As we speak, I have my noise cancelling headphones on, and a wide array of activities set up on the table next to me to keep my youngest kid busy. But, mostly it’s to keep him from talking so much. He talks more than a contestant on The Bachelor professing her love.
I’ve caught him talking to himself in the bathroom. Talking to himself in the shower. Talking to himself in his sleep. This boy, my precious, sweet, last child of mine is a serious talker. And, he’s relentless. He will repeat himself over and over until I respond; and, I find myself just needing some peace and quiet. I’m a sensitive one to lots of noise, I’ll admit, and mama needs her quiet time.
Since he’s my youngest and we’re together all day every day, with the exception of preschool, he has a lot to tell me. I try to relish it, soak it up, and enjoy his sweet little voice, but I also find myself escaping in weird ways to hear myself think (and to not hear him talk).
Some things, such as filling the car with petrol, seem like a straight up mini retreat now. I feel the cool breeze hitting my face, with the car door shut, and I don’t hear about the latest Octonauts or Thomas the Tank episode for a full three or four minutes. It’s blissful.
Sometimes I retreat into my bedroom to fold washing so my husband gets a turn at hearing our little chatterbox. I hate laundry. But now the mundane, mindless task of folding it seems like I’m relaxing at my very own spa retreat because…silence.
I take longer showers because I can, and I pluck my eyebrows with the door closed so that he thinks I’m really busy in there. Since when did self-grooming and shaving begin to feel like heaven? I think waxing something might be a thing I need to look into.
And, there are things I think I would actually enjoy now that I hated before like watching paint dry, or getting a root canal. I absolutely abhor going to the gynecologist, but if it gives me time to stare at the ceiling and count the tiles instead of counting the number of times my cute little chatterbox repeats the phrase, “Mummy, did you know that sharks have lots of teeth?” until I give him an adequate response — then, so be it.
Cleaning the oven or wiping down the fridge gives me the excuse to say, “Sorry bud, Mummy can’t hear you right now because my head is in this ice cold place that’s super quiet.”
Vacuuming is the white noise I need to silence the cute little kid following me asking me random questions I really don’t know the answer to, or begging me to play board games with him, when I know he’s just going to tell me I’m doing it wrong and beg me to play one more.
Flipping the garbage disposal on feels like fun, and taking the rubbish out is something I really don’t mind anymore.
I find myself lingering when I walk to the other room to grab some more toilet paper. For a few seconds, sometimes whole, complete minutes, he doesn’t know where I am, and all is quiet.
When siblings are home, it’s easier. I can tell him to go find his sister, or tell his brother that story (for the 18th time today).
And, sometimes, when he’s all buckled in his car seat, I don’t mind so much running back in because I forgot something. I might even linger a minute longer than I should.
Blow drying my hair used to be a royal pain, but now I see it as a mini holiday right in my ensuite.
Now before you pin me as a careless, heartless woman who doesn’t care about her kid and doesn’t want to spend time with him, know this: he’s my baby. We’ve been attached at the hip for five years now. He’s READY for school. This isn’t my first rodeo, it’s my third to be exact, and I think he’s grown tired of hearing my voice, too.
I have relished more about my last child than I did the other two. So, I don’t have guilt that sometimes I need a break. We wake up together, we snuggle in the mornings, we spend all day together, and I mostly don’t mind the long hours of his ramblings. But, by the end of the day, I crave silence.
Having a chatterbox is great when you need some background noise, or are in the mood to say, “Uh huh” 5,329 times in a day, but the ears can only take so much before investing in those noise cancelling headphones, or telling him, “Mummy just needs some quiet time right now, OK?”
I’m thankful for my little buddy though. I frequently look down at him and smile that I have this cute little sidekick with me for trips to Target, and to “help” cook dinner, and to tell me ALL his stories. I know one day I’ll miss it all, but right now, I’ll feel zero guilt about taking my time putting on the washing machine downstairs.