We Don’t Believe in Silence

I’m a Talker.  Yes, capital T.

If you know me in real life, which most of you do since, you know, my three readers Your Mother, Erin and Monica all know me in real life, you know that it really is true:

I never shut up.

If you ever ask me to shut up, I will just talk more. (I also pride myself on being a special type of Annoying.)  And I will probably hit you also for speaking to me with such disrespect.  Or at least threaten to hit you if you ever tell me to shut up again.

(Please don’t call my bluff.  I have never actually hit anyone, but I will be extremely mad at you for at least a minute and half if you tell me shut up again.  And don’t try just saying Please Stop Talking…it is just as rude.)

In any event, I like to talk.  A lot.

And I decided to procreate.  So, guess what?

My boys both like to talk a lot. Imagine that.

Sometimes it drives me crazy.  I am pretty sure plenty of people in my life (ahem, Moooom) secretly love this perfect payback for my own history of being a motormouth.  (ps. Laughing hysterically actually makes it not so secret, but I’ll let you think you’re sneaky.)

But here is the thing you may not know: Being a Talker myself gives me insight in how to handle my little talkers.

Ignore them.

Not like ‘let Xavi sit in his crib screaming with a dirty diaper all day’ kind of ignoring.  And not even’ refuse to respond to any of Carlitos’ 5,000 daily questions’ kind of ignoring.

But rather, Selective Periods of Vague Response type of ignoring.

If we are doing an activity together I will answer any and all questions and respond to all comments.  Howeeevver, if, for example, Carlitos is coloring and I am trying, for example, to write, my responses are along the lines of, “Yes,” “Right,” “Of course,” and “Uh huh.”

This might sounds cruel, but the truth is, he literally doesn’t stop talking all day.  So, if I were to stop everything and only speak to him all day long, well, our house would be even messier than it already is.  And nobody would ever have a hot meal. And I would never have time to put on pants.  Which means I could never leave the house.  Which means they would never get to go to the playground.  And then I would feel like a bad mommy.  So at certain intervals during the day, such as when I need to accomplish something (like that whole pants thing), I utilize SPVR. (Crappy acronym, useful tool.)

Plus, do you think he really needs a thoughtful response to, “Is that a good idea, Mommy?” each of the 679 times he asks it each day?


He needs to hear, “Yes, Carlitos!”  Because his ideas are always along the lines of, “Should I go get my workbook and practice my letters, Mommy? Is that a good idea?” or “Should we pack up some snacks and go to the park, Mommy?  Is that a good idea?” or “Should I start my dissertation now so that I can be finished with it before middle school, Mommy?  Is that a good idea?”

Yes, Carlitos!

Now, when Xavi learns to string all those new words he keeps babbling about into sentences and starts verbalizing his ‘ideas’ and asking me what I think about them, I’ll have to change it up a little bit.

“Should I grab Osa’s tail and scream as loud as I can, Mommy?  Is that a good idea?”

“Should I take the nice bowl of goldfish you gave me and half chew them all up and then throw them all over the entire living room, Mommy?  Is that a good idea?”

“Should I deconstruct this bagel and rub the cream cheese in my clean hair and then use my crayon to scoop fresh poop out of my diaper and spread it on the table, Mommy? Is that a good idea?”

“Should I take every wooden animal magnet on the fridge and slide it into the tiny crevice on the stove top so that you can’t ever get to them without taking apart the stove, but will now worry constantly when the pilot flame will finally catch them on fire, Mommy? Is that a good idea?”

No, Xavi, those are not good ideas.  Please try again.

He is lucky that it is pretty much impossible to mad at him with those beautiful eyes and goofy smile.

So please prepare yourself if you ever plan on entering our home.  You may step on one of the thumbtacks from the box Xavi managed to open and then spread around the house.  You will surely hear Xavi say the words Ball, Book and Go! ten times each.   And you will absolutely be told all about clouds, apples, the number four and soccer – in detail – by my chatty little Carlitos.

That is, if you can hear anything over the sound of me talking your ear off.

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8 Responses to We Don’t Believe in Silence

  1. GrandKate says:

    This just made me laugh! And just to warn you: Mr. Will’s mother was driven to distraction by his constant questions about the nature of life and the universe, etc., etc., etc. The talkiness and constant stream of questions is still going full force 60 years later. As soon as he reads one or two lines of an article or sees the first few frames of a TV show or movie, the questions upon questions (which are most often answered in the next paragraph or frames) just start flowing. Curiosity is a great thing – and SPVR is great across the lifespan.

  2. Your Mother says:

    I am laughing.

  3. Alissa says:

    My little guy is a talker too and he comes by it via TWO very talkative parents. Our pediatrician even suggested a language program. He was all “If he likes to talk that much, maybe teach him to talk in a different language.” –LOL.

  4. Grand Kate – The only time I am quiet – and do NOT tolerate other people speaking – is during a movie or show. It drives me CRAZY! I am constantly yelling at my husband and my sisters-in-law for doing that. You tell that Mr. Will that I not to try that funny business if I’m around! 😉

    I do think he and Carlitos are kindred spirits a bit though…..

  5. Mom – I am sure you are. But thank you for not adding an exclamation point.

  6. Alissa – Go ahead, but I can tell you it doesn’t make them any quieter! My kids are both bilingual and it really just means they even more words to constantly use! 😉

  7. Monica says:

    Okay, I dont know why, but this reminds me of the time we were at a playdate together and ended up caravaning from one person’s house to a playground? I can’t remember the details but our kids were under 1 for sure and we were in Alexandria. I had been on the phone with my mom in the car and had apparently been telling her a very animated story that you observed at red lights via your rear-view mirror. When we got to our destination you said “were you talking to Addie that whole time? What kind of story were you telling her?” or something of the sort….we both laughed and said we would be better mothers if we talked to our kids in the car constantly 🙂 Guess what? Addie doesn’t stop talking (or whining, or complaining) and I don’t know WHERE she gets it from. Oh wait….me….

  8. Monica – I TOTALLY remember that! I had just been reading about how you were supposed to talk to your infant all of the time and even thought I am a Talker, I had been finding it awkward to make conversation with a silent blob. I remember thinking you were doing it all right and I was the loser mom doing it all wrong.

    And then I was so excited that you were actually on the phone and not talking to your baby. Hahahaha. Get on my level!

    The joke was on us, huh? It didn’t matter how much we talked TO our infants…they are both chatty like us! 😉

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