Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Cry it Out a Librarian's Lament

When my son was born we lived in the little house next door. The older folks who lived in this house were as gleeful about this little neighbour as they had been about his sister before him. They clucked and fawned over him. More dear or loving neighbours could not be found. I always held some reverence for their commentary on certain things, namely, gardening, good sausage vendors and raising kids. They raised 3 from this vantage point 40 some years ago.

How different things must have been for them. Some moms won't drink at all when their breastfeeding and well they would simply swab the brandy right on the babies gums at teething time. Crazy old timers. And, babies were noisy it seems. They made quite a deal about how my son could be heard from their house. It was music to their ears.

????

Believe it or not they never praised me for keeping Girl Friday cooped up in a closet or head stuffed with a boob. They were sort of creeped out by the silence. Like I would not let her out of some soundproof booth. They just kept saying it never sounded like we had a baby 'over there'. But boy-o? They heard him. Of course they did. I had the big one to chase at that time. I couldn't hover over every need for him like I did for her. He had to wait like she never did. He cried out a heck of a lot more. He had to make himself heard. The neighbours were happy. Bless 'em.

When we were traveling last week I was worried about the kids sitting so long in the car. My fear lay with the noise mostly. But why? Why do I fear the squawking? Aren't they entitled to make some noise? Is it the librarian in me?

I know I do a lot of shushing and managing and more often than not it is the name of silencing my kids. Let's not make a ruckus or attracting attention. But at 2 and 4 I am really losing the battle and remembering what those neighbours found so delightful the sing song tones of childish noise. Perhaps now is the time I need to tap their nostalgia.

I thought of this too last week as I watched a girl burning the midnight oil of summer vacation. She was maybe??? 8 (I suck at judging age). Standing in a Starbucks line up, innocuous, noiseless, stuck to some game device tapping and quiet. Well managed and shushed but in some way to me a bit lonely. When I think of all the appliances we have that could shut our kids up, and how little I like them all, I better come to terms with the marathon of discipline and tolerance on a road ahead... a long noisy road ahead with them. Let it be.

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4 Comments:

Blogger Mad said...

The only thing I mind about the noise it that it NEVER stops and I can rarely think. I don't know why I think I need to pay attention to everything she says but I seem to lack that ability to tune out that is needed for sanity. My husband has it in spades.

BTW, where is yesterday's post? It was lovely.

11:57 AM  
Anonymous cheesefairy said...

I second mad...i came back to bow to your elegant prose from yesterday.

Of course, this post is also good...I am astonished at my tolerance for noise...some of the in/tolerance is genetic I think as my husband hates noise, is always shushing boy 1 & putting in earplugs with boy2. He can't think when there's more than one thing competing for his attention. I have always been able to listen to more than one conversation at a time.

1:39 PM  
Anonymous cheesefairy said...

I meant not genetic. I meant more acquired through upbringing.

1:41 PM  
Blogger kittenpie said...

I'm with you, though, on hating the many ways people try to shut children up with games and devices and soothers shoved in their mouths over and over.

8:58 PM  

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