Thursday, April 28, 2011

Can You Hear Me Now?

Holy Toledo, I am going to lose my mind. Laryngitis could not have fallen upon someone with a bigger quota of WORDS to get out! Yes, I realize that Barbara Streisand nearly lost her voice, blah blah, millions of dollars, yadda, yadda. Does she clean her house better on the phone, because she NEEDS adults in her life? I don't think so! Does she have two little boys to drown out with the announcement that SOMEONE did not flush the toilet after using it? I would say that's a big, fat, opera-singin' NO! I'm going to also go out on a limb and say that she has not had to shoo chickens off her front porch or call in her twenty-six pound neurotic Mini-Aussie (who is CONVINCED that my neighbors come to the mailboxes in front of our pasture, scheming to KILL US ALL; thus I must be alerted-- repeatedly). I understand that Babs "wants" her voice, but I need mine!

I could go on and on about that (OOPS-- already did), but since I always tell my kids that "whining has never provided a solid case for anything," I suppose it's time to hoist up my big-girl knickers and cope. The question is, of course, how does one attract (and keep) the attention of her children, animals and husband without effectively working vocal chords? (Yes, I know I lumped everyone together. There is a reason for that-- they all seem to be vastly gifted with selective hearing!) I've tried a few methods. Seeing as how many of them made me look ridiculous, I thought I'd share them in a public forum ...

Method #1: The "Seal"
This is where you run around your house, clapping. All I wanted to do was tell Wyatt to go brush his teeth. In need of his attention, I followed him from room to room, applauding relentlessly. You'd have thought Tinkerbell was on life support!

Method #2: The ASL/Interpretive Dance Combo
This method is used with great hopes of helping reach the husband. Since his ASL is rusty (what with there being no toddlers in the house on a daily basis), you feel the need to "assist the signs" in your portrayal. The result: Your husband says "no, thank you," to what he thinks is a pineapple. Sadly, you were offering pie a la mode. On the bright side, mocking your emphatic movement is fun for the whole family! Well ... except you. Sure, it would usually be funny, but acknowledging the humor in this situation would nullify your pity party, after all!

Method #3: The "By Jove, I've Got A Swell Idea!" Table/Wall Slam
This only seems to be effectively used in films that were made before 1962. (Preferably, a musical!) In real life, everyone gets confused. The dogs begin barking, assuming someone has knocked on the door. Alan assumes it is Wyatt, Wyatt assumes it is Alan. Due to their assumptions, they both ignore me. Husband, however, comes running into the room, assuming I have fallen; thereby rendering myself unconscious. Upon the discovery that his wife had merely hoped to relay some information (and doesn't have so much as a paper cut), annoyance ensues from the man of the house.

When all of that didn't work, I pulled up a blank Word document and started typing my requests, declarations and commentary. The boys loved it, especially when I added smileys or silly fonts. Hubby, however, didn't seem to enjoy being pulled to the computer by "Vanna," while I pointed at the screen every five minutes.

There was something I had overlooked. It was something that my voice usually portrayed to my husband; love. I could play charades or type requests to him, but I treated my conversation like a "honey do" list. I'd even forgotten to say "Please" and "Thank You," much less, "I love you." So I stopped typing. I stopped signing. I stopped trying to relay my needs for just a moment. I remembered to do something I usually did while talking; I affectionately touched my loved ones. Simple acts like gently rubbing a shoulder, a hug or a peck on top of the head seemed to make it very easy for my sweetie to intently study my mouthed words. All because I took the time to gently approach him, instead of demanding his attention. I'd love to think that it all left with my voice, but I'm sure that's not entirely accurate ...

I think simple little acts of affection are easy to remember to do with my kids. They're little, they're cute, they call me Queen Mommy-- it doesn't really matter why ... it just is. I'm afraid that it's easier for the grown-ups to speak (and act)more lovingly towards the wee ones, and treat the "other grown-up" in the house like a co-worker or a room mate, instead of the special person they are. We both do it. With a wave of the hand (and the arrival of two children), flowery complements and flirting disappear. Suddenly, we say really romantic statements like, "We need milk," or "I have a dental appointment tomorrow." (Wow, grocery lists and tartar scraping. Is it getting HOT in here?) We're tired. We're cranky. We're out of good snacks ... it happens.

I hope my voice comes back. I REALLY do! The phone looks so LONELY! I'm going to get "texter's thumb!" And most importantly, I want to be able to use my words! Here's hoping that when my voice returns, I retain some of the gentleness I'm trying to use. :)

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About Me

I'm not your average housewife; but then, neither is any other housewife I've met! My life is a constant blur of kids, animals, hunting down and testing allergy-friendly recipes, shopping, LOTS of coffee, yarn crafting, nannying, singing and writing. I married my highschool sweetheart (the introvert who is a type-A, shy, organized, loves hunting, hiking and mountain climbing. He lives for pizza, burgers and cookies and doesn't like coffee). We are polar opposites, but Love, grace and a whole lotta Jesus can overcome anything! :) We have two boys who fill this house with lots of excitement, love, laughter and lunacy! Alan (9) is a happy-go-lucky, inventive, dramatic, eager-to-please kid who loves being dad's shadow and mom's shopping companion. He's the snuggliest kid I've ever met! Wyatt is extremely bright, inquisitive, entertaining and endearing. He lives for routine, Wii games, pixar films and writing stories. Alan is typically-developing, Wyatt has high-functioning autism. We live on an acre in the Pacific Northwest with our two aussies and 5 chickens. It's not the Waltons, but it works! :)