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Bad Parenting Moments: Seven Minutes in Heaven

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Seven Minutes in Heaven

Some people want a larger home. Some, a new job. Some dream of lavish vacations. Me? I want seven minutes of silence. Pure, triple X, golden silence. I would take it in a car. I would take it at a bar. I would take it here or there, I would take it ANYwhere.

As I sit here typing, I have two children in time-out, one rolling a plastic bus over her own face and one clinging to my knee as if it were made entirely of Oreos.

As I sit here typing, the world is whizzing by my window. People alone in their vehicles. Alone. In their aloneness with alone thoughts of being quietly alone. I imagine they are looking in my window and thinking, "Look at that lively home with all of those bustling sounds!" and to those people I say, be thankful my house is not "drive-by and sniff" or you would be horrified when you awoke from your smell induced coma.

As I sit here typing, I try to imagine the sound of nothing. But, even in near quiet, a toddler will sit down next to me, put their mouth next to my ear and chew a Triscuit. When I flinch and run to the bathroom, someone will stick their face in the gap between the door and the floor and will speak in run-on sentences until I emerge. It's not that I don't love sound, it's that I don't enjoy the feeling of one thousand ladybugs playing hopscotch on my brain.

The baby is adorable in her endless noise. Even when she's sleeping, she will put her face directly in mine and breathe loudly. Creepy, heavy, on the other end of the line breathing. Restraining order breathing. HEHHHHH HEHHHHHHHH HEHHHHHHHHHHHH HEHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!

It's not that I don't appreciate the sheer strength of will it must take to create noise every living second. It must be exhausting, however, making the noise has little to no effect on the noise maker. It doesn't appear to be exhausting. Therein lies the magic. I am exhausted. Exhaustion by proxy? Brilliant.

On some evenings, 2 glasses of wine in, I marvel at the talent of my copper pot band. Every delighted shriek that does not end with, "BLOOD!" fills my heart with joy and then fear and then joy again before the fear of recognition creeps back in that screaming is their language and I am the tourist that simply points at things with angry eyebrows. My jumbled sounds say, "Hay goes in a haystack and it's ice cream for dinner!" when I'm saying, "I can't hear anything! Can you hear the words coming out of my mouth? HELLO?"

It's not that they are not listening, it's that they are speaking Kid and I am speaking fluent Grown Up In Charlie Brown.

My husband plays several instruments. Currently, we have four trombones, the loudest instrument in the orchestra. I often wonder if he is trying to slowly drive me insane. Well played, sir.


"WAH WAHHH WAH WAHHHHH."

I think about how often we try to reconnect by going out into different noise. The noise of our life becomes routine and we crave the noise of others. Dinner conversation at the next booth. The bar patron three stools down. Active listening on social media drowning out the sacred and constantly constant noise of home. Losing ourselves in the noise of others. Losing ourselves in the noise of the world.

I don't need a day. I just need 7 minutes. One to let my mind slow. One to clear the anxious jumble of words, One to breathe. One minute to bask in the glory of nothingness. One to reconnect with the latent peace of my soul - my separate being. One to give thanks for the healthy children making the noise and one for making peace while beginning to miss the noise.

It seems so simple, yet, silence is the most elusive part of my day. I crave it while fearing a life without it. The push-pull of the sounds of home.

One day my knee won't be as delightful as a sleeve of Oreos. One day, I'll have all the quiet and less to write about.

One day, I'll crave seven minutes of constant, chaotic oblivion. One to adjust. One to enjoy, One to embrace. One to remember. One to immerse. One to engage and one to wish for seven more minutes in Heaven.

Until then, we are living life constantly out loud.





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38 Comments:

At October 10, 2012 at 11:11 PM , Blogger Karen Nagy said...

Oh I love this post!!

 
At October 10, 2012 at 11:17 PM , Blogger robyn said...

My baby is huffing the stalker breathing in my face right this very second! It's in constant disharmony with my husband's snoring and keeps me up most nights, which is often when I read my favorite blog (teehee). The noise is constant, though. And yes, one day I'll miss it. I love how you spent your seven minutes on each end of that spectrum - perfect.

 
At October 10, 2012 at 11:19 PM , Blogger Leigh Ann said...

