"Can I have a juice please?"
"What are you doing?"
"Can I go to Grandma's house?"
"Are you going to the bathroom?"
"What are you doing in the bathroom?"
"Can I come in the bathroom?"
"MOM! MOM! MOOOOMMM !"
For the third time this morning, I closed my eyes and let out an exasperated sigh. It was either that or a frustrated scream—I'm not totally sure. One important fact the parenting books fail to inform parents of is that a huge part of parenting is the relentless commentary we get from the peanut gallery.
A typical morning in our home starts with jibber jabber as soon as they rub their little eyes open in the morning and it continues until their bedroom doors close at bedtime. I once read that most preschoolers ask around 300 questions per day. Well, I'm sure my kid heard this fact and is on a quest to shatter that average.
I know that one day, soon enough, I'll be begging my kid to talk to me. The teenage years (and preteen years, if my 9-year-old stepdaughter is an accurate indication) will be spent trying to pry a single word out of their mouth before they rush off to be with their friends. I'll reflect on these days and wish I could have them back. However, for now, I'm not talking about "one day." I'm talking about today.
And today, at this moment, I would LOVE a second of quiet.
I remember a time not so long ago when I thought my kid would never talk. I was so concerned with his speech development that it stressed me out. He was around two years old at the time, and I could barely get a more than a 'Mama' out of him.
Back when I was a worried first-time mom, I took to the internet to figure out what was going on with my sweet little boy. Looking up information online rather than speaking with my doctor was exactly what my partner warned me not to do. A search online of my toddler's lack of dialogue quickly led me down a rabbit hole of fear.
"Take him to speech therapy ASAP!"
"My child knew and could speak the alphabet when he was one! Haven't you been reading to your child?!"
"My best friend's cousin's sister's neighbor ignored her son's speech delay, and now he's 35 and hates his job! It's all his mother's fault!"
I might be exaggerating a bit, but the comments were just as daunting. At that time in my life—as the inexperienced and overwhelmed mother I was then—I felt like a complete failure. I couldn't help but think that if I'd read to him every day while he was in the womb instead of binging something on Netflix, I wouldn't be in this predicament.
When I told my worries to my partner, he responded as he often does in these situations. "He's fine."
This statement, a favorite of his, didn't stop my anxiety at all. However, he was right. Our child would be fine. Regardless of how his development progressed and whatever happened along the way, we would figure it out, and he would be fine.
Fast forward two years later and my son's mouth runs non-stop like the leaky faucet in our kitchen (I should add that to my to-do list.) His development progressed, and all the worrying in the world didn't change a thing (except give me a few extra grays that I proudly sport).
Straight from the mouth of my 4-year-old babe, my little chatterbox has a surplus of thoughts and inquiries that he's desperate to share:
"Is it my birthday?"
"Do you have a job?"
"Will you buy me a toy?"
"Is it almost my birthday?" (Yes. Again, with the birthday.)
"Can you make me pancakes?"
"I don't like pancakes." (What?)
"Is the baby a baby?" (Again… what? )
"Why is the baby crying?"
"FEED THE BABY MILK FROM THE BOO-BOO!"
"I want to go to the park."
This barrage occurred before 11 am.
It's funny how the tables have turned. The silence I was so concerned about is filled with non-stop chatter. I'm often fielding questions about things I wouldn't have even considered and quite honestly, I'm not qualified to answer.
"Why is a ladybug red?"
"Where's the rabbit outside going?" (Do I look like Christopher Robin?)
"Who makes a passenger plane?" (That's what I get for reading a book about planes, trains, and automobiles with him.)
I'm thankful for my ability to Google and his inability to do the same.
I wouldn't change anything about my kid (well, actually, maybe just his toilet aim). He's one of a kind, and I love him for that.
Nevertheless, I wouldn't say "no" to a mute button to utilize every now and then. I'd even take a solo bathroom break without being unwillingly recruited into a round of 20 questions.
The reality is—the only quiet downtime I'm going to get these days is after the kids are finally asleep at night (unless I ship them off to Grandma and Grandpa's house— hint, hint). Although, what do I do as soon as I'm alone? I'm on my phone looking at their photos and missing their little faces...
Parenting. It's a wild ride.
Why? Because it just is! Enough with the questions. 😜