon' stage.
I had to laugh because I could have written this myself, right down to the plan for enforced summer activities next year. It's the constant noise that does it for me, if it's not the retelling of the latest comic/tv show then it's something else. I love him dearly but there's only so much I can take without a bit of quiet time. I have another week until silence reigns.
I would almost trade munchkins with you. Mine's autistic and nearly never speaks. I love him dearly and think he's the awesomest kid ever, but I'd like to hear a bit of chatter that has nothing to do with Sonic the Hedgehog for just a little while.
I had a summer like that when the girls were 4,6 and 9.

It's been ten years and I still can't think about it without feeling a little hysterical - and I mean that in the classical sense.
So the homeschooling thing is definitely off then? ;0)

Welcome back!! Thanks for the laughs, even if they were a little on the "oh, so very true, yes, you mean it's going to get worse?" side.
Oh I feel your pain. My 18yr old was following me around like a puppy for the summer (she broke up with her bf so had no one else to follow). I am so glad she started classes yesterday or else I'd have had to kill her for some peace. ;o)
I think a lot of us get stuck with the constant talker once in a while. Last winter my partner was out of town for work and by the time he got home I was so incredibly grateful to have someone else to listen to the constant talking/noisemaking. Even though it was only five or six days of being the only adult, it was also January in Northern Ontario. There was no going outside, only cold miserable weather and non-stop chatter.

You have my sympathy and congratulations - after all you did survive :)
As we say here in the South, God bless your ever loving soul. Sounds like that was a helluva diet.

Glad you have the prospect of sanity returning. Yay school!
Some unrevealed number of years ago (at least 30)I waited with the other moms for the bus to afternoon kindergarden session to arrive. Many of these were seeing off their oldest, this was my youngest. I got more and more agitated and one of the other mothers asked me "Do you have plans for the afternoon?". "Oh yes", I replied, "I am going home to listen."

"Listen?" "To music?" "No" I replied, "to the silence, the perfect complete silence."

Many of us need quiet time, not only need it - deserve it.
OH. GAWD. I have two of those - both female. The male can be beautifully silent when needs be. The middle one yacks my gol-durned EARS off on the way to school each morning, where I promptly tune her out and murmur "mm-hmm" in appropriate places. Now that we are back to full days of school, you can sing along with me: "deedle-dee, deedle-dee, deedle-dee-dee!"

You know, onlies can be exceptionally chatty (my first was an only for 11 years before the next one came along); they can also be much more velcro than the subsequent ones. (I am NOT for a second suggesting you have another!) But I want you to know that I have, on occasion, told them to stop talking because I am not listening. It may sound mean, but I feel worse when I've tuned them out than told them to be quiet.

You go girl - we're glad to have you back!
Oh, hai, right back at cha! Glad you survived!
You are SO not alone! I've got a 12 year old that is exactly the same. Explains why I work alot! ;) I seriously didn't think I'd ever get to 1)sleep, 2)pee, 3)do the wild thing without locking several doors after she was asleep (and not in my own bed, because that's where she was) until she went to college! But it has gotten some better. Now she has telephone and internet, and I'm no longer "cool". I've never been so grateful for being un-cool in my life! There is hope! :)
I'm with you - absolutely! Some days I really can't understand why you're not allowed to lock them in the basement with a can of tuna like the cat.

That's it. Just smep.
Advice? Oh, no. Just sympathy. Mine is older and can be taught or at least silenced with, "I need you to stop. talking. for at least five minutes now."

I heard someone once say that after a certain age, it's like they have an "on" button on the bottoms of their feet: that's why they talk starting the minute their feet hit the floor in the morning, and don't stop till they go to sleep at night. I do likes me some quiet.

Yep, summer daycamp is good. Even if it's "boh-ing, Mama."
You have my sympathy. BTDT, had DS diagnosed as ADHD. Drugs are a good thing.
Are you sure you don't have MY kid? (No, she's still here - sleeping, that's why it's quiet)
I can often tune out at least some of the noise (no, I don't need to listen to her sing for an hour straight), but the days when most of the noise is "MAMA! Look! MAMA! Hungry! MAMA! Wanna play a game! MAMA! MAMA!! MAMAMAMAMAMAMAAMAMAMA!!!" are really loooonnng. Good thing she's cute ;-)
This post brought me to tears of laughter. I have two daughters. One of them is 7 years and the other is 20 months. The older did agree to go to summer activities this summer, but the younger has found her voice. So, on weekends, during those rare moments when older runs out of things to say and has completed her range of noises, the younger one chips in with her own range of squeaks, shrieks, and conversations (both sides). If I should take a phone call, they both become limpets and go into full cry, like hounds on the hunt. If I ever sat down to knit, or read, then they are sitting on my lap/back/shoulders/back of chair/ or next to me and bouncing. Thank you for posting and letting me know that I am not alone in this insanity that is young girls. I'm sure boys talk too, but surly they would speak to their father occasionally? Thank you for the laughter!!
I feel your pain.
I know you said you didn't want advice but since when do I follow instructions? Knit a sock and stuff it in her mouth! Then tell her to go to bed, baby puppy. Everything will be fine!

Oh yeah. I've got two of 'em, and a couple of mouthy cats. Thank God the husband is more the silent type.
i'm so glad i just found you! you are hilarious :D

as far as your infernat spawn, the closest i've gotten to your experience was a week-long trip up north that involved a SEVEN HOUR DRIVE in a small car with my brother's girlfriend (20 y.o.) who has the mental powers of a five year old and a mouth that never stops. she makes me homocidal. i've screamed at her to shut up. she survived. for now...
Some day, she may read this blog. You can hide out here ;-)
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