I love how this is so awesomely true and almost vomited onto the page like a true brain dump. In a good way, like there could be a good kind of vomit, but now this is turning into a comment gone wrong.

In other words, I feel you. I have 3 girls 4 and under who only speak the language of SCREAMING.

 
At October 10, 2012 at 11:38 PM , Anonymous Beth said...

I love this post. I live with five little people that make amazing amounts of noise. Right now they are all asleep, so I don't want to go to sleep because then the noise will start again.

 
At October 10, 2012 at 11:40 PM , Anonymous Tricia said...

I completely understand this. I had to work late the other night. A colleague asked, "Are you so bummed to be here?"

Me: Not really...no. It's so quiet...

 
At October 11, 2012 at 3:50 AM , Blogger Elaine Griffin said...

I am often jealous of my husband's commute to and from work. It's 15 minutes of silence both ways!
Great post - all so very true. Especially the end about craving it. That's what my mother tells me. "Someday you will wish you had people around." True.

 
At October 11, 2012 at 9:26 AM , Anonymous Leah Casucci said...

perfection. well done lady, well done!

 
At October 11, 2012 at 12:57 PM , Blogger fishducky said...

I have adult grandchildren. My house has become peaceful, serene--& TOO QUIET!!

 
At October 11, 2012 at 3:06 PM , Blogger Christian at Point Counter-Point Point Point said...

With regards to Elaine's comment above, I used to have a 45 min commute to work and absolutely dreaded it each day. That is until I had kids. Then at times it was something I actually looked forward too.

 
At October 11, 2012 at 8:01 PM , Blogger Tammy@WorldsWorstMoms said...

Yep, when the kids are here, I can't wait to be alone. And when they're gone, I sit and freak out about how quickly it's all going and how someday they won't be around. I know -- TOTALLY healthy.

Great post. You really nailed it.

 
At October 11, 2012 at 8:17 PM , Blogger RachRiot said...

Amen, sister, a-frikkin men. I wrote about this, too. The week the kids went back to school. Blissful silence for a few hours. Then they come busting in the door and I'm glad to see them and hear them. For about five minutes... :/

 
At October 11, 2012 at 8:43 PM , Blogger hilljean said...

This was beautiful! I love how at first I'm laughing hysterically and by the end I'm all misty-eyed. Cheers to loud houses and noisy breathers!

 
At October 11, 2012 at 8:46 PM , Blogger BadParentingMoments said...

Thank you for reading, Karen. I love that you love it. Lots of love just flying everywhere.

 
At October 11, 2012 at 8:48 PM , Blogger BadParentingMoments said...

And, she knows I'll never even file the restraining order because I'd have to take her with me to file it and I'd walk in with her in the pack and they'd say, "Ma'am, you're already violating the terms of the order. You're WEARING her." That would be embarrassing. I love that our babies are simpatico. Kind of like their moms. wink wink. nudge, nudge.

 
At October 11, 2012 at 8:50 PM , Blogger BadParentingMoments said...

Brain dump is the best compliment! 3 girls? 4 and under? I need to know how many cases of wine you need per month for basic survival. Thank you for reading, Leigh Ann and for the awesome comment.

 
At October 11, 2012 at 8:51 PM , Blogger BadParentingMoments said...

Beth,that is so true. In sleep you can't even enjoy the silence. Blissfully unaware. Thank you for reading and commenting and for having 5 kids. You GO, woman!

 
At October 11, 2012 at 8:53 PM , Blogger BadParentingMoments said...

Tricia - I 'm with you. In my working days, I remember coming in on weekends or staying late and maybe, possibly dragging it out for the peace and quiet. I get you. Thank you for reading!

 
At October 11, 2012 at 8:54 PM , Blogger BadParentingMoments said...

Isn't that the constant struggle. Knowing so well you're going to miss it, but, desperately wanting to miss it for just a few moments. I spend most of my days eating maccaroni and acknowledging my insanity. Thank you for reading and the great comment.

 
At October 11, 2012 at 8:55 PM , Blogger BadParentingMoments said...

Well, Thank you! Tips hat and rides off into sunset on Shetland Pony. :) xo

 
At October 11, 2012 at 8:56 PM , Blogger BadParentingMoments said...

