My wife and I have been parenting for 9 years. During this time we have come to enjoy the little things in life that we once took for granted before we had kids.
PEACE AND QUIET
When you have five young kids there is always noise. Someone is either singing, screaming, laughing, or crying. When you have seven people living under one roof you have to speak loudly or chances are that you will not be heard.
The worst is when we are in the car. They get so loud which makes no sense because we are so close to each other. Seven months ago I backed up into a BMW convertible that was honking the whole time. I couldn’t hear a thing because my kids were singing VBS songs. When I got out of the car to talk to the guy, he yells at me saying, “Dude, what the heck. Didn’t you hear me honking? What is your problem?”
I yell right back at him, “Look through the window and take a look at how many kids I have and what they are doing right now! They are singing music together like they are the Brady bunch. How the heck I am supposed to hear you when I have that going on.”
He says, “Dude, my bad. You really do have five singing kids. I can hear them from out here.”
I noticed that our family has become louder and louder even when we don’t need to be. My kids are so use to raising their voices to be heard they sound like Asian immigrant adults screaming at each other but at the same time completely void of anger or frustration.
“I CAN’T WAIT TO GO SWIMMING!”
“ME TOO! TODAY IS GONNA BE SO AWESOME!”
“WHAT SONG DO YOU WANT TO SING NEXT?”
“I DON’T CARE. JUST START SINGING AND I’LL BACK YOU UP AND GET THE OTHERS TO JOIN IN!”
Though they mainly get loud together I have noticed that they each contribute differently to the decibel level in our home…
#5 talks loud. Maybe it is because she is the baby of the family but that kid just talks loud. Every time I sit next to her during dinner she shouts everything at me even though I am right next to her. The funniest thing about her is that she has absolutely no volume control. She yells or whispers. So when she talks to me during dinner she will shout her conversation. I will tell her to speak quietly. She starts whispering. Too funny.
#4 cries loud. This kid was born with lungs that were designed for super screams. One time her teachers freaked out because she cried so loud they thought something really serious happened. Turns out she got a tiny little scratch. Last week I spent 30 minutes trying to teach her how to cry quietly. I am totally serious. How you ask? Well it is hard to communicate with words the audible sounds I try to provide her with but I tried. I told her to repeat certain types of crying after me. She did great. I even gave her some louder options when something really hurts. She copied everything perfectly. 30 minutes later #5 bumped her head into hers and #4 tried to break the world’s record for loudest cry again.
#3 plays loud. #3 is the closest thing we have to an introvert in the family. Funny right. Seven people and only one introvert (my wife). Anyways, #3 is a really good boy. He is the most responsible little kid I have ever seen. Loves to serve. Loves to help. Keeps his room clean. But whenever he starts to play he is always smashing, bashing, and crashing. Always trying to scare his sisters. Always trying to get them to sword fight with him. He plays really loud.
#2 fights loud. #2 is really sweet but when you get her mad, she shouts just like her dad.
#1 laughs loud. She is such a well behaved mature kid but has a real goofy side. When she laughs the volume goes up.
For my wife and me, our time with our kids is so filled with noise that everything sounds like a kid to me now. Fire truck siren…sounds like a kid. Cat in heat…sounds like a kid. Even when we watch movies or tv at home I am always saying to my wife, “Did you hear that? Who was that? Which one? What are they saying?” We had wood floors throughout the entire house. Whenever it creaks I swear someone is calling me.
Every night before I go to bed I check in on the kids. Every time I do this I tear up. Why? Peace and quiet is so beautiful and precious. Watching them sleep is truly one of the great joys of parenting. You see their innocence, beauty, without any of the noise.