there is a silence that i think only stay at home moms understand. it’s not the silence of naptime (blessed silence that is) it’s the silence of non-communication. our days are spent in babbles and bawling. screams and sputters. you talk , they listen, and you talk some more. there is RARELY ever a quiet moment in a house with children. but when you have little ones that are pre-talking you become locked in a silent bubble. try talking to yourself for hours, days, weeks at a time and having no one answer you-except for the occasional, “ba!” or stella’s ever so popular, “mmmmm….bububuubu….hmmmmmm”. you don’t realize how bonkers you’ve become until you are standing in the grocery store line and normal conversation seems difficult and you feel your lips going, “baaaa.”
stay at home moms go to crazy extremes to find conversation. we arrange ‘playdates’ for 8 month olds (they end up sleeping in their car seats while the moms fumble to find words). we go to the park like most people go to happy hours. we stand a little longer in lines hoping to be caught up in conversation. a few words here or there will last us til next week.
when matt comes home from work and asks me something i often start sputtering while my mind attempts to form real grown up words. with the kids i speak extra loud, slower, and stress certain aspects.
“hand me the PLATE. the ORANGE PLATE. THANK YOU. mommy says THANK YOU to LINCOLN”
“don’t hit her. DON’T HIT HER. OUCH! OWIE. lincoln will give stella an owie.”
“DOG. that’s a BLACK DOG. dogs go RUFF RUFF.”
and so on and so force. reading back over it sounds ridiculous. silly. no one talks like that. but i do. everyday. and for good reason. they have to learn manners. they have to learn animals. they have to learn colors. they have to learn to not hit. they have to learn to TALK.
and finally, when you think you have been cast to sea and forgotten about, when the silence among the screams seem to be deafening, you ask a question and get an answer.
“is lincoln poopy?” i asked while unbuckling stella from the stroller, half paying attention half thinking of my venti coffee getting cold.
“NO! ba-ba-blocks!” and he picked up the bag of oversized legos and threw them on the ground. I was in shock. wait a minute….was that…an ANSWER?! dear Lord did we just have a conversation?! it wasn’t much, the next question was answered in giggles, but it was an answer. we were getting somewhere.
i often chuckle because i feel like tom hanks in the movie Cast Away. he spends his days talking to and arguing with a volleyball he named wilson. I have the same one sided conversations day in and day out, i amuse myself with the topics. we talk about what to have for dinner, how to properly prepare fish, which path we like best walking home, which park we like best, the differences between sport balls. but unlike tom hanks, my wilson’s will answer me someday. and yesterday, i had a glimpse, a sliver, of that conversation.
but for now i am going to enjoy my captivated audience and relish in the fact that i get to monopolize the conversation without being rude, and that i always get the last word.