Logically, I know these days are coming and faster than I'd like them too, but, meanwhile someone is putting a remote control car in my face. Thank you for reading! xo

 
At October 11, 2012 at 8:57 PM , Blogger BadParentingMoments said...

Yes. I had a vanpool to my former job that left at 6:45 a.m. It was 45 minutes of silent adults which should basically be a ride at DIsneyland.

 
At October 11, 2012 at 8:58 PM , Blogger BadParentingMoments said...

Thank you, Tammy! Motherhood is just a big ol' box of maccaroni and crazy! Thank you for reading and commenting!

 
At October 11, 2012 at 8:59 PM , Blogger BadParentingMoments said...

Thank you for reading! You're right, the missing it to help, my eardrums are exploding transition is about 5 minutes. :)

 
At October 11, 2012 at 8:59 PM , Blogger BadParentingMoments said...

Cheers to YOU! Thank you for the lovely compliment and for reading! xo

 
At October 12, 2012 at 12:54 AM , Anonymous Sandra said...

This is perfect! And so true! I have an almost 9 yr old an a 6 yr old...I can totally relate to every word. I cherish each moment of semi-silence I may get, but miss the noise too...quite the roller coaster this parenting this is, isn't it? :)

 
At October 12, 2012 at 7:04 PM , Blogger Dani Ryan said...

THIS was an amazing post. I loved every second of it.

I have a 1-year-old, so it's not that loud in here. What I crave sometimes is to be part of the adult world again. The Hubs and I don't have family close by to help us out, and we haven't done the whole babysitter thing yet. So date nights pretty much don't exist. But on occasion, my mother will be in town and she'll babysit so we can go out for dinner. And on those nights, it amazes me how much activity goes on in the outside world after 7:30 pm. It's like an entirely different universe.

Sometimes I miss that universe, but I know one day I'll be a part of it again and will miss the days when The Kid was young and she was all mine.

Because that's what we do - yearn for what we can't have.

Loved this. Can't wait to read more posts.

xo
Dani
cloudywithachanceofwine.com

 
At October 13, 2012 at 10:01 PM , Anonymous Suburban Snapshots said...

Really nice writing, I love this. I don't have the same noise pollution with just the one kid. I do have constant paw tapping up and down my hallway, and always breathing (now one snores). But I know those days when it's almost overwhelming, exhausting.

 
At October 15, 2012 at 2:54 AM , Blogger TNMom said...

This is absolutely genius!! I cannot even say how much I love your "brain dump" style of writing. Not being a writer myself, I don't even know how to judge writing or tell the differences or catagorize or whatever, but I am a huge fan of the way you write!! LOVE LOVE LOVE IT!!
Also, "It's not that they are not listening, it's that they are speaking Kid and I am speaking fluent Grown Up In Charlie Brown." BRILLIANT! I am going to share this...did I mention I love it? :)
Devan

 
At October 17, 2012 at 5:56 PM , Anonymous Courtney said...

Dang! Sounds like my house! I am with you, everyone can keep the stuff, just give me a moment or 7 of peace! Love it!

 
At October 18, 2012 at 1:01 PM , Blogger BadParentingMoments said...

It truly is a roller coaster. A roller coaster with a deranged attendant...with no brakes! :) Thank you for reading, Sandra!

 
At October 18, 2012 at 1:03 PM , Blogger BadParentingMoments said...

Dani, BINGO. This comment is fantastic. I also sometimes crave a "re-release into the wild" while acknowledging how quickly this time is passing me by. Is there a pill for this? Can it come in wine form? Thanks for reading, Dani!

 
At October 18, 2012 at 1:03 PM , Blogger BadParentingMoments said...

Thanks for reading, mama! I love seeing your handle in my blog comments.

 
At October 18, 2012 at 1:05 PM , Blogger BadParentingMoments said...

Devan, you always make my day, week and sometimes, month. Thank you for your support and great comments. It makes all of this brain dumping so worthwhile.

 
At October 18, 2012 at 1:05 PM , Blogger BadParentingMoments said...

Thank you for reading, Courtney! Silence IS golden. It's also impossible to find...you'd think since it's golden, it would be shiny and super easy to track down. Not so. xo

 
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