I don't know when exactly but sometime in the past year, it slowly dawned on us that we have TWO actual child people in our house.  It sure was a calmer, quieter household when we had one child and one baby/toddler we sort of - not really, but kind of - ignored.

Z has always controlled the airways.  She was an only child for the first three years of her life and I spent all day in one-way and, eventually, real, honest-to-goodness, two-way conversations with her.  By the time she was a toddler and talking in earnest, our dinner table conversations were pretty much dominated by whatever bizarre-o thing was running through her head.

As Z got older, the conversations in the car, on a walk, at the table became a place to chat about our days, to ask burning questions about dinosaurs, to test out nonsense jokes that made us roll our eyes.  She's always been a part of the conversation because, of course she was.  Slowly, falteringly, we taught her about taking turns in a conversation, not interrupting, listening patiently for the whole question before answering. 

Then E started talking.  And she wanted her fair share of the airwaves.  At first it was loud babbling, with shrieking sprinkled in for punctuation, any sounds she could muster just to contribute and be part of the family.  Now it is full sentences or, her current favorite, Christmas carols sung at top volume.  All while someone else is trying to talk about their day.

Momentarily resting her sledding muscles, and her vocal cords.
Logically one would think that this would cause Z to calmly sigh and resolve to be an excellent example of polite conversational skills.

What?  That's not logical?  NO WONDER.

Now our house during daylight hours is a swirl of little people talking over one another.  I am constantly one "conversation" away from a headache.  We are working on remedial conversational skills with Z and basic NO SCREAMING PLEASE instructions with E.  I bark endlessly: "Just a minute!  I can't hear you until I finish hearing your sister!" "Inside voices!" "One at a time!" and "No interruptions, please!"

So, of course, E has taken to yelling, when I'm in conversation with someone else:  "INTWERUPON!!!  INTWERUPON!"

At least she's aware of what she's doing?  It's a start?

Where's my Advil.....


Di said...

Right now I've got the Big Girl stomping around, planning a "cake party" and singing along. The Small Boy is running around behind her, repeating every third word. Pandora is on in the background and every 15 minutes the potty training beeper goes off.

I want to cry, but it would only add to the cacophony!

scattered everywhere said...

Oh my! I think I would be grabbing for Advil, too! That or I'd be digging out the earmuffs I bought when we went to the AFB Air Show last year... LOL

Doing My Best said...

Oh, I feel your pain! This is one of the reasons I have to put the earmuffs on around 3-4pm most days; it is around that time of day that I start feeling like my brain is oozing out of my ear when someone (sometwo? somethree?) STILL hasn't run out of things to tell me!

It never ceases to amaze me how genuinely surprised each of my children are when I point out that someone else is already talking to me; it's like they each think they are an only child and can't figure out where these other people came from or why I am listening to them!

Rebecca said...

Oh my goodness - I TOTALLY sympathize with this post and all the comments. The worst part for me is that I'm the only adult in my household and so the kids are used to having my "undivided" attention (THEY think it's undivided). So whenever there is another adult around (my sister, friends, etc.)I think they completely feel they're suddenly in a competition! They start yelling louder and pulling on me as soon as the other adult starts talking. It's my fault I guess, but it almost never even occurs to me that this happens all the time UNTIL there's another adult.

Heaven help us all. :)

clueless but hopeful mama said...

Di- Sounds exactly like my house!
Doing My Best- "sometwo? somethree?" = HAHAHA.
Rebecca- That kind of thing happens in my house too, when my husband comes home! He's suddenly the competition! OY.

Sas said...

Um, I just the other day snapped at the boy and the HUSBAND for both talking at me at once. What am I going to do when there's another (verbal) kid in the mix???

Marie Green said...

Oh YES. Our house is SO LOUD. NO WONDER why poor Olive's main form of "cooing" is a loud (LOUD!) shrieking sound.

I am very sensitive to the noise volume of our house too, which, eh... isn't exactly the IDEAL thing to be sensitive about with four girls. But I feel like when it's quiet (or at least quiet-ish), everyone is calmer.

Which is why I have NO IDEA how some people also have the tv blaring all day. I can't-- absolutely CANNOT-- have the tv going in the background, unless the kids are sitting and watching it quietly. Our is never, ever on unless we're actively WATCHING. And even then, the volume is set to LOW.

I can tell you... it doesn't get less noisy for a few more years, at least. So... um? High five on a house full of little girls? (Not that boys would be less loud...)

momof3 said...

I can totally relate to this. When my older two were little they were constantly competing to talk. I was so excited when they started going to different schools and would come home at different times so we wouldn't have this problem. Then I had baby number 3 and we are all in the throes all over again. I sometimes have to just hold my head between my hands to focus on one conversation.

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