I have deduced that our entire little family needs to have our hearing checked.  Like, by a professional.  I’m convinced that each of the penis people (including the head penis that made the other penises) and myself have all lost our fucking sense of perceived sounds and have a very apparent loss of volume control.

Some of this is just hard wired in to each of us collectively that the loudest person is the only one who will be heard.  From the oldest to the wee toddler penis person, it seems that the only way to communicate in our house is to abruptly increase your volume to ensure that the racket you make is louder than the racket the other members of the family are making.   This is a skill that has been bred in me from birth, and to which I have apparently passed along to my young penis children.  Jeff, I think, has acquired this skill simply as a survival technique.

I come from a family of part Sicilian/part Russian (and a couple other things tossed in) who are loud and noisy and boisterous and abrasive and, it would often seem, tone deaf.  We talk all at the same time and over one another and shout to one another to shut up so we can be heard.  There is no polite conversation.  There is no patiently waiting your turn to add to the discussion.  You either jump in and be louder than the people already talking or you will NEVER get the chance to be heard.   At family gatherings, there is a distinctively loud commotion coming from the house that can be heard outdoors with the doors closed in the middle of a thunderstorm.

So it would seem only natural that the way I communicate with my own brood is to yell and shout…..and not generally in an angry manner.  Wherever I am in the house, if I need someone for something……I don’t go and look for them and then speak to them in my inside voice.  I technically don’t even HAVE an inside voice.  What I do instead is to shout at the top of my lungs “Hey ______ c’mere please”.  Yes, I do say PLEASE. At least I still have SOME manners.  Or if Nicklas is being loud ( and when is he NOT being loud) while the wee penis person is sleeping, I will SHOUT to him “NICKLAS YOU NEED TO BE QUIET, YOU KNOW YOUR BROTHER IS SLEEPING”.  Yes, very confusing and not condusive to providing an example of what should NOT be done.  No wonder the poor older penis person is generally confused and bewildered.  And still VERY LOUD.

Even the baby knows, at the tender age of 18 months, that if one wishes to get attention in THIS house, one must be not just loud, but THE LOUDEST of the loud.  When Joshua wants something, he doesn’t whimper nor whine…..he SCREECHES and SCREAMS.  If for some reason you either choose to ignore him or don’t hear him, he will come right up to you, grab your face (if its reachable, but other appendages will do in a pinch) and SCREAM and SCREECH LOUDER.  Generally, you WILL be paying attention to him at this point.

Jeff works midnights and has grown so accostomed to sleeping during the day with the horrendous noise level in our house, that he’s quite able to sleep peacefully with Nicklas playing his drums in the basement right below our bedroom and Joshua screeching  and me yelling from all over the house for everyone to SHUT THE HELL UP ‘CAUSE DADDY IS SLEEPING.   There are TVs blaring at nearly top volume from three different rooms (oddly, all on the same damn channel) and I have the MP3 player at equally top volume on my hip while I clean from room to room.  I’ve had SEVEN, yes SEVEN, 6 yr olds in my house running and screaming from room to room playing tag and generally causing mayhem.  When Jeff wakes up around 5ish, I will mention all those kids being over and he’ll look at me in amazement, not having had the slightest clue they’d been here, much less having been that loud.

What’s funny is when I’m angry, I will generally get QUIET and speak in a very low and menacing voice.  People must strain to hear me when I’m pissed off.  I get right in the offending persons face with teeth clenched and practically WHISPER my irritations.  If I’m quiet, or speaking quietly, there is likely a major shit storm brewing and you need to find a solid form of shelter immediately.  As you can see…..I’m am one backward ass bitch.

And finally, I think due to all this high volume and extensive noise level, we’ve also learned to just kinda tune one another out.  Nicklas will look right at me while I bellow “CLOSE THE PATIO DOOR….CLOSE THE PATIO DOOR…CLOSE THE PATIO DOOR” over and over and just shrug and say “huh?”  I have whole conversations with Jeff regarding friends coming to visit or what does he want for dinner or whatever (yelling, of course, as I wander from room to room)…..and moments later its as if the conversation never took place.  When I bring it up later, he will look at me bewildered and confused and I seriously think he thinks I’m trying to pull something over on him.  We’re just beginning to see the initial stages of the skill of tuning out in Joshua.  If he has something he shouldn’t (or something you want back) and you tell him to give it to you, he won’t even glance in your direction as he runs in the other, SHRIEKING and LAUGHING all the while.

And so I’m convinced we all should have our hearing checked thoroughly.  My only concern is that all our tests will come back positively clean and I will be forced to face the truth…..that we just need to quiet the hell down and REALLY listen and hear one another……..None of which will be an easy endeavor.